I pride myself in knowing as much as I can about my profession and the intricacies involved with real estate transactions. Having said that, I also know my boundaries. Way back in my sales life I learned one of the best things you can say is I DON'T KNOW, BUT I WILL FIND OUT! I found the customer was happy with that answer and it gave me time to get an expert to answer their question. Which brings me to my latest problem...
The inspector I hired for my last two contracts had the same thing to say about the boilers in both houses. I didn't immediately pick up on it until the second deal started to head South and after inspection objection my buyer decided he wanted a new boiler from the seller. I don't pretend to be a boiler expert, but the inspector wrote like they were. I hired a local licensed plumbing/HVAC contractor to inspect the system and provide a report on the existing boiler. When I presented the plumber with the inspection report, he explained they had offered a class to the local inspectors on what to look for in heating systems, but no one attended. After testing the glycol levels and inspecting the boiler and the tubing feeding the baseboards, he agreed with my buyer. The cast iron boiler was not compatible with the tubing used and was destined to fail!
So...what did the inspector put on their report? "A clacking sound was heard near the boiler." I asked my plumber what that was about and he LAUGHED! He said it was just the check valve for the circulating pump and that all boilers make that noise. HUH? It was my understanding we hire inspectors to point out major defects to ensure our buyers aren't walking in to big expenses after the sale.
I looked over the report again. I thought maybe I had overlooked the note telling the buyers to have an expert look at the heating system. I pored over the report 4 maybe 5 times and saw other things like the door to the bedroom didn't latch properly, but nothing about the heating system.
This is a $600K deal. Not huge, but pays a nice commission. If I were to pay this out of pocket, it would consume all of it. The buyer is mad. The seller is mad. I'm mad!
Even if the inspector had used the first part of my golden rule and had said I DON'T KNOW we could have saved this deal!
As I mentioned before, I pride myself in learning. Perhaps the people entrusted with people's hard earned money, should be as dilligent.
I am sure I will get a whole lot of grief from the inspectors out there! I can tell you that the inspector I used was certified, (we don't have licensing in Colorado) has been an inspector for more than 10 years and has done more than 30 inspections for me over the past 24 months.
Who got paid? Yup, the one who didn't say I DON'T KNOW!
Let me hear your stories...good and bad!