The Importance of Home Inspections

Real Estate Agent with The Shane Steely Group and Keller Williams Key Partners, LLC

So, I picked up my mail from the office this morning to see a letter from a former client I helped get into a single family residence earlier this spring.  I had spoken with them just a month earlier (in my 3 month follow-up call) and nothing was mentioned, so I can only assume, the news they sent in the letter was recent...and it was.

When I or my team works with our Buyer clients during the inspection period of the contract, we assist them in lining up all inspections, whether it's the home, pest, foundation inspectors, etc.  Part of the inspection process I always harp on is the chimney inspection.  Since we have cold weather here, it is VERY important to know that the investment you're getting ready to make has an alternative operating heat source (if you're choosing to utilize the fireplace as one) in addition to our <given> forced gas systems (especially w/ the cost of gas these days)

None the less, this one client's new home did have a fireplace...actually 2.  During the home inspection I did my traditional "reason why you need to have inspections" speech and my clients agreed to the pest, home and structural side, but decided they didn't need the chimney, as the home inspector would look at that also.  Of course, I informed them that the home inspector is NOT a qualified chimney repairman (chimney sweep) but they assured me that they have purchased homes before with chimneys and never had an issue before and besides, they didn't want to spend the additional $99 for a chimney inspection.  This of course, is when I pull out the "Waiver of Inspection" form that I personally use to protect my team/company from future "issues" that could arise from former clients who elect NOT to do certain inspections and later regret it.

As I read the letter in my vehicle, I only could shake my head.  Seems my former clients, in getting an early start for the winter months, decided to have their chimneys cleaned before the rest of Kansas City started booking out the sweeps.  When the chimney sweep came in, it was upon HIS inspection that both chimneys needed repair and much more than a traditional tuck pointing.  Each had clay tiles missing and gaps where there shouldn't be and ultimately, to remedy both chimneys, it was to cost my clients $3,000 total for metal liners.  Now of course, the original home inspector didn't utilize a "camera" as does an actual chimney sweep and he makes certain on his home inspection report that he is NOT a chimney sweep and that clients should consider the professional service of one. 

Well, they indicated that they are going to pay for it, but acknowledged that next time around, they'll listen to their REALTOR, in that the measly $99 charge for a chimney inspection would have been MUCH less than the repair charge they now face.  Especially since they probably could have gotten the seller to pay for the repairs during the contract!

Moral of the story?  The Inspection Period during a contract is there for the protection of the buyer.  By utilizing all their inspection options (i.e. pest, radon, chimney, etc.) the buyer(s) can save themselves headaches and of course, MONEY in the long run. 

Should you or anyone you know have any questions about Inspection Periods or any other topic in Real Estate, feel free to contact the Shane Steely Group.

Comments (3)

Shawn Martin
Crosby Inspections - Vancouver, WA
Can't emphasize it enough be smart be aware get an inspection
Aug 09, 2006 01:15 PM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing
An inspection can seal or BREAK a contract, depending on what is found in the inspection..... and what the two parties are willing to do about any problems that arise...... better to GET an inspection on any deal that is NOT AS IS...than to just assume everything is going to be ok...there are so many facets to a home that any one thing wrong COULD be a major expense.
Aug 09, 2006 02:51 PM
Tom Francis
Chase Toppers, LLC - Pottstown, PA
Great information Shane.  I particularly like the waiver you use to help protect your move.  Chimney inspections, as you know, are extremely important to ensure the safety of the home's occupants.  Your readers may be interested in this article about chimney inspections as outlined by the National Fire Protection Agency.  Thanks again for sharing this story!  -Tom
Apr 13, 2007 09:21 AM