Awhile ago, I read a post in which Susan Scavelli was venting her frustration as to whether home inspectors were worth their money. Without getting in a tit-for-tat debate or pissing contest, I feel we are. I will defend my profession. For some reason, many real estate folks do not understand or have been educated on our standards of care. I strive to do that in office presentations. Education is key.
Like any person in any profession, there are good ones and real sorry ones. (Southern teminoligy) I am sure you know what I mean. Enough said!
Our industry standards of care, in essence, states:
- We must be “Codes Wise”! We are not codes inspectors.
- Because attorney are who they are, most inspector associations urge inspectors to use verbiage such as, “Recommend further review/repair by a licensed professional in the appropriate trade.” Sure this is vague. Are we, or you the agent, qualified enough to determine if the work is to be performed by a journeyman, apprentice or Joe Handyman? Make the wrong call and you get called before the State licensing committee or worse yet, a trial. Not fun! Been there! Done that! Thank God I operated within industry guidelines.
- Unless we are still or have been a licensed contractor in a particular trade, we are banned from quoting codes! We cannot even mention the “C” word in our reports! I was an electrical engineer. I knew NEC (National Electric Codes) backwards and forwards. I will not quote codes.
In Susan’s defense, I will agree that real estate mavins are our biggest referral partner and we should do our best to educate them and their client on what is important and what is not. Our industry standards state:
- Water heaters (depending upon manufacturer) that are 6 years old or older are at the end of their service life. (topic for another blog)
- Compressor system that are 10 years old or older are at the end of their service life. (another topic for a blog)
- Package units that are 10 years old or older are at the end of their service life. (another topic for a blog)
- Furnaces that are over 15 years of age or older are at the end of their service life. (another topic for a blog) The list can go on...
Susan addressed several other issues in her vent that could have been address better. I agree. Double lugs are easy fixes. No huge issue. I think that home inspectors going the way of the conestoga is a bit overkill.
I feel that inspectors should inform folks that there are deferred maintenance items. Items that should be address “in time”. These are items that, if for example: they lived in the house and they saw a loose gutter they would say something like, “I need to fix that tomorrow.” Guess what? Tomorrow never comes. When I tell buyers and agents that, it grounds them in reality. I feel that home inspectors need to be realists. My 2¢’s worth on that.
To land the plane, I feel that inspectors need to be realists and we need to be educators. We need to educate the client and our mavins. Yes, Susan, I feel your pain. Real estate agents and inspectors need to learn to play well together. The sand box is only so big.
It is a great day at Complete Home Inspections!