Is Your Home Inspector God?

Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

While many home inspectors may “think” they are god, or “act” as if they are god, the reality is none are.

I hear a lot of discussion about how seriously what home inspectors say is taken.  It is as if, as soon as they open their mouths, or write something in a report, whatever they have said or written is somehow “law” and must be taken care of just the way they say.

While what they say “should” be taken seriously, it is a little more complicated than that.

The reality is, whoever makes the actual repairs will be the one who will fully evaluate the issue and make the repairs they deem necessary.  The inspector is out of it at this point.  The repair may be exactly as the inspector described, be a variation of what the inspector described, or be a solution totally different from what the inspector described.

How close what the inspector says and what ultimately gets done will be a measure of how experienced and accurate the inspector is.  It will also be a measure of how experienced accurate the person making repairs is.  

It should not be assumed that either the inspector or the repair person is god.  Ideally we trust each party is doing the best they can, in a professional manner.  We all know this is not always the case and why lawyers were invented.

Of course this often devolves into questions of whether the seller is going to do what the inspector has said or whether the buyer is going to do it.

I do not envy agents having to sort this out, but it is part of their job, the same way accurately describing and recommending is the inspector’s job.

Inspectors will use their best language skills (theoretically) to convey the severity of the issues.  Their recommendations should be clear as to whether repairs can wait a year, or whether the house is imminent danger of blowing up, or more typically, somewhere in between.

The key here is defined by what home inspectors typically do:  “recommend.”  What anyone does about what we recommend is really up to the other parties involved.

I like to think better inspectors are able to put their recommendations in an appropriate context that all the parties involved can get a sense of importance---and perspective.  A plan of action that all can understand.

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector


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Esther Preston
Heartland Realty - Redmond, OR

great post, I for one love my Home Inspector

Jun 29, 2016 01:56 AM #1
Ted Seastrom
Bennion Deville Homes - Palm Desert, CA

In California, anyone with a clipboard and a pickup truck can be a "home inspector." That said, I like a super-detailed inspection report. It should never be a punch list for the seller. But for the buyer, it offsets future complaints of "I had no idea this might be a problem."

Jun 29, 2016 01:58 AM #2
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Charles - Excellent post and a great point. Good communication skills are one of the qualities we look for in inspectors, along with their knowledge.

Jun 29, 2016 03:32 AM #3
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Common sense stuff, Mr. Charlie!  When people ask me how something should be repaired, or how much it will cost. I say that if they call three (name your trade) they will get three prices and perhaps three approaches!

Not sure about the god part though.  I'm thinking maybe we are...

Yeah.  Gotta be.

And looking at your image, is that a water balloon just above the belt, or is the image just glad to see somebody?

Jun 29, 2016 07:40 PM #4
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Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
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