Clarity of Information (Bellingham Home Inspector) King of the House

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. Home Inspector Lic #207
There are many people, primarily sellers and sometimes realtors, who prefer it if the home inspection report is brief and has only the most vital information. There are others, who like detail and clarity of information. The side that wants minimal information usually feels that too much detail spooks or unnecessarily alarms or distracts the buyer.

That could, of course, be true depending on the quality of the information being provided. A home inspector who does not understand something, can create problems that should have been avoided. I would argue however, that sometimes providing detailed information can actually make things go better.

The photo below is at garage exterior wall. That piece of wood hanging on it is pretty grisly. It has burrowing marks and tunnels that are as big around as your little finger. That is not something the buyer wants in a house. The inspector knows, or should know, that these tunnels are from Teredo, a salt-water mollusk that damaged this wood when it was in the water. They are long departed at this point and this is, for lack of a better term, "yard art."

bellingham home inspector, king of the house

Let's look at reporting options. In the first one, the inspector says nothing, just ignores that wood. What is likely to happen? Later, the buyer notices this wood and worries that the inspector missed something and that the home is being devoured by a voracious and mysterious creature. In our state, the WSDA knows of a situation where the buyer then doused similar wood with a toxic chemical to kill the beasts.

In the second scenario, the inspector casually mentions that the piece of wood at the garage has been tunneled in by Teredo, a salt-water mollusk. The mollusk is no longer present, cannot live on the land, and such wood is popular in coastal communities as trim, yard art or decorations.

In the long run, it is my view that the second scenario, that provides detailed information, does a better job of taking care of the buyer, for the inspector and the realtor, than the first option. It is all about the clarity of the information!

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

 

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Steven L. Smith

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Rainmaker
1,402,703
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

I'm game with the second scenario as well. To allow such a remarkable piece of wood go without comment in an inspection would cause me to question the integrity of the inspection.

Jun 29, 2008 07:04 AM #1
Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

I for one think that too much detail is never enough----most of the agents and buyers I work with agree.  It takes education of buyers (and some agents) to get everyone on board with the idea that more information is a good thing.

Jun 29, 2008 07:40 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,951,280
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

A bad premense to be in either way.

Tom Braatz

Jun 29, 2008 08:09 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,113,696
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

But how many inspectors know what a Teredo is?  And for yard art, that board is not too artistic in its present position.  But I'd think my inspector was mighty smart if he/she explained salt water mollusks.  (Notice the she?  I don't know of a single female inspector!)

Jun 29, 2008 08:56 AM #4
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Barbara, hopefully every WA State home inpector:)  We have several lady home inspectors in WA

Jun 29, 2008 09:01 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,247,927
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Yes,

There are a number of female inspectors. Not going to speculate on how many are ladies. That would be like putting Charlie B as a gentleman. He is a guy, I give him that.

Jun 29, 2008 09:57 AM #6
Ambassador
1,337,161
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Harsh---now you have gone and hurt my one feelingsadface

Jun 29, 2008 10:09 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,247,927
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Charlie B,

No need to be hurt. Gentlemen cannot play soccer with the vigor and machisimo that you bring to this senior citizen sport.

Jun 29, 2008 10:12 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,113,696
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

If I didn't have you two guys to make me laugh I'd be back where I was before activerain participation!  So how do the "lady" inspectors do?  Good job?  Successful?

 

Jun 29, 2008 11:19 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,247,927
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Barbara,

I really cannot answer your questions very well. We have trained some females in our classes and, my general sense, is that they have a rougher go of it. Not due to lack of trying or knowledge but, fair or not, lots of homebuyers figure a "guy" is who they want. I think it is sort of like the first women breaking into police or fire departments. However, with inspection there are not all the laws that reduce discrimination. People can either hire an inspector, or not. They can not hire for any reason on earth and the inspector can do nothing about it but change the marketing approach.

That is my 2 cents. Don't trust anything Charlie tells you on this topic.

Jun 29, 2008 04:17 PM #10
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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