"You know I really think that this report is nit picky, alarmist, and just flat wrong," said the message on my answering machine. "Some of the things in here were just uncalled for."
Thanks Jim. Thanks a lot.
Deal killers...the name that real estate agents have given to home inspectors who "kill deals" by being good at what they do (okay granted their are a few inspectors that kill deals because of incompetence, but that is another blog). Since most agents don't get paid until the deal closes, some agents get a little over focused on the close and forget that an entire process has to happen first. Enter the deal killers...
For buyers, the reasons for loving a deal killer are obvious. No home is perfect because they are built by human beings on earth that moves. Nature doesn't stand still for us and our homes, which means that all homes need some repair at some point. Solid building and engineering can minimize this, but it always exists.
Deal killers will point out all of those issues big and small to you. Each state has a slightly different practice when it comes to home inspections and repairs. In Oregon we have as-is contracts. The point of the home inspection is for the buyer to satisfy themselves of the condition of the property. It is not to negotiate repairs, but that is often a consequence of it. Some things are really obvious when you walk into a home, that you can take into account when you write an offer. The rest is for an inspector to help buyers sort through.
For sellers, the reasons should be obvious why you want a deal killer, but most seller's don't see it that way.
I closed on a listing I had a couple of weeks ago. The buyer was unrepresented (I don't practice dual agency) but had asked who I refer people to: "Jim Allhiser," I said. "He's fantastic."
After the buyer got the report they called me to ask why I referred Jim to them. "I figured you wanted someone good."
"Weren't you worried that they would kill the deal?" they asked.
"No. I'm protecting my sellers," I replied.
Yes, I was protecting my sellers. Let's face it. Misrepresentation is a huge source of lawsuits in real estate. Deal killers protect all parties including agents, which is why you should love them. A home inspection is a snapshot, but an important snapshot.
For example, a buyer hires a deal killer who notes the 1/2" piece of deteriorating siding, the slightly leaky hose bib, and the one dead outlet in the house. Six months later the house has mold and the buyer thinks the seller knew about it. The buyer wants to sue. In my opinion, deal killing home inspection reports help to protect sellers from future litigation.
Why I love my deal killer? He protects me. It's that whole misrepresentation and failure to disclose thing. Sellers sometimes do those special DIY projects that are "custom carpentry work." Yeah...Let's face it, sellers sometimes do "weird fixes" to their home that make sense to the seller, but not to anyone else. Seller's often forget about these fixes since they did them ten years ago and so they forget to put them on the disclosure form. It's not their intent to misrepresent, they just forget. Deal killers can find these special gems, and start a dialogue between both sides.
Now a home inspection is a snapshot in time of the home. I have had listings where garage door openers and thermostats worked during the home inspection and went kaput the next week. A home inspection can't protect against these things, but a really good thorough home inspection can help to prevent future lawsuits for buyers, sellers, and agents alike.
Me, I love my deal killer and you should love yours regardless of what side of the transaction you sit on.
Now...off to deal with that message on my answering machine...