We’ve all probably met him or even worked with him. That home inspector with the nervous twitch and desperate need to find something wrong…you know that guy. Whether you’re a listing agent or buyer’s agent, a buyer or a seller, you’ll understand.
Example….my first time home-buyers arrive early for their home inspection. Much to my dismay, Mr. Find-a-Problem, as I like to refer to him, is already on the roof apparently prying apart a gutter which is obviously affixed securely to the fascia board of the house. He yells down to me, “It’s loose! BIG problem!”
I’m secretly hoping some act of God will violently sweep him off the roof onto a soft patch of grass (o.k. – maybe not so soft) so that he can continue with this grueling process.
“Mr. Find-a-Problem, are you almost done up there?” I yell.
“Ohhhhhh, no, no, no! I think we need to check this loose shingle…Oh my! This one’s loose too!” he screams down as he’s ripping up more shingles to show me. Loose or loosened? I wasn’t so sure.
On the ground, my buyers’ expressions have changed from excited to nauseous. At least they’re trying to maintain their smiles. There’s still hope.
As he’s descending the ladder, I can only imagine the goodies he’s going to find inside. Following behind him I get a sudden urge to call in a back up but this inspector’s been referred by my client’s father’s secretary’s daughter-in-law – so he must be reliable, right? Wrong!
“Mr. Find-a-Problem, the washer and dryer don’t convey. There’s no need to inspect them. I don’t think you should be re-washing the family’s whites.” ARGH!
By now, the buyers are trying to take their minds off of Mr. Find-a-Problem’s annoying tick. The twitching in his eye they had assumed was the result of some insulation that must have gotten in when he was lifting every piece in the attic looking for critters. Call me crazy but I wasn’t aware he was a pest inspector, too! They try to concentrate on the living room and discuss how they are going to place their furniture and paint the walls their favorite color.
“You gonna paint in here? My son-in-law is a painter on the weekends. His probation officer says he can work as long as he’s within the city limits. He can do it for you – cheap!” Great…now he’s managed to bring his family into the picture when all I want to do is be done with him and remember never to refer him – EVER.
Off to the bathroom. Let’s turn on the shower, flush the toilet, check under the sink – oh no! “Look, there appears to be a slight water stain here. You see it?” We all peer over his shoulder. “Ummmm, no.” we reply in unison.
“Look harder. It’s there – just turn your head a little to the left and squint. You see it now?”
“O.k. If I say yes, can you tell me if there’s a current problem with the water?” I ask him. I am thoroughly annoyed now.
“Well, I don’t see any water leaking and the pipes aren’t wet but there used to be a problem here.”
“Thank you, Mr. Find-a-Problem, but we are only entitled to ask the seller to repair something that is not in normal working order. Is this in normal working order?”
“Well, I guess, but….”
At this point, I’ve had enough. Let’s finish this up.
While we’re waiting for the inspector to write up his 50 page report, I am trying to console my clients. At this point they feel they are buying a money pit and want out of this contract. No point trying to convince them otherwise – because I’m not a professional home inspector. And apparently, neither is Mr. Find-a-Problem!
Moral of the story – hire a professional, qualified, licensed, bonded and insured home inspector referred by your agent or other professional in the industry.