Have you ever heard the term “Deal Killer” when agents are talking about Home Inspectors? Listen up when this happens; because, that is exactly the inspector for you and this is why. There is no such thing as a Deal Killer Home Inspector. Agents that use the “Deal Killer” label are not fully educated in the benefits of a good inspection or they are only thinking about their commissions. So I ask you, which is it?
Inspectors are reporting facts and rendering their professional opinion on an inanimate object, the house. They have strict standards they must follow and items they are required to report on. What kills a deal is NOT an inspection. What kills a deal is the inability of the Seller and Buyer to come to an agreement based on the new found facts as reported by the inspector. Part of the “Deal Killing” mentality may be due to the inability of the Agents to know how to handle a Home Inspection. Good agents know how to handle a tough home inspection and have no fear of the Inspector.
Things to consider:
- There are no perfect structures. Both Contractors and Building Officials will acknowledge this.
- Even small items can be safety hazards of upmost importance to the safety and life of your family members. Missing cover plates exposing wiring for instance. Or a missing child barrier for a swimming pool.
- It is better to know what you are going to need for the home up front. While a few items seem manageable, a long laundry list of to do’s can become overwhelming and time consuming.
- Sellers do not always know of things that are wrong with their homes, in fact some put up with things thinking it is normal. An HVAC system may be 12 years old, the life expectancy of such a system, yet in the Sellers mind they just replaced that recently and remember writing out the check. A one year old appliance is not “NEW”, it is a one year old appliance.
- If a buyer has no means, or the money, to be able to replace a roof in the next couple of years, then maybe a home that needs a new roof in a couple of years is not the house for them. Such an item can cause financial ruin to some buyers.
- Credentials matter when hiring a home inspector. Associations like ASHI, FABI and NAHI have very strict requirements to become an inspector in addition to their State licensing. The requirements of these three Associations are almost identical. Others may fall far short. These inspectors are often certified members of more than one of these Associations and hold duel memberships. If the inspector also possesses a Certified Contractor’s License, Certified Building Inspector’s License, Architect or is an Engineer that is even better for you.
- Florida Home Inspectors have only been licensed since July of 2010; however, you may see advertisements that they have been licensed much longer. Do not believe it.
- Home Inspectors in Florida are bound by both their Licensing laws and Codes of Ethics which prohibit certain association with real estate professionals like Brokers and Sales Associates. They cannot give or receive anything of value for an association or referral. States like Massachusetts actually prohibit Brokers and Sales Associates from recommending Home Inspectors. Something good Home Inspectors are contemplating here in Florida.
- The cost of the inspection should not be your primary concern with regard to hiring an Inspector. You will get what you pay for.
- The average home of approximately 1,700 square feet should take between 3 and 4 hours to inspect. Anything less is not sufficient to operate, test, and inspect all the systems of a home including the roof, grounds and attic areas.
- Hiring the right Inspector can be just as important as finding the right house. Real estate contracts have short time frames for the inspection contingency. Good Home Inspectors are booked out weeks, and sometimes months, in advance. Finding one before you make the offer will make the process much less stressful.
- If you are listing your home serious consideration should be given to a listing inspection. This may identify serious issues that you can either address by correcting or disclose to a potential buyer. Believe it or not, Buyers trust honest Sellers that disclose and disclosure does not necessarily affect the price.
Remember, choosing the Home Inspector is YOUR CHOICE and you are at no obligation to use the Inspector the Agents suggest.
Jeff G. Hooper is a Florida State Licensed General Contractor and a Florida State Licensed Building Inspector. He has 37 years of experience in the construction industry and is qualified as an expert in cases involving construction. Jeff has served as the President of the Florida Association of Building Inspectors four times and teaches continuing education classes to Contractors, Building Inspectors, Architects, and Home Inspectors. He is an author and featured speaker at the National level. You can learn more about Jeff at JeffGHooper.com