Home inspectors

I rarely find the time to actually post something :). I guess motivation plays a big part in that too of course. After all, one has to have something worthy to write about. Usually my day ends towards midnight, and around that time all I want to think about is something else than real estate…..you know, relax for 30 minutes and then go to sleep, because at 6.30am that alarm is going off again. Yes, my friends, that is indeed, more often than not, the 7-days-a-week routine.

Tonight is different. Tonight I do feel that I have something worthy to share, and it is about home inspectors. No, I am not planning on telling you how the wheel was invented, and I will assume that everyone knows that hiring a home inspector is a necessary part of the real estate purchasing process. What I “do” want to address, is the quality of the home inspector.

Too often I run into buyers wanting their handyman to perform the home inspection. Indeed, a handyman knows everything about structural issues and building codes: NOT. No need to further explain. The inspector I like to address in this writing is not the obvious wrong choice, but the sneaky one: the inspector that the family has been using for years, because he tells it like it is, and you can trust him.

For his services, this family inspector charges double or triple the amount that any other ASHI (see http://www.ashi.org/ ) certified inspector charges for a regular 2 to 3 hour home inspection. Going inspection rates are not checked by the family, because this guy is trustworthy, if you know what I mean. Recently, one of my customers ended up paying almost $700 dollars for a 2.5 hour inspection of a 2bed/2bath home that has less than 1,000 sq ft. (regular rate is about $300).

If it had stopped there, this email would have hardly been worthy of writing. Sadly enough, ripping of a customer happens everywhere in the contractor business. What else is new? No, it was the way that this inspector conducted himself that was totally wrong. He used language that a professional in the business simply should not use, and it will certainly not be repeated here. He wrote a report (not included in the $700 inspection charge), that set a certain tone, insulting other professionals, using words like (toned down for this post) “incompetent, amateur, lack of knowledge,” and went as far as accusing the city inspectors of being corrupt.

One can only imagine what such an inspector does to a real estate transaction, where emotions are at higher levels to begin with: The buyer feels intimidated and less confident. The seller feels insulted. The inspector in this case has a fitting nickname. They call him the “Butcher of Buckhead” (he has the highest rate of terminated contracts….with a purpose of course: termination means, that he can do more inspections for the same client….obviously, using his inflated inspection rate again….).

Now, the contract in question didn’t terminate. There was an experienced Realtor involved in the transaction :). However, in my opinion, an inspector like this should either/and/or: 1. take 6 months of classes on how to behave in a professional manner. 2. stop ripping trusting customers off, and instead try to make an honest living. 3. retire before the authorities take his license for misconduct. 4. live up to his nickname, and start a career in the meat business :). We will miss him deerly!!! 🙂

No worries for all of you reading this. There are lots of great home inspectors out there. The vast majority conducts business in a professional and honest manner. Now, if you all don’t mind…I am going to take my 30 minutes relax time. The clock will keep on ticking, and 6.30am is closer than I want it to be :).