Beware Of The Rogue Home Inspector

Posted by Joyce Peterson on Friday, November 30th, 2018 at 3:43pm.

Congratulations, your home is under contract! The next step will be for the buyer to have your home inspected.

Most of us assume a home inspector is going to be competent and the inspection report will be a truthful indication of your home’s condition. I wish that were true.

More than ever, this year we have run across an alarming number of home inspectors that produced inspection reports with significant inaccuracies. In some cases I wondered if they were even inspecting the correct house.

There are a few reasons for this development. First, home inspectors are like people with any other job. Some software developers are great, some are average and some or simply bad at their jobs. The same holds for home inspectors. The process to obtain a license to inspect homes in Texas is very simple. Just because someone is a licensed inspector doesn’t mean they are good at the job.

Second, many home buyers are turning to Yelp or other online review sites to select a home inspector. What consumers don’t realize is the company may have great reviews but those reviews are from inspections done by the original owner of the company. When the buyer calls to schedule their inspection they are likely assigned to a more inexperienced inspector. This would be like buying tickets to a famous Broadway show and finding out the understudy is performing the evening of your show. In the end the buyer isn’t getting the type of inspector they thought they were hiring.

Third, some inspectors are marketing their service as being more thorough than other inspectors. Their inspection takes twice as long and costs twice as much. To justify the price the inspector feels obligated to uncover issues that aren’t problems.

Where we have seen the biggest issues with homes is with inspectors saying roofs are in bad condition and need to be replaced. The picture attached to this article is from a contractor we had check out a roof after an inspector said the roof had hail damage and needed to be replaced. Other than normal wear and tear to a 9 year old roof there was no damage that necessitated a replacement.

The buyer for this house requested that the seller replace the entire roof. Fortunately for our client we have relationships with reputable contractors we can consult with to verify inspection results. In this case we were able to get a contractor out that day to check out the roof. The contractor put in writing the condition of the roof did not rise to the level of replacement. Eventually the buyer realized the inspector was wrong and he decided to continue with buying the home.

This is only one example of erroneous inspection items we have been able to demonstrate were incorrect saving our clients money and frustration. Over the years we have also learned what items often incorrectly show up on inspection reports. Our experience with negotiating repair items and understanding what items truly should be addressed allow our clients to push back against buyers who try to negotiate repairs that are not necessary. 

If you are planning to buy a home in the Austin area and want to get your home inspected, call Eric Peterson at 512-791-7473 or eric@koparealestate.com.

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