I recently read an article in our local real estate paper about an email exchange between the editor and a fellow inspector about a previous comment from a realtor. Not a bad article or heated debate, but something definitely worth mentioning. The realtor had written in asking if there has ever been any such topic about "home inspectors that pride themselves on finding meaningless 'problems,' and can effectively ruining a deal..." The topic stated was 'home inspector beware'. A well respected and reputable inspector responded with great knowledge, as well as the editor. Essentially what they had to discuss was our duties and ethics in this business.
I, like many, have hired inspectors to do what they're supposed to do... find what's wrong with the house before I decide to purchase it. I want to know everything from a missing screw to a leaking gas line. I completely understood the process when I was purchasing my first house. I knew walking into the deal that I had the option of "picking my battles". How bad did I want the house? And, at what cost would it come to fruition? I knew the seller had options too. They could tell me to kick rocks if I wanted a new AC. Fortunately, when I purchased my first house, the seller understood what it would cost to sell the house and I did get a new furnace when we requested it. All because we had a great, detailed inspector checking things out on our behalf. The smaller things... yeah, I was able to live with or repair on my own. I was pretty handy and didn't mind doing some work. I mean part of what we see while inspecting homes are maintenance items or FYI's.
Maintenance items are those items that just need a little attention from the home owner throughout the years that could prevent further issues or things that maintain the protection of a particular component... Like paint! Paint on wood helps provide protection and preserves the wood keeping it moisture resistant and therefore strong and good looking, too! If wood is exposed it absorbs moisture, swells and rots; allowing more issues to ensue.
Other maintenance examples would be:
- Keeping gutters clean
- Trimming trees
- Caulking around windows and doors
- Changing air filter
Although those are just a few examples, it takes a lot to be a home owner. Buyers should be made aware that when an inspector finds "problems" they are doing their jobs. Not only are we held accountable by the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice, outlining what is and is not inspected, but we are providing a service for you to make the best decision that's right for you and your family. Realtors are also held to similar standards and ethics to do what is right, regardless if the deal falls through or not, based on, again... what is right for you and your family. We're not deal breakers at Izon. However, we will do our best to provide you with a detailed inspection, and an easy-to-follow photocentirc report outlining what is most important about your potential investment.
A few things to keep in mind: Reports can display "deficiencies" ranging anywhere from a small cosmetic blemish to a major safety issue. Be sure to take the time to look over the report summary to ensure you understand and always feel free to ask questions. With our reports, reviewing the deficiencies is quick and easy to do. If a system or component is found to not be safe, it should be made safe. If you find something that is broken or not working right, what should you do? You negotiate. Even though you deserve all of those things doesn't mean you will get them. Negotiate with your agent guiding you to get what is fair to you. More than anything, you should feel not only safe but comfortable with your purchase.
Our report is there to help you do just that... guide you! It is the duty of every inspector to perform the minimum standards of practice required by the state of Oklahoma. Whether your inspector meets the minimum or exceeds them; the report is the tool used to accomplish your hopes and dreams.