Besides Andrew being in and around the home inspection industry for 15 years, we are homeowners. We sold a home and bought one again, and during the selling/buying process, we saw two very different experiences.
On one hand, our buyers were not represented well, nor was the inspection very good. We had to put out a couple fires from it. Our buyer was not given good, if any, direction. It was a little painful to see.
On the other hand, we had a great inspection as buyers and a structural engineer that found a pretty scary foundation issue. The engineer/inspector and his referred contractor assured us the foundation issue was not only fixable, but affordable.
We were well taken care of.
What We Believe
In our opinion, the home inspector has a responsibility to connect person-to-person with the client and help guide them through what may seem a scary looking report, but in reality is just a house…being a house. This portion should not be exclusively left to the Realtor.
But what if the scary report is actually a big deal? What if there is a situation that poses an unreasonable risk to safety or could significantly impact the buyer’s ability to get financing or insurance coverage? These are called “material defects” and they do come up.
We believe we hold the responsibility to share this information accurately, but also with tact and good bedside manner. An inspector is often excited to make a big find like this. It’s like a doctor discovering a condition affecting a patient that science has rarely seen! But any good doctor would remember that this is a person, not an experiment or a cool story to tell their buddies. We must respect that people’s emotions are involved and take that into account when presenting our findings.
There is always a solution to a problem. And while inspectors will not know the solution to every problem, nor do we have the authority to speak into every situation (e.g., municipal building code), we can at least guide the client to next steps to get those answers ASAP.
We are also of the stance that the inspector should share contact information of any trusted contractors. An inspector has a great opportunity to offer a tradespersons concierge service. This way, the buyer and their agent can have some relief from the huge weight they already carry during this process.
At the end of the day, a home inspection is more relational than transactional and more about a connection than an investigation.