Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

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"You Won't Find Anything Wrong With This House"

 

I'm sure we all have a few phrases that we hear on a regular basis that make us cringe.  Here are a few of mine (all of which I recently heard in one day).

 

Confident Real Estate Agent:  "You won't find anything wrong with this house."

If you brought your infant to the doctor for their one month checkup, would you confidently tell the pediatrician that they won't find anything wrong with your child?

If you took your dog to the vet for an annual checkup, would you confidently tell the veterinarian that they won't find anything wrong with your dog?

If you hired a heating contractor to come out for an annual furnace check-up, would you confidently tell them they won't find anything wrong with your furnace?

I just don't get it.

Homeowner: "Why didn't the other inspector find that?"

Of course, I always answer I don't know.

You'd think that this would be a rhetorical question, but most homeowners genuinely want me to answer this question.  Here are a a few answers that I always want to say, but never do:

You hired a lazy inspector.

You hired the cheapest inspector you could find.

Your real estate agent picked an inspector that wouldn't 'blow the deal'.

Same homeowner as above: "I thought the other inspector did a good job... I mean, they gave me a nice three-ring binder and everything."

If you go to a restaurant and you get a free toy with your meal, do you expect it to be a good meal?

If you go to a hair salon  and you get a free fanny pack with your haircut, do you expect it to be a great hair cut?

Some of the most confusing (and worst) home inspection reports that I've seen have been accompanied by colorful three-ring binders.  Here at Structure Tech, we stopped giving out three-ring binders about eight years ago.  That's when we started focusing more time and effort in to really writing our reports - not checking boxes.

Homeowner: "I had the gas company out, and they couldn't find any problems."

My suggestion is usually to hire a licensed contractor.  The gas company does not send out licensed contractors, and I'm no longer surprised when they don't identify very real gas leaks.  For more info on this topic, click any of the links below.

 

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections

        

Comment balloon 13 commentsReuben Saltzman • August 10 2010 06:11AM

Comments

No two home inspectors are alike as everyone does their job differently.  One may be more thorough than the other and one may have more expertise in construction quality than another.  So inspections are also opinions, but not always gospel.  That is why when an inspection is done, that if there looks like a discrepancy that needs to be addressed, hire an expert in that field to make sure the concern is founded.

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) about 8 years ago

Hey there, Reuben!  I have had some fancy three-ring binder guys and the reports were way off.  However, that isn't ALL of them.  Your point though is well taken - you get what you pay for.

Wake Forest NC House Chick

Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) about 8 years ago

Don - that's all very true about the discrepancies.  Even between the four of us in my company, we all have different opinions on things.

Leesa - you're right on.  I don't mean to say that a three ring binder = a bad report... I'm sure there are plenty of great reports that come with three ring binders.  You're right though, you get what you pay for. 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

I agree, the most dreaded quote a Home Inspector hears - LOL.  Just curious, how long do you spend on an average report?  I really don't know how guys can do them on site. 

Once again, great post. 

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Hi Josh, thanks! 

Some reports may take me as little as 45 minutes to type, others may take 3-4 hours.  On average though, I'd say about 2 hours.  How about you?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

Hi Reuben, great post.  I remember my very first inspection.  I was told, "this house has just been renovated, it should be an easy and quick inspection."  NOT!  Point well made Reuben.

Posted by Dale Ganfield about 8 years ago

Dale - those 'recently renovated' homes always look nice though, don't they?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

But I know they "won't find anything wrong with this house" if you inspected it.

BTW, How are things going with your house??

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) about 8 years ago

Those wonderful opening lines....

My expectations were set when I went to look at a 6500 sf house and the owner greets me at the door and says "welcome to the money pit".

Then there was the 'well established builder' that greets me and tells me that this house (his house) was built without a plan.  ... you can guess where the discussions went from there.

Just glad these both weren't on the same day.

 

Posted by Jim Mushinsky (Centsable Inspection) about 8 years ago

Shar - that's the goal :) .  We've had nothing but very positive feedback on our house - everyone has been very impressed.  No offers yet.

Jim - ha!  Now there's an honest owner. I hope those were the only inspections you had to do those days.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

Wow, Reuben, things there are very similar to here!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Reuben,

Awesome post my man!! I hear these very same things everyday, and it never ceases to amaze me! I also get the "should be a quick and easy inspection" line all the time only to find lipstick on a pig!

Posted by MC2 Home Inspections (MC2 Home Inspections LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay - even with your gas company, huh?  That's too bad.

MC2 - thanks.  I get that "quick and easy" inspection line a lot too.  It's nice when it really is a quick and easy inspection, but those sure are few and far between.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

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