The Underlying Dynamic of the Home Inspection: Liability Hand-off from Client to Inspector and Back Again.

Home Inspection Hand off

Many buyers and even some realtors don’t understand the true nature of a properly performed home inspection. When a home buyer has an offer accepted on a property and engages the services of a home inspector (hopefully after doing extensive research and comparing inspector backgrounds, inspection reports, online reviews, etc.) they are placing a significant burden upon that home inspector. That burden or expectation is that the inspector will find all significant defects in the subject property and report upon them in a clear and useful manner. What the home buyer may not understand, however, is that upon completion of the inspection report the inspector is handing that burden back to the homebuyer. In other words, by ferreting out the conditions and defects in the property and providing the buyer with a clearly worded report, the inspector gives the liability back to the homeowner to read the report, call back with any questions, and follow up on recommendations contained within the report.
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Risk Reversal in Real Estate Inspections: Putting the Responsibility Back on the Seller

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So you found the perfect home and your offer has been accepted. Congratulations…..now it’s crunch time. In the typical Chicago real estate transaction you, as the buyer, have 5 days during which your attorney will review your contract and your inspector will evaluate the condition of the property. In a competitive and active market, you don’t have much time to waste. You’ve gotten referrals from your realtor, closing attorney, lender, Yelp, Angie’s List, neighbors, friends and co-workers, and you’ve found just the inspector for the job….you hope.  You set the appointment and the inspector sends you the Inspection Agreement. Reading through the agreement, or contract for services, you may be struck by the apparently one-sided nature of the risk placement…it’s all on you!

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Introducing Our “Kick-the-tires” Home Inspection

Saving Home-buyers Time and Money

Business and marketing experts tell us to find the “pain points” in our client’s experiences and to find ways of solving those problems. One such issue we’ve noted over our two decades of inspecting homes has been the unfortunate need for clients to have multiple home inspections performed. Occasionally, we’ll end up doing three or even four inspections for our clients before they find a house that is in acceptable condition and which meets their needs.   Continue Reading

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What “Professionalism” Sometimes Means in the Real Estate Game

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To My Realtor Friends Who May Read This,

Please accept my preemptive apologies for some off the cuff, unvarnished notes rants from the field. I know quite a few agents who bring tremendous value to their clients and who have the best interests of those clients in the forefront. We love working with those kind of agents on a collaborative basis and we cherish those relationships. Having said that, I’d like to talk about yesterday’s 2 unit ‘vintage’ apartment building inspection. Continue Reading

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Radon Testing: Why and When You Should Do It

We are very strongly urging our home inspection clients to have a radon test performed before making a final decision about whether to purchase a home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous when it builds up inside of confined spaces. It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year due to exposure to radon, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers (number two overall). 25% of homes within Chicago and 40% of those in the suburbs that have been tested have come back with results showing radon levels above EPA safety guidelines. Due to the relatively small number of homes that currently get tested, the percentage of homes with dangerous levels of radon could actually be much higher.

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Options when repair items are identified during the inspection process.

Most real estate contracts in Illinois allow for a 5-day home inspection period and we suggest you take advantage of it. They will also outline a negotiation process. During that negotiation, you can ask the seller to fix items that need repair, you can ask the seller for a credit to compensate you for the future repairs, or you can request a hybrid of these two options. Continue Reading

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