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.

On a significant number of occasions, clients fail to do so. In an overheated real estate markets such as we find in many areas of the country at present, it is understandable that the home buyer fails to thoroughly review the report, gives it a quick once over, and goes through with the purchase of the property. However, as a very wise woman once said, “Decisions made in haste are often regretted at leisure.” A statistic from the National Association of Realtors tells us that 25% of home purchasers end up regretting the purchase of a specific home. At Domicile Consulting our mission is to ensure that no homebuyer ever regrets purchasing a property due to the failure of a home inspector to provide adequate information regarding the condition of the property.

The ideal scenario for any homebuyer, but especially first-time homebuyers, is when their real estate agent, home inspector, lender, and closing attorney all work together to provide them with the vast quantity of information needed to make intelligent choices all along the minefield pathway which is today’s home buying process. We urge our clients remember that they are the quarterback of this team and they need to make the calls that lead to a touchdown. If they are poorly served by any one of these other team members they can be thrown for a loss and end up regretting their purchase.

Once we complete our on-site inspection we tell our clients that they are welcome to call us to go over the report line by line while each of us is reviewing it in its HTML version on our own home computers. Quite often, this is the only way to fully flesh out the vast quantity of detailed and technical information contained in the typical home inspection report. Once that report is read and digested by the client they then need to utilize the services of their real estate agent and/or their closing attorney in order to get a reduction in the sale price of the home, get a cash credit for repairs at closing, or to have repairs performed on the home prior to closing. The report writing system that we use has a function which can be of great value in this post inspection negotiating process; it is called the Create Repair List. It functions as a time-stamped living document which the buyers, sellers, attorneys, and agents can use to haggle, discount, repair, or negotiate the defects found during the inspection.  Check out what to expect from a home inspection.

When properly utilized, the Create Repair List can help the buyers negotiating team to function like the offensive line of a Super Bowl champion allowing the homebuyer a.k.a. quarterback to do a victory dance on the day of closing and to be happy in their home for many many years. This team approach to informing, serving, and protecting the homebuyer forms a key part of our mission here at Domicile Consulting. Call us today to schedule your home inspection, radon test, commercial inspection, indoor air quality evaluation, energy audit, or any other type of service to help you better understand either the home you’re buying or the home you live in.


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