Calling Us Bad Names

As professional home inspectors, our job is to let buyers know what’s wrong with the home they’re considering buying, as well as what might go wrong in the not-too-distant future. The very nature of our job, to be the bearer of bad news, puts us in a precarious position. If a purchase agreement falls apart after the buyers hear the results of the inspection, we’re often the ones that are cast in a bad light, shouldering the blame for “blowing the deal.”

Kind of a lot of stress to put on someone, don’t you think?

home inspector biting his fingernails with stress

If a sale falls through as the result of things found during a home inspection, in general, the agents are not going to be pleased with the inspector. Many agents are upset when this happens and will often label the offending inspector a “deal killer,” spreading the word amongst their real estate peers to stay away from that inspector.

Although some overzealous inspectors may warrant the label “deal killer,” the reality is that we are, in fact, simply doing the job that we were hired for by our mutual client. We’re paid to shed light on any problems (or potential problems) with the property that our client is purchasing.

Unless an inspector is hired to inspect new (or nearly new) houses every time he’s doing an inspection, there are going to be quite a few things found during the inspection process. There’s no way around this fact. Things break and homeowners must pay to repair them. We think it’s a great idea for home buyers to know about these expenses ahead of time, allowing them to make a more informed purchase decision.

If, in fact, the sale is canceled after the inspection and the agent is throwing a fit aimed in our general direction, more than likely one of two things has happened. Either that agent has never used a home inspector that’s found problems before, or their client was not properly prepared for the reality of the property.

Being remarkable; it’s good for business

While there are certainly some surprises that pop up when inspecting houses, most of the things found during a home inspection should be pretty obvious before the inspector even arrives at the property. Allowing potential home buyers to look past the obvious warts of a home, and downplaying the amount of time and money that will be needed for renovations, is doing a disservice to those buyers. It’s something that a professional real estate agent (the type I prefer to work with) would never do.

A good agent will be doing the same thing that a good inspector is working hard to do: helping align their clients expectations with the reality of owning this home. Successful agents and inspectors excel at doing this and have much happier clients as a result. Yes, doing this means more work on our part, but going above and beyond to make sure our clients are “wowed” by our product puts us on the path to success. If we thoroughly impress every client we have and work hard to provide them with the highest level of service they’ve ever encountered, we’ll have no trouble at all earning a living.

clients amazed by their home inspector

In reality, there are many different reasons why a buyer would choose to cancel a purchase agreement: maybe their situation has changed, maybe they got cold feet, maybe they found something/someone they like better, or maybe they discovered something about the house that they didn’t know before. Regardless of the reason, it’s quite easy for them to use the home inspector as the bad guy and blame it on our findings rather than expose their real motivations.

And that’s OK. That’s what we’re here for.

Regardless of the names they call us.

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector