Sunday, June 26, 2011

How can I make it more clear for you?

About a month ago I had inspected a large home for a client who is a first time home buyer. For a first time buyer, the inspection process can be a very big deal. I Imagine that the inspection of your first home seems like getting married. A lot of the same thoughts , fears, and hesitations go into this decision.
When the inspection revealed defects that were not known, or expected, the buyer started to get cold feet. I saw him getting very nervous and he asked how a person can neglect their home. I had to explain to him that the home owner may not even know this exists, and so its not really a question of how it went un addressed, but more importantly how it will now be addressed. When the home revealed an issue that the buyers were very upset with, and started to talk like they were going to back out, I decided it was time for a break. I informed the buyers agent that he may want to take a walk outside with the clients and calm them down.

After about 10 minutes, the clients decided to just move forward, and see what other defects this home may have. All told, there were about 5 significant issues that needed to be addressed, which are all common issues found in any home , but to a new home owner this seemed like the worst case scenario. The agent will have to work out the details with the sellers and see what can be done.

After about a month or so, the deal was progressing forward, and the sellers had begrudgingly agreed to correct a list of defects requested by the buyer, and the buyer was not about to move forward without having me back to inspect the home to assure him that all issues were corrected to his satisfaction. Well.... this is where it got ugly..... really ugly.

Having received a list of agreed repairs, and a call from the buyer assuring that I would go back and re inspect the listed items, I made the appointment, or at least tried to. I was more or less told by the listing agent when I was going to come, and do what needed to be done. I had to explain that NORMALLY both parties discuss a mutually agreeable time, and date. Normally, the parties deal in a respectful manner. Not that she cares, but I happened to have scheduled appointments on the times that Her highness demanded my presence. I informed the agent that We need to schedule another time where we both may be present, and that went over like a fart in church. too bad!!!

On the day of the inspection that we finally agreed to, I arrived right on time, knocked politely, and entered. Right away I get the dirty looks from the sellers agent, Boy is this going to be fun!!. I smile anyway, and get to work.
Now its one thing to work next to someone who you know is hostile, but its another when they stand over your shoulder asking questions every second. "Well is it ok" ? "Well was it done right"? but not just asking.....asking with a snotty tone, and a sarcastic attitude, and scorn. Yes, that makes things soooo much better.

As I am inspecting the list of agreed repairs, and on the date of the scheduled inspection agreed to, I find that some of the items are not done, but clearly listed as done. The Agent sees me double checking the report.

she asked " Whats wrong?" Whats not done?".

"Well, I'm just checking the list" I say

"Whats wrong" She asked again, 10 seconds later.

" I'm checking" I say.

"Can you just tell me what wrong" she says, int he rudest manner.

" Well can I read the report, please? " I say.

"OK, it says The deck was lag bolted to house, but I don't see any lag bolts" I say

" No, you said the rear deck needs to be lag bolted"

"I'm sorry but your wrong" I say ( you would have thought I spat on her)

"What do you mean I'm wrong"? I'm not wrong" ( Nope, that could never happen right? )

" well" I say, "Its right here on the paperwork, you agreed to lag bolt rear and side deck to the house for safety, its not done. "

"Well we called the building inspector and he said when the house was built, it was not required then"

I say-" Well, first, I never said it was code then, it is recommended for safety due to height, and the size of the deck, you agreed to fix it, and said it was done, I simply noted that it is not done. Further , The ASHI certification board that I represent, indicates that I must recommend all decks be lag bolted to the house for safety regardless of code, because of the number of decks that have fallen and injured and killed people."

( rolling of the eyes) " Fine lets move on" she says.

now on the inside of the house there were similar issues that were not corrected that were clearly written, and agreed to, and reported as repaired. When I went to inspect them, It was a repeat performance of the last time. I'm having so much fun now....a prostate exam would be pleasant compared to this.

At the furnace, the furnace was previously damaged by water, we advised that it be repaired, and evaluated. It was, and reported as such. Now today I'm looking at it, and water is leaking out. Great, this is gonna really start trouble!!! Some one shoot me now.

I begin by looking at the water leak and she sees me, and asked "What"?

"Well we have water leaking out here" I say.

" look, she says." this is not the time for finding more new issues, we are here to address the repairs. " ( did she really just say that?)

"Well yeah," I say, and apparently the repair you claimed to have done did not address the water issue and here is a leaking puddle on the heating unit."

Again she says, " like I just said, this is not the time."

Now I'm pissed. - " Not the time for what?, I am here to inspect that the heating unit was properly repaired as requested, Here we are and water is leaking from the heating unit, and you want me to do what? close my eyes and walk away? So I can get sued, for you? That's not going to happen, and I cant believe that you just said that. " The client is paying for an inspection, and you agreed to fix the leak, its obviously not fixed and now I'M the bad guy? ( I'm shaking at this point, cause I want to kick her)

The sellers are upstairs and come down when they hear some loud talking, Probably me, and the guy is nice as hell, looks at the agent, and says," look, we paid to have the items repaired, we have receipts, lets just call the people back, and make them fix it. " I like this guy !! See it wasn't them at all, the agent wanted to sweep things under the carpet, make the sale, and leave me to get sued later, all the while making the sellers out to be jerks, which by the way could not be farther form the truth. The guy was great, and it goes to show you. make it clear, fair and honest, and Hopefully everything works out in the end. I left there needing a drink, but my client got what was needed for him. mission accomplished.

Later that day when i got back to the office, there was a large envelope waiting for me. It was an award from the American Society of Home inspectors for dedication, integrity, and positive client reviews. couldn't have come at a better time.

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