How to Kill More Deals in Less Time!
Deal Killers, Contract Assassins, Home Inspectors! Call them
what you will, but the most important thing you can know is WHO
to call. But how do we know who call, and how do we judge their
Home inspectors are quite simply the eyes and ears of the home
being examined. They are the objective voice of the home. The
mantra of the home inspectors should be "if the home could
speak, what would it say". It is critical that the inspector can
speak in a manner that makes understanding simple for the
homebuyer, yet has the depth of technical language to detail
repairs using terminology common to the trades.
Making that right choice of which home inspector is in many ways
more difficult than choosing the home. A clear and critical
approach to selecting an inspector is essential to being happy
over time with the home selected.
My Friend in Construction It seems that everyone knows someone
who "works in construction", and from that relationship comes
the common desire by some buyers to save the professional
inspection fee by having the friend or family member perform the
At first blush, this seems like a perfect solution. The friend
or family member is a known and trusted person. There is no
doubt in the mind of the buyer that the loyalty and intentions
of this person are above reproach. And then of course, there is
the issue of saving the inspection fee.
These attributes of the friend are important. Ideally, all but
the expense issue would be traits found in any professional home
inspector. The difficulty arises in three principal areas;
objectivity, creditability, and inspection specific knowledge.
Let's look first at the issue of inspection specific knowledge.
While it may be that the friend is without peer in his
particular area of construction, it is rare that he is able to
view the home in it's entirely - that is, as an interaction of
dozens of complex and interrelated systems. The most
knowledgeable of heating and air-conditioning contractors may
know near to nothing about roofing.
Even more common, however, than the lack of a broad base of
knowledge, is the lack of any knowledge that is useful during a
On more than one occasion when the "friend in construction" has
been asked specifically about construction experience or
knowledge, it turns out that this actual experience was
something other than optimal. This "experience" usually amounts
to something along the lines of loading trucks at the hardware
store to earn beer money during spring break back in 74'! Even
with the best of intentions, this is hardly the knowledge needed
to guide a friend or family member through what is most likely
the largest financial decision of their life.
The Objectivity of My Desire By the very nature of friends and
family members, they are not objective. They have great
compassion for the buyer and likewise great fear that some harm,
be that physical or financial, may come to that buyer. Making
matters all the worse is the fear in the back of the head of the
"friend in construction" that their experience is not truly
enough to render the opinions being offered.
This takes the situation down the path to an even less desirable
situation. We have a nervous or anxious buyer being given advice
by a now nervous and anxious person who is operating well
outside their area of expertise. However, they are now reluctant
to concede that they are lost and scared. This is not good for
anyone in the transaction - buyer, seller, or agents!
Trust and Credibility Moving on, we come to the issue of
credibility. I've observed thousands of transactions, and it
seems to me that sellers are a distrusting lot. Or rather, they
certainly are when it comes to the issue of imperfections in
What happens if, by some stroke of good fortune, the "friend in
construction" actually performs the home inspection in a
superior manner, and actually discovers all of the homes flaws
in a clear and concise way? It is still probable that the seller
will doubt the results are fair and objective due to the
relationship between buyer and "inspector".
This inherent distrust most always results in a professional
inspector being called in to confirm or deny the observations of
the "friend". Who pays the bill for this additional involvement
and what to do with conflicting observations only adds another
layer of pain and confusion on a transaction that is already
hemorrhaging to death.
Who to Hire? Keep life simple! Always hire professional ASHI
qualified Home Inspectors. You can be sure that ASHI home
inspectors adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, a well-defined
Standards of Practice, and have passed the most demanding
membership certification requirements in the country.
And if there is a personal connection to the home inspector, be
SURE to disclose that up front to all concerned. Most people
will not object to the disclosure, but let the discovery be make
after the fact and the trust, as well as the transaction, may be