Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the monthly meeting of the Tri-Counties CREIA Chapter. It was fun to listen to the banter among the inspectors as they sat and chatted, much like a group of REALTORS® “talking shop” over lunch or, in this case, dinner.
The presentation developed into a “Town Hall Talk” with questions and answers, comparing similarities and differences in our roles in a transaction as well as expectations.
I began my preparation for the presentation by researching online CREIA, ASHI, and InterNACHI websites, the most common organizations in the inspection arena. All three had their vision and mission statements, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which are very similar but still have distinctions. I might suggest that you take the time to check out their websites as lots of things can be learned. The organizations do have certification standards to maintain even though they aren’t licensed or regulated and the scope of their inspections may differ.
During the evening, we summarized as follows:
* Inspectors follow standards, they are not code inspectors.
*They cannot inspect what they cannot see, so they will not be moving furniture, etc. to access outlets, switches, etc.
*Buyers need to read the contract they are signing with the inspector as it will outline the scope of the inspection, insurance information, and any warranties that apply. (We agents may not have received a copy of that contract.) If buyers haven’t received it, they need to ask for it.
*Inspectors would like to read the TDS and SPQ at the time of the inspection or prior to it.
*If an inspection report from a cancelled transaction is used as disclosure in a new transaction, most inspectors will update that inspection report for a reduced fee so that warranties apply to new buyer. If an agent is providing the first report to a new buyer, previous buyer and agent’s names should be courteously removed from the report pages for privacy.
*Nice vs. naughty words are “standards “vs. “codes”, “conditions” vs. “defects”, pest inspection report vs. termite report.
*A rule of thumb for the time required to complete an inspection is one hour per thousand square feet of home space, but never less than an hour, even on a small condo.
*Buyers should not expect quotes from inspector on cost of repairs nor should the inspector offer bids to complete any repairs.
*Inspector should not make suggestions as to the value of the property or advise buyers whether or not to purchase the property based on inspection report.
I’ve put together a couple of checklists for agents and sellers regarding inspections and a very short FAQ for buyers. You’re welcome to borrow and edit them and send me your suggestions. The inspectors agreed that these checklists would eliminate some of the problems that arise at the time of an inspection.
The July/August issue of REALTOR® Magazine has an article, “Do You Trust Home Inspectors?” with a subtitle, “When both parties can build a respectful and professional relationship together, your clients reap the rewards.” That subtitle really summarizes our meeting. REALTORS® and home inspectors are working together as allies, as a team in a transaction and with a respectful and professional relationship, everyone benefits!