Looking Past the Pretty with Home Inspections

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Jennifer Juliano, Realtor
Jennifer Juliano, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty
Boston-MetroWest
Member: KW Luxury Homes
Mobile: (508) 294-0778
I’ll Make It Happen.
You’ll Make It Home.

By Jennifer Juliano

You’ve finally found the right house, or maybe you’re selling and have just accepted an offer. Congrats! In many cases, having a home inspection is the next step. Although not required, it’s a very good idea to have at least a cursory inspection. Then why have people been waiving them?

Let’s look back a few years so we can look forward. I first started selling real estate in 2000, and it was only right after that when people looking to be inspectors were required to be licensed in Massachusetts. The steps to being an inspector include completing a 75-hour approved course, passing a national exam, be supervised by a fully licensed inspector on 25 inspections, and after a year and 100 inspections, you can apply for your full home inspector’s license. Beforehand, it wasn’t that formal, and basically anyone could do what they deemed to be an inspection.

Are they fun? Depends who you ask. They can definitely be interesting and challenging at times, and more often than not, full of surprises. There’s a common phrase in offers about inspections being “for informational purposes only”. Of course they’re for info, what else were you spending several hundred dollars and a good part of your day to do? There isn’t a house, condo or building out there that doesn’t have “something” that needs maintenance, repair, cleaning, or replacement if not now, then in the future. It’s what people have done with the info through the years that has given some pause with them; maybe it’s asking for more money off when they’ve already been given concessions for something or items that they were already aware of. Maybe it’s embellishing the gravity of something that is actually a minor and not crucial item.

Fast forward to a strong market, where people are competing so much for a property that they will give up that option. Depending on someone’s background and individual comfort level, that’s totally fine. For others, they aren’t comfortable either due to limited knowledge or past experiences. At day’s end, there simply are some things that can’t be seen even by an inspector.

There are some who have said “it’s a new house, it doesn’t need one”, and others who think that an “old” house must be in terrible shape. Both of those assumptions are just that. One of the dare I say it, worst, home inspections I’ve been through was brand-new construction. Another property, built in 1860s, even the inspector stated “this was one of the most boring inspections” he’s ever done as it was in such great shape.

Inspection reports can be written in such a way that can be daunting to many. Listening to the inspector and sometimes getting a second opinion from someone in the specific field that a question arises is important. Not making mountains out of mole hills, and addressing true unexpected items with a sense of practicality and calmness will really help inspection results for both buyers and sellers alike.

 

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