After the home inspection

ShanaMaiyaMay 6, 2013

We had the buyer's home inspection last weekend. The buyer was not present which we were hoping she would be. We wanted to talk with her and make this a friendly transaction.

The home inspection report was sent to us today and there were about 9 things that the seller requested we repair.

Keep in mind we already had our fireplace chimney rebuilt for 11K after we had our OWN inspection and repaired everything that was pointed out (minimal) so we would have no surprises.

What really got me irked were the things on the buyer's inspection report seemed quite nit picky and some issues were downright lies.

The inspector said that the door to our bathroom didn't open. Obviously it does. We use it daily. When the inspectors left I noticed the bathroom door was locked and we didn't lock it. Another thing was they said they could not test the A/C. They DID test it and even told us they got a reading of 65 degrees from the registers. There were other little things like this. Another was they said they could not perform a termite inspection because our hall closet was too cluttered? We were there and would have been more than happy to clear out the closet. The seller also requested that we remove the "termite infested shed". The shed is all the way back in the corner of the yard. We considered taking it down for her, but we need to store our yard equipment in it prior to closing.

I responded to OUR lawyer and we agreed to fix some items, but not others as we seriously can not absorb any additional costs.

As I previously posted I am completely new at this home selling/buying thing. We are honest and fair people who always strive do the right thing. This is really upsetting to me.

Is the seller just being nit-picky and seeing what else she can get out of us or is she going to walk???

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The repair list is negotiable. You can agree to fix all, some or zero items. The buyer has the right to walk from the deal if they don't like your reply.

Don't get emotional about it. Nothing to be gained there. You want to sell your house, that's your goal. Respond factually to those items you are willing to fix.

While I'm surprised the buyer wasn't present for the inspection, I'm equally surprised that you WERE. I always insist that the sellers vacate the premises for my inspection. If they won't, I walk from the deal. It removes defensive posturing on behalf of the sellers and distractions for my inspectors.

Shoot your list back and wait for her counter or her cancellation. Or agree to everything and proceed. Simple process.....minus the emotion.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:20PM
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"We wanted to talk with her and make this a friendly transaction."

It is a business transaction.
Try to keep it that way.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:40AM
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In my experience, many home inspectors want their customers to feel like they are getting their money's worth so they often add a bunch of inane things to pad the report. Like your door issue. Or the fact that he couldn't inspect for termites because you have a crowded closet. (what?)

Plus, if you have an inexperienced buyer they tend to get alarmed by everything on the inspector's list, even the inane items.

Realtors often tell sellers to put everything on the repair request list to see what they can get. As mentioned above, It's all negotiable. You don't have to repair anything. The seller can accept that or they can walk.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:15PM
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I shot back the list of things to pur lawyer that we will address or not address as well as errors in the report such as the door not opening etc. Now we wait to see what the buyer says.

I really don't want the buyer to walk. We already have an apartment set up until we close on the new house and we are halfway packed. We do still have a list of potential buyers who are still interested in our house. In fact we just had someone drive up and ring our doorbell a few minutes ago wanting to know if the house was still for sale. I just want to be done with this and move on!

I wouldn't THINK that the buyer would walk considering we offered to fix some items on the list, but there IS always that concern. The buyer also was really in a hurry to close and get in.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Just wanted to say that I think it is right that you were there - I wouldn't allow someone to be poking around my house without being present, especially since that someone is working for someone else - not bonded or insured for you. Also, being present allows you to answer questions for the inspector, such as the age of appliances, when something was repaired, can show receipts, etc. And to unlock doors if necessary - which I just CANNOT BELIEVE that one.
Also, I can't believe that the buyer and/or buyer's agent wasn't present. It's their inspection.
Termites? That requires a separate inspection here by a licensed WDO inspector. I don't know any home inspectors who also do WDO, but some do the 4-point for insurance, and some do roofs.
You don't say explicitly what the requested repairs are, but I think any requests for items that the buyers already knew about are bogus, whether they were made clear in the listing or easily seen during a showing. Those should have been accounted for when they made their offer. For example, they should have known that the bathroom door doesn't open, because they would have discovered that during their showing (I know, I know the door opens, just trying to make the point here), so they should have put fixing the door or lowering their offer in the initial contract. The inspection is just to learn about hidden stuff and working condition.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:47PM
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I'm really surprised that the buyer wasn't present at the inspection also. We have OUR home inspection tomorrow for the house WE are buying and you BET we will be there! In fact we are EXCITED! I can't wait to walk through it again. We aren't going to be nit-picky either. If something big shows up then YES, we will want it repaired, but we aren't going to bawk and squawk over petty things like wanting a new faucet knob for the outdoor hose. Yes, that was one of their requests. We went out to Lowe's, bought a new one for $6 and it took my husband 2 minutes to put it on. Woo hoo. GOOD GRIEF!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 4:02PM
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All of my inspectors I have used in IL and MO are a) structural engineers (currently licensed) and b) licensed to perform a full WDO inspection in addition to the normal home inspection.

Not all are equal. Sort of like REA's. You get some really good ones, most are average and a few are downright amateurs.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:27PM
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As a buyer I would always go to the inspection. As a seller I would always be present for the inspection. I would walk from any deal where a buyer wouldn't allow me to be present on my property. To be clear, I am careful to give the buyer privacy with the inspector. I don't want to hear their private conversation at all. However, I do want to be present in the house and feel I have a right to see what is being done to what is still my property. I have never had a buyer question my being present.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Today is the day for our home inspection for the new house. I am actually so excited! I can't wait to get to walk through the house again. We told our realtor to let the sellers know we are totally fine with them being there and in fact we would prefer it. The guy was super nice when we looked at the house and when they accepted our offer they told our realtor he would paint the basement for us. My husband told her to tell hm NOT TO BOTHER. We want to do all that ourselves!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:38PM
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It seems buyers and sellers meet each other in some instances in the states. This a no no up here. I have bought many, many homes over the years and have yet to meet a buyer or seller, at least before the deal is done. As an agent ( I am not ) I would never want my seller meet any prospective buyer. Many a deal can go awry for many a reason I believe. I don't want to highjack this thread but Tony is that a normal practice for the buyer and seller to meet? It does happen here but never encouraged. I have a close friend that insists he be present when prospective buyers are at a viewing and I know he has blown many a deal rambling on trying to do the agents job. His place has been on and off the market for 7, yes, 7 long years.

As for the inspection I always want to be present if buying with the homeowner NOT present and my agent present with the inspector when selling. The sellers agent should be present with my inspector and myself.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:48AM
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SouthernCanuk... you are right. Unless there is a really good reason for a seller to be present during the inspections, the owner should vacate the home.
Can you imagine some of the disastrous results that would happen if some of the GW sellers had two hours to spend with their buyers? OMG.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:59AM
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we had a similar situation as OP recently. Got what seemed like a good bid from a buyer who could pay cash. They offered contingent on the house passing inspection.
Buyer brought in an inspector who proceeded to find fault with the electric system of the house and with many things which were evident and obvious to the potential buyer before they bid,(such as a fan switch on the wall of the bathroom in the shower area which they claimed was not up to code). They claimed that not having grounded outlets in all of the house was illegal and insisted we completely rewire the entire house plus do many other things. They waited until 8 days before closing in raising these demands to hysterical pitch.
What they were doing was trying to stampede us into giving them thousands of dollars to fix what they claimed were problems. They didn't know my husband was a building engineer for over 30 years and knows code upside down. just because somebody makes the claim of something being illegal or unsafe does not make it true. Their inspector was completely incompetent, or playing to their script. Their claims were completely bogus( we were able to document over 40 errors in the inspectors report) but when they could not get us to give in to them they pulled out of the contract 4 days from the closing date. They were "professional" investors trying to get a fire sale price on a good decent house. Don't bend over backwards to people who have hysterics and threaten, stick to your guns. They knew we had already bought another house and were counting on our being desperate, trying to stampede us into giving up a lot of money to close the sale. Most likely this won' be the case in your situation, but it is evidently a low tactic used by some.
best wishes

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:04AM
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"They claimed that not having grounded outlets in all of the house was illegal and insisted we completely rewire the entire house plus do many other things. "

Glad you yanked them up short.

A house only needs to meet the codes in affect when it was built, otherwise we would be tearing out houses apart every few years when a new code revision occurs.

'Grandfathering' allows unaltered old installations that complied when built to continue to be viewed as complying.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Tony, I hope your "structural engineer" has a PE stamp and if not, then you may very well be running afoul of law (as is the inspector making such a claim).

Secondly, home inspections more often then not represent nothing more than second chance negotiation for a buyer. And of course agents use a preferred list to give to clients so it's not truly arms length. Too many deals blow up and an inspector woulde get black-balled lickity split.

And how many home inspectors have a plumbing license, electricians license, HVAC license, and also have a PE stamp. Good luck finding an person with all of the above. This is precisely why home inspection is a complete waste of money.

Lastly, note that NO home inspector offers any guarantee that they would not miss something.

OP, if they aren't that expensive as much as it sucks just fix them. It they are bogus, write a letter and explain any discrepancy with home inspector.

I could write on book on the scam know as home inspection.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 6:31PM
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We already made some of the repairs requested including the $6 faucet handle for the outdoor hose knob. My husband replaced it within 2 minutes and I had to laugh.

As to removing the shed, we refused to do it. We would have nowhere to store our yard equipment. We talked to OUR home inspection about that and he said that ALL sheds are going to have termites and other bugs. He said that he has seen inspectors fail HOUSES for termite inspections because the shed had termites and it was against a fence which was connected to the house. UNBELIEVABLE LOL!

We still haven't heard back from the buyer. Our real estate agent told us not to spend time worrying about it as our buyer can't wait to close and move in, but wow... they are taking a long time!

We just got our report on Friday and we already emailed our requests this morning (as promised... nothing nit-picky!).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Our buyer accepted our list of what we would and wouldn't repair. Yey!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 2:10PM
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Good job! Now onto the loan Committment!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Got that already! Ours and our buyer's.

Now they were adressing one last thing... the oil tank that was removed. We emailed them the permit, certificate and letter saying it was removed and on what day etc. The buyer's attorney came back saying they need our soil test. There WAS no soil test because it wasn't leaking. So NOW I just had to forward them a letter from the company stating that our tank was NOT leaking therefore there was no soil test needed as it was inspected by them AND the township. That is the only way they could close out the permit which they have.

I'll tell you. My back is in KNOTS. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I feel like they are attacking my character. I already gave them documentation and they want more.

I know I know... they are just trying to protect themselves, I just can't wait until closing is behind us!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Its not a character issue, so please don't feel that way. Given all the EPA noise (some valid, some just that) about soil contaminants, they are asking a reasonable question, if not necessarily a fully informed one.

In my experience, attorney's are pretty lazy about doing their own research. They send out demand letters hoping you'll jump through hoops to do their work for them. They do this to keep their billable hours reasonable to the client. Show them what you have, might even want to reference the clause in your local ordinances that states that soil testing was unnecessary if tank was found to have zero leaks, etc.

If you are right, either you will prevail and attorney and buyer will drop it, or they'll push it and then you've got a negotiation on your hands. If you are in the right, don't negotiate and just keep pointing to ordinance that states no soil testing needed.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Our realtor called yesterday afternoon and I was really upset. She called the buyer's realtor asking what was going on and the buyer's realtor had no idea what she was talking about. As it turned out the reason our buyer was asking for more and more was that her lawyer never forwarded her the certificate and other documentation!! Her lawyer dropped the ball BIG TIME.

So now things should be good!!!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Just got the email from the buyers attorney and she said that the letter was satisfactory to her client so WE ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOT! Two weeks and 3 days until we move out!!!! Thanks everyone for letting me vent and for all your answers and listening.... errr.... reading! :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 4:25PM
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    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Congratulations to you! Isn't the entire process just so mentally taxing! I think you have earned yourself a nice glass of your favorite beverage to celebrate.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Thank you! I hade a FEW of my favorite beverages to celebrate last night lol!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:41AM
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Great to hear all is going well for you!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Here in NC, a core sample taken from beneath the tank IS HOW one determines if a leak is present. Once the test report comes back, then you know what needs to be done. The test and report add up to about $1000!
I am glad to hear that your buyers accepted someones opinion that the tank was not leaking.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:56AM
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Where we live sellers are never present at the inspection. You just get the report of repairs, not the entire inspection. If the sale falls apart, and you know of all issues, you are on the hook to notify the next buyers of everything up front. We had a bunch of very minor, like changing cabinet knobs etc, but we took it for what it was worth because there was probably other more legit things she didn't ask for. The inspectors have a list of criteria too that they use. For example, our dryer vent clogged up and made the laundry room really humid for a month or so. We thought it was weather but it wasn't. The 2yo hot water heater rusted on the outside a little bit, according to the inspector's criteria, a rusted tank has to be marked at 10yo even though we had a receipt to prove it. They call it "estimated age" so they can be aware of the actual age and still value it differently. Just get through it and that's that.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:54AM
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