Recourse against an incompetent Inspector
We had solid buyers for our house, with a pre-approved mortgage, who wanted to close quickly since they were relocating to our area. We negotiated a good deal and both they and we were happy with the numbers. But here's the issue: they hired an inspector who claimed that our house had mold in the attic on just a visual peek into the attic from atop a ladder through the ceiling access panel. He did not step a foot into the attic itself, took no samples of anything - just looked up there with a flashlight and stated that he saw mold. On that one word alone in his report to the buyers, they cancelled the contract and walked away in complete fear. Nothing my listing agent could do made them reconsider. With all the horror stories in circulation in the media about mold in a house, I could not really blame them for their fear.
In a panic, my husband and I immediately called in a certified EPA mold specialist. Guess what? He could not even find anything remotely suspicious or anything to take any samples of for testing, but he did do air samples just because we asked him to. There is NO mold anywhere in that attic or anywhere else in our house. None. And we have a letter from him stating that fact.
This same "inspector" completely missed that our hot water tank is electric, not gas, and he stated that the "gas water heater has adequate venting and fires cleanly". It's an all-electric house! He also completely missed that our back-up heating source to the electric heat pump is an electric furnance, not a gas furnance. There were several other very obvious misses just like that that cause us to question his competence.
But the bottom line is that in this very tough market, this guy's incompetence has cost us a very serious,m qualified buyer who has now moved on and purchased another house due to a limited timeframe to move. Do we have any recourse against him?