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By: Fred Willcox
Copyright© 2013
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Has your Realtor warned you not to use an inspector because the inspector has a reputation of being a ‘deal killer’? Realtors generally refer to any real estate inspector who is thorough as a ‘deal killer’. While it is possible that there are some real estate inspectors who deliberately try to keep their clients from buying a home, these inspectors do not usually last long in the profession. After four or five “bad” houses, clients start to understand that it is really the inspector that is bad. 

And in the profession of real estate inspections, just as in the profession of being a Realtor, client referrals are the absolute best source of business. It’s hard to get referrals from people who never buy a house.

For the most part, inspectors are referred to as ‘deal killers’ because they are thorough and detailed and because they take whatever amount of time it takes to perform a complete inspection. They are also good at their job because they are curious. They do not walk on by something that looks odd or amiss. They stop and investigate things that just don’t look right. The more thorough the inspector is, the more problems or concerns the inspector is going to find and the longer the inspection is going to take. While the number of defects, problems or concerns that the inspector finds may concern you as a buyer, you should understand that finding these problems is the reason you had an inspection performed.

All houses have problems. Some of these problems are significant because they are expensive to repair. Some problems are significant because they are life safety concerns, things that can cause harm to you or your family. Some items noted during an inspection may indicate that the appliance or system is failing and may require replacement in the near future. Some concerns noted may be items that can allow water penetration and the growth of microbial organisms which can cause the frame of the house to decay or cause harm to the occupants from the spores released into the air. Some items noted in an inspection report may be installations that are technically incorrect but that may never cause you or the structure any harm.

While a ‘deal killer’ tends to find more problems, a ‘deal killer’ is usually more knowledgeable and is more able to explain the consequences or implications of the items noted in the inspection report. Further, the report from a ‘deal killer’ will usually contain more information that will allow you to understand the items noted in the report

The purpose of the inspection is to identify defects or hazards that are visible at the time of the inspection. The purpose of the inspection report is to provide you with the information that you need to make an informed decision on buying the house. The inspection, because it is limited by law to visual items, does not and cannot identify all defects present in a house. The inspection cannot identify all defects in a system or appliance even though some defects in the system or appliance are noted during the inspection.

A real estate inspection should be considered the beginning of the due diligence investigation of the house not the total of all defects or deficiencies existing in the house.

The ‘deal killer’ is more detailed, or “picky”, because the ‘deal killer’ is more educated, usually more experienced, thorough and dedicated. The ‘deal killer’ is much more likely to find indications of defects or problems that may cost you a lot of money to repair or that may cause harm to you or a member of your family.

When you are buying a house, you want the ‘deal killer’. The ‘deal killer’ is your best bet for assisting you in your due diligence investigation of the house you want to buy.

The inspector your Realtor recommends is usually an inspector who markets to the Realtor and who is not going to find items that will cause a deal to fall through. If the deal falls through, the Realtor will not recommend the inspector in the future and the inspector has wasted his marketing efforts and expenses.

Willcox Inspections prides itself on performing thorough inspections for its clients. We understand that being referred to by Realtors as a ‘deal killer’ is a high compliment indeed.