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CAN A SELLER ARGUE WITH THE RESULTS OF A HOUSE INSPECTION?

By: Fred Willcox
Copyright© 2010
All Rights Reserved

Sure. But the seller disagreeing with any of the findings of a real estate inspection report is not the real issue. The real issue is who you choose to believe. Do you believe what your house inspector told you or will you choose to accept what the Realtor or seller tells you?

You hire a house inspector to provide you with an impartial opinion of the house and of the parts, components and systems in the house. The key word here is “impartial”. As a real estate inspector, I don’t care whether you buy the house or not. I have no vested interest in your decision to purchase the house. I won’t make any more money off the inspection if you buy the house. I won’t make any less if you don’t buy the house. As far as I am concerned as an inspector, the house is what the house is. I didn’t build it. I haven’t lived in it. I am not the one who is responsible for the care and maintenance of the house. I am not buying the house. The house will not be my home. The house is just a box with utilities and appliances. I am not emotionally or financially invested in the house.

I am also not financially vested in your Realtor or in the listing Realtor. Not all house inspectors can make that claim. I don’t advertise to Realtors. I make my living off the referrals of my clients.

When you have a house inspected, you are paying for an unbiased opinion. Your inspector should provide you with the reasons for his opinions on the condition of the house and its components. If you are not clear as to why your inspector is calling out a problem you should ask your inspector to make the issue clear to you. If you want you can also ask your inspector to provide the basis for his opinion. The basis of the inspector’s opinion may include building codes, manufacturer’s installation instructions or the inspector’s personal experience.

The Realtors often take the items in an inspection report to “repair professionals” who contradict the inspectors findings. These “repair professionals” are often paid by the Realtor(s) to provide such opinions. Plainly stated, the Realtors are buying the answer that suits them. Realtors, as a general rule, do not like house inspectors who report the true condition of a house. Problems with the house cause stress to buyers and sellers, these problems often cost the seller and/or the Realtor(s) money and delay the closing. None of these things are in the Realtor’s interest.

But the real issue is who do you believe? Your inspector? Or the Realtor’s “expert”. The choice is yours. If you are unclear on an issue, ask your house inspector to provide you with more information to help you make a good decision.

The problem with buying a house is that purchasing a house is emotional. The best businessmen and lawyers often make poor decisions when buying a house because they become emotionally invested. The best advice I can give anyone who is buying a house is that you should always remember that a house is just a building until after you have bought it. Once you actually own the house then you can start to make the house your home. Being emotionally invested in a home is a good thing. Homes are made with love and memories. Not with wood and bricks.