Getting Nit-Picky With The Home Inspection

When it comes to the home inspection, you absolutely have the right to be nit picky!

Believe it or not, there are some in the real estate industry who believe that home inspectors can be TOO nit-picky during a home inspection and will even go as far as to advise potential home buyers to overlook certain issues found during their home inspection, calling them “minor” or “deferred maintenance issues”. Last time I checked, home buyers pay home inspectors to be as picky as possible during a home inspection.

When looking at and reading “other” home inspector websites, you will sometimes see phrases that may indicate that the home inspector is more worried about being a deal killer rather than you the client. The most common of these phrases states that “potential home buyers should not concern themselves with nit picky items and that it is inappropriate for a buyer to ask a seller to fix something if it is a deferred maintenance issue”….. Hello??

I am sorry, I absolutely 100% do not agree with that statement. Home buyers have every right in the world to ask the seller to repair anything they want to. Of course it does not mean the seller will do it, but you as the consumer DO have that right! As home inspectors, we see deferred maintenance issues every single day. Good home inspectors should not and do not downplay these items and should report on and document these issues in their inspection report. For those that do not know, those deferred maintenance issues are exactly the kind of issues that wind up causing a vast majority of the “major defects” that so many in this profession talk about. Wouldn’t it make sense to catch those items early on BEFORE they become a “major defect”? And shouldn’t your home inspector be the one to tell you about them?

Home sellers that seriously neglect their home and perform little to no maintenance prior to selling it, should (in our opinion) be responsible for their actions and in all reality should have to repair those items due to their negligence. After all, they are asking top dollar for their home, the home should be in top dollar condition don’t you think?

Many in this industry talk about being fair to the seller. What about the first time home buyer who has scrimped and saved for a down payment for their first home to call their own? It is our belief that it is not fair to the home buyer to place an offer on a home, pay good money for a home inspection, only to find out that the furnace, A/C and water heater are all on their last leg and have never been serviced, cracks and heaves in the driveway, loose/cracked mortar joints in the brick veneer, moisture rotted siding and or trim boards, creosote buildup in the fireplace, vegetation so overgrown that it is taking over the home, small plumbing leaks that have never been addressed, mold issues that have never been resolved along with countless other deferred maintenance issues.

All of these so called “nit picky” items can and do add up to a lot of money that would have to be spent by the home buyer after moving in. Who wants to deal with all of that after moving into their new home? When someone is looking to buy a home for their family, the last thing in the world they want to do is move in and start spending a bunch money on items that realistically should have been properly maintained by the previous owner but were not.

For you the potential home buyer, we say, be as nit picky as you can prior to closing, and do not listen to those who will tell you otherwise. If you do not stand your ground during the home inspection, you could very well wind up with a money pit.