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Termite and Moisture Damage Not Reported

I have done so many appraisals where I saw obvious damage that was not reported by the other inspectors. The first couple of times I thought it was just carelessness. I came to realize it was the same agents who had found what I call pocket contractors or repeat business. Most buyers are not aware of this problem but believe me it is a big one.

I remember one very nice fairly new house and I saw what appeared to be moisture damage as soon as I pulled up to the curb. It was on the first and second floor window frames. Also there was a paladium window that leaked on the second floor of the foyer. When I got done with the appraisal, I made the report "subject to" the specific itemized repairs and termite and moisture inspection. The loan processor immediately called me and said they had a clear letter from the termite and moisture inspection and nothing was mentioned in the home inspection with regards to those problems. I didn't change anything. A few days later the mortgage company called and said the repairs had been completed and to do a final inspection. I returned to the house. The first thing I noticed was the second floor fascia and sills looked exactly the same. Everything had been done on the first floor. We got the huge heavy ladder out which infuriated me, as I don't like heights and that someone would try to fool me by doing the obvious, clearly visible repairs.

I climbed up the ladder and stuck my pencil in the wood, it sunk right in like a chop stick in pudding. Then a big hunk came off. I called the mortgage company and rejected the repairs. I was called again and they weren't complete. The repairman was supposed to finish in the afternoon and the loan was to close the following morning. The new owner was a doctor at VA and didn't have any flexability in her schedule. The carpenter apologized to me that the agent had not told him about that or he would have done it.

I didn't tell him that I knew the agent and deceipt was her profession. He ran out of the right sized wood so I suggested that he improvise by putting a piece of trim at the top front with caulk just to prevent element exposure. I was there until 8:30 p.m. before it was complete and I could approve it. The agent is still practicing and I am sure using the same inspectors. How sad. P.S You know who you are Ann.

Suzie is a licensed real estate broker and certified residential appraiser with twenty years of experience. Other professionals in the field have contributed as well. They are brokers, agents, appraisers and educators.

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