As sure as the spring flows at the Fountain of Youth, a home inspection provides a stream of knowledge to wash away the fears of homebuyers. But fear may be replaced by frustration if the wrong inspector is chosen!
Should Tradesmen be Home Inspectors?
There are some who say that the best home inspection is an inspection where all the trades are represented by a tradesperson from each specialty. It is said that this situation brings individual and specific expertise to each system. Reports would then be made separately to the homebuyer. This argument states that no one knows plumbing better than a plumber, roofs better than a roofer, or electric better than an electrician, etc.
I will support the idea that no one knows each trade better than a person specifically from that trade, but that approach to home inspecting has several glaring flaws.
- Flaw #1.
To inspect the entire home using individual trades people would require more then a dozen people. Roofer, plumber, electrician, framer, mason, heating, insulation, painting, landscaper, pool, fireplace, appliance, tile, and we still have windows, doors and more! For scheduling and crowd control alone, this is a bad idea. However, if we can overcome that problem, then why not? Moving on.
- Flaw #2.
It would be difficult to find a dozen or more trades people to do this inspection without the intent to solicit repair work. There is no ethics position that precludes each tradesperson from soliciting work in their chosen trade. That is what trades people do; they work in their trade.
This "looking for work" mentality puts the objectivity of the inspection process in jeopardy. While it may be appropriate for the tradesperson to make suggestions for improvement or upgrade to a homeowner, this approach is not best suited in the buying process, where the desire is principally of the inspection process to determine if exiting systems are functioning as intended, and perhaps answer component life expectancies questions.
- Flaw #3.
The biggest problem, however, with bringing in a dozen trades people to inspect a home is one that cannot be overlooked. In this scenario, NO ONE is charged with the responsibility in putting all the information together, sorting how each item interacts with the other, documenting the concerns in a coherent fashion, and most importantly of all, explaining what it all means to the homebuyer in the context of the purchase and sale agreement.
If real estate agents have ever found it a challenge to deal with the issues discovered during a home inspection by a home inspector, then you have to believe that sorting the detail, or rather lack of detail, from a dozen different trades people is a challenge that could be insurmountable!
Talk about a state of confusion!
Let's leave home inspecting to the professionally trained home inspector and leave the installation and repair of specific systems to the people who install and repair!
This subject and more about the interactions and relationships in real estate are discussed in Wally Conway's book, "Secrets of the Happy Home Inspector", available at GoHomePro.com or Amazon.com. As a speaker, writer, instructor, and host of The Happy Home Inspector radio show every Saturday at 3 PM on WOKV 690, Wally blends the right amount of up-to-date information with just the right amount of humor, insight, motivation, and real-world application.
Visit http://www.WallyConway.com or http://www.GoHomePro.com for more information!
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