You buy a home in June.
The day after moving in, your air conditioner goes out. And you know, it’s not like you need that since the temperature is only in the low 90’s that day.
It sure would have been nice to know this before you bought the house.
This happens from time to time and the blame always falls back on the home inspection and the inspector who told you that the air conditioner was good. Maybe had he done his job properly, he would have known that the HVAC unit was about to give out in only a matter of weeks, right?
Or wrong? Of course, as home inspectors we receive a lot of that blame and as far as i’m concerned, rightly so. I’ve dealt with incompetent home inspectors back when I was working as a Realtor prior to launching my inspection company, and I still deal with them today out in the field.
Quick Example: I meet one guy at a house, who is also inspecting the house like I am (busy market = many inspectors inspecting the same houses), and when I make a comment about what I saw in the attic, he tells me he doesn’t even carry a ladder. He then asks if he can borrow mine.
Or, here is another. I sell a house just now to a friend. (True story; I do sell a few each year). Since I was the agent, I couldn’t inspect the house so I had to call another inspector to come inspect the house for my buyer. He wraps up the inspection and fails to mention (until probed by my buyer) that he never even went into the backyard because….(drum roll)....he couldn’t open the back door.
Maybe home inspectors are worthless.
Bottom Line: I’m not a psychic and I can’t tell when your HVAC unit may go out. It could be tomorrow and that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do my job well. I prefer the name “consultant” over “inspector” but all roads lead to the same report in the hand of the buyer.
So here is what I do: “Mr/Mrs. Jones, this unit is 25 years old and due to the age, I can’t promise that this unit will last another year, or even another day. As a result, due to the age, I would recommend that you have the seller have the unit serviced prior to close ensure functionality of the interior components that I can’t see. Going forward, make sure to have the unit serviced every year, perhaps even twice a year. If you’ll do that and make sure to have a home warranty in place, this gives you the best shot of having this unit last you into the future”.
You may disregard me completely. My advice may not be what you want to here. But I won’t leave the inspection without you knowing the details about such a crucial system. And if that’s my former client the above situation happens to, they won’t disregard the inspection they had as worthless.
- Spencer Brothers, CPI
Sterling Home Inspection, LLC