When agents, Inspectors and warranty companies all say NO
As a small child, NO was a top 5 word, in your parents list of popular vocabulary words am I right? Oh sure, there were still words such as maybe, we’ll see, ask your dad, I don’t know and no. Yes, on the other hand, was a word seldom heard from the ears of your little head and yet, even as small children we could grasp the impact that such words like YES and NO can have on a person.
Well even today, although most of us don’t have your parents controlling our lives we do have other people, companies, systems and various authorities who more or less still possess that ability to make or ruin your day with one syllable. We have laws which govern us. We have police which make sure we aren’t crating havoc in the streets. We have agents, inspectors and home warranty companies hell bent on telling you in either one word or twenty, to get lost. Wait. Huh?
Who wants a slice?
My friends, welcome to the day and age where everyone wants a piece of your little slice of American pie but wants nothing to do with helping you in a crisis.
When you buy a house, there are a few people who are interested in making money from your transaction right-off-the-bat. Some will make a lot and some will make a little, but there is a lot of money riding on each transaction for a lot of individuals.
For my blog, we really only discuss two primary topics… home inspection ethics and real estate agent behavior. So for this blog we won’t be discussing how the lender, the title company or other ancillary services want to dig into your pockets also. We will, however, speak about one topic with three main players that can affect all home buyers and that you may want to consider when purchasing a home and oh yea… how these three players behave when a small or large crisis develops in your life AFTER, the close of escrow and everyone has taken their slice from you.
So to set the stage… let’s say you went through the home buying process… your agents chose your home inspector as many of them do or you chose one from their crappy list of crappy go-along-to get-along inspectors and you move in to your new house only to find out that there are problems that you feel should have been caught by the home inspector and you only know this because the contractor who you employed to come out to look at your issues told you so and also reveled to you that “any idiot should have seen this problem” because it appears to have been there for a while, but I digress.
So now you’re mad and want someone to be held accountable (and rightly so). This is where your rollercoaster ride will begin. Buckle up my friends because this stuff really happens because I’ve personally witnessed it and still deal with it as you read this.
Pick the agent, warranty company and inspector wisely before buying…
It’s imperative that when you choose the person through which you will be buying or selling a home, performing the home inspection and the home warranty company that you have do some digging. I’m talking about digging deep, asking around, sifting through testimonies, reviews and meeting references. This whole site is based around one topic and that protection for home buyers. The thing about this business is that the lack of integrity runs rampant and the lack of wanting to take responsibility for well, whatever, runs equally as rampant. Go into this with eyes wide open even if the agent or inspector you choose is your buddy, friend, moms fathers brother. Just remember, when you take ownership of your new house, you will also own everything wrong with that house.
So let’s say you saved your entire life to buy a house…
So let’s say you saved your entire life to buy a house… you went through the entire escrow process and you finally moved in just to discover undisclosed issues or issues not discovered by your home inspector who was in this scenario, chosen by your agent. The first thing you will likely do (historically) is call your agent. The agent will direct you to one of two places; a) the home inspector or b) the home warranty company, not necessarily in that order however.
Here’s how it plays out…
A word from your agents…
YOU: Hello Mr. agent, yes I bought a home and you represented me a few months back and since we’ve been living here we’ve encountered multiple and some serious issues which we’d like to discuss with you.
AGENT: Hello one person out of 1000 who I sold a home to… I sell many, many, many homes every year.. which
sucker I mean client are you and how can I help push you off to another person so I don’t have to take any responsibility to whatever problems you have?
YOU: Well, to begin with we’ve only been living here for a month or so and already we’ve encountered countless issues which we feel should have been caught by “YOUR” home inspector.
AGENT: The heck you say? “My home inspector“. Do you really think I own an inspector? You had free will and could have chosen anyone from my list of three buffoons ya know? It’s not my fault that you chose the worst one of the three crappy choices I allowed you to make. Yes, I understand that this is your first purchase and you placed ALL your trust into me but is it my fault you didn’t exercise your right to freely choose an independent inspector?
YOU: I realize you handed me a list where you emphatically proclaimed that these were the best my city has to offer in the way of home inspectors. We “trusted” you and “trusted” that you would protect us and watch over us. We only used the person from your list because you said they were “the very best“. Clearly they are nothing short of “yes-men”.
AGENT: Be that as it may it was your choice. Try calling the inspector who missed these issues or the home warranty company to make a claim on the free, all encompassing protect-you-from-all-disaster as well as pre-existing issues policy? Surely they will help… besides I already spent my commission money so I can’t personally help you. I gotta go now, I’m busy showing houses to my other
victims clients. Best wishes, leave a review and don’t forget to tell all your friends! XOXO
Your Home Inspector has a few words…
YOU: Hello Mr Home Inspector who did my home inspection on my house which is 3500 square feet with guest house and a pool in less than 90 minutes. It seems that once we moved in we’ve encountered a few issues that are well, significant according to the various contractors who have visited our house after you. We’d just like to see if you’re available to take a look for yourself and let us know what you think. The agent who hired you threw you under the bus and told us to call you and said it was your problem, (not in so many words however).
INSPECTOR: Problems you say? Let me stop by and take a look.
INSPECTOR: So after looking at the issues it appears that at least one of the issues is a shower pan leak. Shower pan leaking is beyond the scope of my home inspection. Take a look, it says so in my home inspection association standards as well as my contract you signed. We are not obligated to test the integrity of the shower pan so therefore it’s beyond the scope of my inspection.
As for the roof leaking, we do not walk on concrete tile so again, this area according to my standards of practice and contract are also beyond the scope.
YOU: So what the heck did I pay you for? For you to walk around for 90 minutes and tell me how nice my house was? How is testing a single story shower pan, and walking on a very low slope concrete tile roof beyond the scope? All my contractors said all of this should have been caught by YOU.
INSPECTOR: I’m sorry sir, but Im no contractor. Im a “generalist” so I charge you next to nothing because we do next to nothing My job is to take 90 minutes and just generalize when I do my inspections and just do the bare minimum I have to. I will disclose away the rest through my contract that you probably didn’t even read, and shower you with comments such as “beyond the scope” or “have a contractor further evaluate this condition” in my report which you probably didn’t even read as well. LOL, too bad for you, but it’s the way home inspections are done. You should call the home warranty company, it’s what they are there for.
And finally, your home warranty company has a few words…
YOU: Hello home warranty company. I was instructed to call you from both the home inspector as well as the real estate agent. I have a problem with my roof and my shower is leaking all over the place!
HOME WARRANTY: Sure… can we see the Inspection report?
YOU: Certainly, I’ll just email it to you.
HOME WARRANTY: Okay Mr. person who’s getting royally screwed, we’ll need to send out our underpaid contractors to take a look…
HOME WARRANTY: Okay Mr. person who’s getting totally screwed… Our contractors sent us their report and Im going to start off by saying that your issues were pre-existing according to our representatives who visited your house. This means they were there BEFORE you bought the house which you saved your entire life for. Sorry. Oh BTW… You should call the home inspector who should have caught these issues.