Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

Home inspections can be extremely scary for several people involved with a real estate transaction. The buyer, who is excited about purchasing a new home, may be worried that defects will be uncovered that make the home less appealing. Realtors may worry that the process will lead to an unhappy client or a killed deal. Sellers, especially, tends to worry that the inspection will lead to costly repairs, loss of money on the home, or their sale falling through.

While these can all be valid concerns, the reality is that most home inspections do not lead to a worst case scenario. Typically, a couple or few defects may need to be addressed, but most transactions do not completely fail as a result of a home inspection.

Still, there are times when an inspection does lead to some headaches or additional expense. When this happens, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, frustrated and even angry. After all, a lot is at stake for all parties involved with the sale of a property, and everyone wants the process to go as smoothly, inexpensively and amicably as possible.

Here at HPI, we make it a priority to present a home’s condition in a realistic way so that everyone involved remains as stress-free as possible. A home that is a hundred years old cannot be held to modern standards, and that’s something a buyer needs to understand. The seller also needs to rest assured that while we are required to objectively report on defects based on strict guidelines, our goal is not to dissuade buyers. I can’t personally speak for every home inspector, but we are very careful to not exaggerate defects or influence buyers one way or another. We simply report objectively, provide (hopefully) useful education, and allow each client to make their own determination based on the information provided.

As the occasional bearers of bad news, we inspectors are naturally not everyone’s favorite people at times… and that’s understandable. When a client experiences unwanted stress because of an inspection, it’s only natural to feel some animosity toward the inspector who identified the problems that are now an unexpected burden. As with all professions, it’s important that we are prepared to be understanding of what others are going through and not take their reactions personally.

If you are a new inspector, be prepared to develop “thick skin,” to be understanding of clients’ stress, and to not take the frustration of others too personally. If you’re a seller, understand that the goal of the inspector inspecting your home is not to hinder your sale or cause an otherwise negative impact on you in any way. If you’re fortunate enough to have a good inspector, he or she will be careful to communicate in a way that is more calming than alarming and ultimately more helpful than damaging. Try not to “shoot the messenger,” so to speak; but it’s understandable if an excess amount of stress leads to some temporary frustration. At the end of the day our goal is to help, not to cause more stress!

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Author: hillinspections

I am a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the owner and operator of Hill Property Inspections LLC, the top-rated inspection company in the greater Johnstown, PA area, based out of western Pennsylvania. I specialize in property inspections and environmental testing services and have a passion for helping my own clients and other families in learning to properly maintain their homes. I’m also the owner of Hill Pest Control, LLC and a pest management professional committed to helping our clients rid their homes and businesses of unwanted pests. I am an Army veteran, former State Farm Insurance Agent, and real estate investor with experience in all facets of real estate construction, transaction and insurance. I am also the founder and President of the Southwestern PA Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and an affiliate member of the Cambria-Somerset Association of Realtors (CSAR).

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