My husband, Matt, and I are building our new home. This is the tenth in a series of who-knows-how-many. I’m writing from the perspective of a buyer, and an agent, since I am both in this case.
The home inspection occurred on a Saturday morning, beginning at 9am. Home inspections generally last around 2 hours, and the inspector ascertains the house’s general state of health. It’s kind of like having a physical after not having had one for many years. Our house’s last
physical, um, inspection, took place in 1998, and Matt and I were worried that something untreated and dire might have cropped up in the intervening fourteen years.
The fact that the inspection took over three hours and the house is only 1718 square feet didn’t alleviate our worries.
Remember how, in my last post, I mentioned that I had made a few mistakes? Well, I did it again when I learned who would be doing the inspection. I treated my husband as my husband, and not a seller. I don’t care for this inspection company, and I was vocal about it. I griped about how I feel that they find things that aren’t actually wrong, and they thrill the client with phrases like “1600-point-inspection”, but overall, they’re alarmists. In my opinion, a good inspector will disclose any issues, and if they’re easily remedied, they will reassure the usually anxious buyer. If there are major issues, then he or she will calmly, factually, explain the problem. I have not been privy to an actual buyer-inspector conversation with this company as the inspector (I suggest other inspection companies to my clients), but it is my feeling that they make much of things that aren’t significant.
So, my husband became worried as well and started saying things like, “We just won’t move.” And, “We’ll just stay here. I like it since we changed the carpets and everything.” Oh, dear. We couldn’t back out of the sale at this point. We could be sued by the buyer.
But, I stayed quiet, as I should have from the beginning. Then the buyer’s agent called to let me know that the buyer’s only real concern was the HVAC system. The agent said his client wanted a further inspection by an HVAC specialist. I almost got snippy at that point. The other agent and I are Facebook friends. I WANTED to say to him, “Don’t you think if my HVAC system didn’t work you’d know about it because I’d post updates about it on Facebook??” Fortunately, my office mate suggested I treat it like a seller’s house, and not my own. I took a deep breath, spoke with the buyer’s agent, and set up a time for the HVAC representative to come out to the house.
When the HVAC repair person arrived, I read aloud the portion of the inspection that had caused concern for the buyer – “Turned on the emergency heater and cranked up the thermostat to 90%. The furnace did operate but the differentials between the return vent and the register is unsatisfactory. Normal ranges are between 30 to 40 degrees. The current system was only 19 degrees (74 return and 94 registers).”
The HVAC repair person looked confused, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Home inspectors!” My sentiments exactly!
The HVAC guy thoroughly evaluated the situation, and then gave our system a clean bill of health so we could proceed to closing.