What I'm Seeing Now

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Ice See You

About four or five times a year I see something that really gets under my skin.  Any time people try to fool other people, for what they think might be some form of gain, it gets under my skin.

For many years I have made it a habit to check the ice in an ice maker.  I do that because sometimes the ice maker does not work, and sometimes people want me to think that it works.

Such was the case today.  I looked into the ice maker bin.

I saw ice.

I saw ice that could not have been made by that particular ice maker.

Look carefully.  That ice maker makes the half-moon ice.  And the ice in the bin is cylindrical.

That ice was purchased before the inspection and put into the bin to make the buyers and inspector think that the ice maker works.

Later, when the buyers move in, the ice maker will be broken and the bin empty and the sellers, if asked, will simply say, "Gee, it was working fine for us.  We're soooo sorry to hear it is broken now.  Surprise, surprise, surprise."

When I see phony ice, I have to look at the rest of the house with even more scrutiny because if they are trying to cover up one problem, they will try to cover up others.

They do the phony ice thing because ice makers aren't cheap to replace.  And they think they are getting something over on someone else.  Why not shift the problem to someone else?

That really gets under my skin.  When I see this, I leave my card on the kitchen counter.  I write something like, "The ice in the ice maker came from the store.  Shame on you," or something like that.  Once I taped my card  to the ice maker door.  My report similarly reflects the fact with a phony-ice comment.  Nobody, that is nobody, has called me after the inspection to complain about my card.  They have been busted and they know it.

They could have done the too-oft familiar, "Ice maker conveys as is."  Which is to say - the ice maker is broken, we know it is broken, but we are selling it to you to make it your problem.  Have a nice day...

THAT GETS UNDER MY SKIN TOO!

But, at minimum, it is honest.  It is not, however, the Golden Rule.  That rule is nearly dead.

My recommendation:  Check the ice maker!  If the listing material says it conveys, it should be producing the right kind of ice.  If it isn't, look at the rest of the house very, very carefully...

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • July 25 2009 06:58PM

Comments

Ice Ice Baby.  How sneaky is that?! Now in my head I would tend to think that they weren't trying to pull something over on the buyer, they just had a supply of ice in there for their use when they needed some ice.  But, I will give you the benefit of the doubt since you have seen it numerous times.  I will keep my eyes on the ice from here on out!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) about 11 years ago

Good catch Jay! It's amazing the lengths that people go to in order to deceive! ugh! Shame on them indeed!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Wow, how slippery is that.  You are very astute.  I wouldn't even think of checking this out!

Posted by An Marshall, Your St Augustine Real Estate Consultant (Berkshire Hathaway - St. Augustine) about 11 years ago

WOW!!!That's a great "heads up" for all of us.  Even though I use the most absolutely fantasticly thorough home inspector on the planet, I am gonna have to ask her if she ever sees this.  Of course, most everything we sell around here right now is vacant, so it's kinda hard to check the ice.  But this is still a great tip to remember.  Thanks

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) about 11 years ago

Janna - the ice-making holes are empty so the maker does not work.  The ice itself is really fresh.  You are right, I do see this all the time.  I no longer give the benefit of the doubt!

Wanda - it is ashame...

An - experience, experience, experience...  but I'll take astute!

Jean - when I go into an empty house, I will check the ice maker and if it is dry I turn it on.  By the time we are done, if it is working it will dump a load of ice.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

One deception most likely means there are more to be uncovered. This is something that kills deals. Buyers will get uneasy because they feel what else is being covered up. I have had more than a few clients not buy homes just for that reason. They felt the seller was trying to deceive them.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 11 years ago

That happens far too often, doesn't it James?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay - You are the first home inspector, I've seen who checks this.  Nice!

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) about 11 years ago

Erik - been checking them for years!  You know what happens when we assume...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay,
don't you hate the feeling you get right after you notice that the seller is trying to pull as fast one? All of a sudden you feel like you have to look much much closer at everything. After all, it's just like Jason said ... where you found one there's bound to be more.
Nice catch ... good post.
Sue

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) about 11 years ago

Sue - yes, I don't like the stomach to go uh-oh...  Deception, when perceived anyway, does require more attention.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Oh my gosh, I would never have thought to look at the ice like that.   Sneaky sneaky SNEAKY!  

Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) about 11 years ago

Kris - it is sneaky.  And wrong.  I am not a fan of "conveys as is," but at least there is some honesty there...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Good job Jay.  It's the little things that count.  No kidding - shows you do a thorough inspection.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 11 years ago

We all try, Jack, don't we?  But it is the not-trusting, suspicious eye that we need that bothers me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay, my friend that is an awesome catch:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 11 years ago

Charlie - you want to know when I started catching it?  Years ago, when I one time did NOT catch it.  The people had fooled everybody and I, I, did not check the ice shape.  They came at me like I was at fault!

Nothing like life experience.  Ever since then, I have checked!  And caught!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

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