No photos of disaster or creative ignorance. No single problem to report. But I AM tired of this.
I arrived at the inspection of a short sale to the smiling owners (mostly undressed in a very hot, extremely filthy and cluttered house, sitting in the living room, watching TV) who immediately said, "We told the buyers that you really don't need to be here. Everything works fine."
In English I said, "Thank you. I am here for the buyers. They want me to check everything anyway."
They began speaking rapid Spanish to each other, not realizing I understood every word. "He's going to find out what's broken." "What if he tries the oven?" "Go cover up the..." "What if he tries..." You get the picture.
The lady quickly said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. The washer broke yesterday, but I used the dryer this morning and it works fine." Then, the tip off -- "You don't really need to test it."
You should know that everything in this 24 year old townhouse was original and VERY poorly maintained.
"Well, yes I do. That's the only way to inspect it."
The roaches were so legion I passed straight through the kitchen, out a sliding glass door which did not roll on the track and put my bag and computer on the rear, very dilapidated, deck. I hoped they wouldn't acquire any insectification out there...
Coming in I looked at the stacked washer/dryer closet. The door was so broken it had not been closed in some time. But I looked inside the appliances anyway. The washer was obviously not broken "yesterday." The dryer was used for long-term storage and did not come on. The breaker box was not nearby. It was in a locked, rear shed. The seller said he "could not find the key." So I picked the lock (No damage. I have a kit in my bag). Finding the W/D breaker, I couldn't help but notice that it was terribly scorched, and almost certainly not "yesterday." No way had she used that dryer "this morning."
It turns out that the washer/dryer was the least of the problems in this place! NOTHING worked, except one burner on the stove and the fridge was somewhat cool.
THERE ISN'T MUCH WORSE THAN STARTING AN INSPECTION BY BEING LIED TO BY THE SELLERS.
I returned to the living room, and in very polite, very formal, very adult Spanish, I explained that I thought the washer/dryer had not worked in some time and that I would be quickly going through and doing a report on the entire house, but would be telling the buyers not to trust anything that they were told. The shock and awe on their faces was cllllllaaaassic. Oh, that I had a photo of that!
Did they really think I would just accept what they had to say, turn around and leave?!
Thank goodness some people still choose to pay for a home inspector!!
My recommendation: Do your due diligence. Do have a home inspection. Do inspect carefully! And don't trust everything you are told...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560