Pretty familiar call. It's 4:40 or so and I'm on my way to my last appointment. "Jay, our builder called just now and tomorrow is the final walk through on my new condo. The sales lady says she is sorry but if I want a home inspection we need to have it before the walk through at 10am! My Realtor said to call you."
I laughed, as I always do, because this is so consistent. This aspect of new construction inspection is not a trend, it is the NEW NORMAL. But, fortunately, I had a cancellation the next morning and was available!
"Do they want any paperwork from me that I have to email to them tonight?"
"She didn't mention any. It's Mumbo Jumbo Builders (not their real name)."
"HA! Okay, we'll see you tomorrow. I'll get there a little early."
When we arrived I suggested the buyer and Realtor go in to get the key. I knew what would happen.
They came out with wide eyes. "She says you need to provide all kinds of stuff before they will allow you to enter the condo! You better talk to her!" The suspense thickens! Was as the inspection canned? Holy envelope Batman!
I ALREADY HAD MY ENVELOPE IN HAND. IT CONTAINS COPIES OF EVERYTHING THIS BUILDER'S "CORPORATE POLICY" REQUIRES.
When I went in I simply handed her my envelope. I said, "Just last week I had an inspection with you all over at ________ development and Lulu Belle (not her real name) also "forgot" to call to schedule the inspection until the last minute and "forgot" until the last minute to mention that the inspector needed certain paperwork. Wondering then if it was a trend I now realize it is simply a trick Mumbo Jumbo employs to try to prevent buyers from having a timely home inspection. That's not right. Here is everything you need." The buyer and agent heard me say all this. When I glanced at the Realtor he only smiled.
Lulu Belle 2 was FREAKED OUT! She was so flustered her sentences were clumsy. She needed a teleprompter. She would not look at me! I gave her my cutest smile, grabbed my papers and left, without a word.
"Jay, that is really weird that you had all that stuff!" The agent was massaging my shoulder! He was really impressed! Builder tricks foiled again!
"I was taught that lesson a couple of years ago and have carried that stuff ever since. Yeah, it is a little weird..."
We had the normal fun on a typical, new construction inspection with the normal fun stuff to see. The supervisor was very glad to see me again also! We are real buds...
I should say this: On a home inspection I am not an alarmist. But I am not a sugar coater either. Things are as they are. I merely point them out. A home inspection, on new construction, flips, or regular, are not gotcha moments! They are merely a home inspector's opportunity to observe and report. And that is what I do.
I also might, just might, make fun of something later in a blog post however.
My recommendation: remember Robert Baden-Powell's famous motto: Be Prepared! To paraphrase a famous statement, you can't always have what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you just might find, you have what you need. So stuff an envelope!
There is nothing, NOTHING, better than a HA! moment! And leave'm with your cutest smile!!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560