What I'm Seeing Now

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A Home Inspector Who Is In Business To Scare People

During the inspection the water was turned off.  It is very difficult, well impossible to do a complete home inspection without water.  My client's plan was to have me return for their final walk through when the water was on to see what we could and test everything water related.

One thing I noticed without the water being on was a severely wobbly toilet in the master bathroom.  There are ceramic tile floors there, so I explained to my clients the situation, that the transition between the floor and toilet bowl is a wax donut, how water can leak down and rot the sub floor UNDER the tile, compromise the structure, etc, etc, etc.

ALL TRUE, CERTAINLY.

The buyers requested that the toilet be situated properly and any wood damage repaired.

The seller got back saying that the toilet may be wobbling and he will have it fixed, but that just because it is wobbling does not mean it is leaking so there will be no sub floor moisture or damage.

Oh, and not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

He suggested through his agent that the buyers would be better served by not hiring A HOME INSPECTOR WHO IS IN BUSINESS TO SCARE PEOPLE and just do his job.

They called me to ask about that.  I said, "Of course wobbly toilets can leak!"  And, I said, we will just wait and see.

With the water turned on, I returned and flushed the toilet only ONE TIME.  Just doing my job, you know.

Wonderfully dry, as you can see...

In fact, the area underneath was mucky, there were leaks in more places than one, and the smell was glorious.

And it was my turn to suggest.  I suggested that the seller had himself been under there with a can of infamous polyfoam, sealing holes so they "would not leak."  Gee oh gosh oh golly, did he know it leaks?

And, to prove I am not speaking out of school, I took a couple of dem dere fotygrafs!

My recommendation:  YOUR HOME INSPECTOR IS AN OBJECTIVE VOICE IN THIS PROCESS.  HE/SHE/IT WILL NOT SAY ANYTHING, AND THAT IS ANYTHING, TO SIMPLY "SCARE" YOUR CLIENTS.  Similarly, the home inspector does not say anything because there is a financial benefit in it for him.  And, may I say, by the way, the seller is NOT objective in this process.

 

 

 

 

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 35 commentsJay Markanich • July 30 2012 03:08AM

Comments

Hmmmm turned off water and polyfoam...do you think they knew? They need to be scared!

Margaret

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 7 years ago

Seems like the sellers were quite sensitive about the issue.  No wonder the water wasn't on!

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) almost 7 years ago

Well said, Jay.  Yes, I wonder who I would trust more -an independent inspector who know what he is talking about and has no financial gain at stake, or a homeowner who knows very little and is on the opposite side of the deal.  Hmmm.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

I have had just a similar experience and the listing agent even went so far as to suggest that because he has been in business over 30 years and completed over 4000 transactions that he knows when inspectors are out to scare people and mislead buyers.  After we had the full report and the result was my buyer walking away, I even received a nasty call from this agent and all I could say to him was he had learned nothing in 30 years but perhaps the same thing over and over again.   Caveat emptor!

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Margaret - yep, I'm in business to scare people.  Imagine the scare when someone sits on the toilet and it falls thorugh the polyfoam into the crawl space!

Wayne - there were about 17 reasons the water wasn't on!  I bet that was one FUUUUUNNNN closing!

Don't know Debbie, that may be a hard one.  But this homeowner knows what he needs to about polyfoam!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

John - I agree, and with the last statement.  Did you see my post Caveat Omnia?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Another Harry Homeowner bathroom remodel project gone bad. Materials needed : A couple cans of " Great Stuff",1 roll of tie wire, 2 rolls of duct tape, 1 radiator hose, 4 large hose clamps, 1 bucket, 1 tube of silicone caulk, copy of Hechingers Do it Yourself guide.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 7 years ago

Wow, Jeff, those Hechinger's guides still out there?  And we need to specify the duct tape color.  The rest of the list is spot on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

You just have that mean, scary look in your eyes.... to that seller anyway. How could you expose that poor old seller like that? Did they have the electricity off too? LOL

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 7 years ago

Why was the home inspection performed when the seller was not in compliance with the Contract of Sale, which clearly states,

"The Seller will have all utilities in service".

 

Buyer Beware indeed.

 

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

In many cases, it is a damn good idea to scare some folks. Once all the situations are explained in a report, then they can decide what is best for them and their families.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 7 years ago

Jay, I have watched many home inspections where the inspector did the toilet dance to see if it's wobbly. If it does pass it probably did show a leak when flushed.  I love how homeowners can pretend to not know of a problem and shut the water off instead!

Posted by Carol Faaland-Kronmaier, PhD, e-PRO, Manville, Hillsborough, Somerset NJ (Weichert, Realtors; Hillsborough) almost 7 years ago

Morning Jay some people must think the rest of the population is just stupid.  While some will fit into this most will not.  Enjoy the day

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay - I'm sure you were just as surprised as the homeowner to discover the leak. Who woulda thunk?

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay. Sounds like the seller meant he was scared the inspector would catch everything he was hiding. Not seeing a benefit to the inspector to kill a deal without cause. I would rather my deal die before the purchase than find out during a lawsuit of things we should have seen.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 7 years ago

I had a listing with people who had bought without an agent from another agent.  The agent/owner told them not to get an inspection because "inspectors are just there to make trouble."  Turns out, that was POOR advice indeed as they were on the hook to do a lot of repairs that would have been caught when they first purchased the home.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 7 years ago

Jay, Unfortunately home inspectors do scare people because the people have so little knowledge, a little thing sounds huge to some. But that is not the home inspector's job. He is to present what he finds and do it in a professional way. The remark about scaring people is not a home inspector's problem. Most I know try very hard to explain the situation and get the buyer (or seller) to understand the importance.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 7 years ago
Hi Jay, I can never understand why anyone would not want to know the true nature of a property to the exent that it can be ascertained. If a Buyer bails because of what is discovered , one of two things are apparent. Either the House is not right for the Buyer or the Buyer is not right for the house. Either way, better to know it sooner rather than later.
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 7 years ago

jay,

Any time there are home-owner-repairs, it's tough to build a case for "concealed damage" or "I don't know" answers on a disclosure.

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) almost 7 years ago

Jay, how often we hear how inspectors "language" their concerns to scare people---or that it results in scaring people.  Well sometimes that is just what is needed.  Your post supports my post today---sellers are not objective in this process, and are likely more responsible for deals being "killed" than any home inspector is.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- wobbly, leaking - so let's seal it, and force the water to stay in the wood longer, so it will decay/fall apart faster.  Maybe he hoped for an inept inspector, or no inspection at all.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

Look at my eyes Fred.  Boohahaha.  Boooohoooohahaha!

Lenn - my clients were told all the utilities were on.  They continued with what we could inspect as they all had come from a distance.  It was then they decided to go with the re-inspection.  Personally I think the water was "accidentally" left turned off.

Joe - the house is the house.  I never know what is going to prick a client and what isn't.  Sometimes a dead receptacle is enough to scare a client!

Carol - pretending not to know, in this case, was the probable!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Thanks James, and I think you are right!

I was a regular Gomer Pyle, John - surprise, surprise, surprise!

Randy - I see what I can see.  And the chips fall where they fall.

Kathryn - that is poor advice indeed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Debbie - sometimes the most innocuous things can scare buyers!  But when something is serious, and so reflected in the report, it needs to be handled up front and not like this seller.

All agreed William.  It is truly buyer beware.

Brad - no disclosure in VA.  It's all on the back of the inspector.

Of course sellers are not objective Charlie.  And I have found hidden surprises that did truly blow the deal.  And I didn't put the surprise there!

Steven - I think he did not realize we would come back a second time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Hello Jay,

Oh you bad, bad inspector you...just trying to scare the poor buyer right out of his contract...why, that Seller isn't hiding anything (much!)

Again, good thing you were on the job!  

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 7 years ago

And a good thing the water was on the second visit Lisa!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, don't you just love it when you catch them in a lie! All kidding aside who in their right mind would buy a home without an inspection?

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) almost 7 years ago

I didn't realize that expanding foam can be used as a plumbing tool Jay.  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 7 years ago

Tom - I really think they did not expect their buyer to have me back!  There were many leaks too.

Tom (The Cosmo Cover Guy) - a general contractor unfamiliar with the plugging capabilities of open-cell, highly-expansive, poly foam?  What?  You must be one of those "other" kinds of contractors...     ;>)

And good for you for being in that fewer-in-numbers group.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, you are a house bully ; ) I actually like that sloshing sound when sitting on the commode ; )

 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I like it too Don!  But only in somebody else's house when I know um, hope it will be repaired.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Onbe thing we can not control is the emotions of a buyer. Given the same information, 10 people will all likely react 10 different ways. Mr. seller, like others before him, was trying to bully his way through the inspection issues. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

You saying he had a little foreknowledge there Jim?  So the water wasn't off "accidentally?"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I would never  bet on the homeowner who is not an expert.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) almost 7 years ago

Tim - I believe that is reasonable thinking!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

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