Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Bad Home Inspectors Kill Deals - Don't Be An Alarmist- Help to Educate

Bad Home Inspectors Kill Deals - Don't Be An Alarmist- Help to Educate

Home Inspections are very important for a buyer as they help the buyer understand what they're getting into with a purchase.  Good inspectors are important also, as they understand how to present information to a buyer that helps them understand the report and what they're getting into.

scared home inspection austin texas real estate"Good" can be subjective.

Bad inspectors usually aren't great with people and don't understand how to explain things to people. A Bad Inspector might put in a report something that sounds awful and might freak a buyer out, yet maybe it's a $5 part at Home Depot that can fix the problem.

Chimney: In need of Repair: Gas can backflow into the house which is a safety hazard.

A Bad Inspector leaves it as that with a buyer thinking she's buying a huge mistake because who wants gas in their house?  A Good Inspector says, "You can install a C-Clamp which leaves the damper open slightly to always allow the gas to escape. The part is $3-5 at your local hardware store."  What's a C-Clamp? It's a small object that is the shape of a C so it can hook on either side and not allow something to close. I have rubber C-Clamps on a couple of my doors at home so my 2 year old would stop slamming my doors.

This past week, I put a house on the market. Priced great! Showings immediately along with muliple offers. The seller agreed to an offer and inspections commenced. "I've never seen an inspection this thick" is what the buyer's agent kept saying. She finally sent it to me, and it's 47 pages. I've never seen an inspection that long either. I read the entire thing. For a house built in 1970, the house isn't in bad condition. Yes, there are a few issues, but was priced accordingly, and with the multiple offers, the other consumers thought it was priced accordingly too.

After reading this report, I'm thinking, this is one horrible inspector. He had many innacuracies in the report. He states the furance was disconnected and the seller was going to replace. What?? The seller told him it was shut off at the breaker and to feel free to turn everything on he needs to turn on in order to do his report.  He also stated the stove didn't work and was inoperable, however, my seller came home to the oven being on for several hours and he could have burned down the house!!

Many houses have double switches. For example, you have a ceiling fan with a light. One switch it for the light and the other switch is for the fan. This inspector stated, "Some light and fan switches have dual controls. Reasons unknown, but occasionally this is done to correct or bypass a faulty or aluminum circuit." What??  An inspector can't make an accusation like that without proof. An inspector isn't there to "assume" things. An inspector is there to state facts.

What else is inaccurate in this report? I don't know as I'm not an inspector. I do know that the buyer backed out of the contract because of the report. It's 47 pages with 121 pictures. Most reports have 10-20 pictures in them. This report has 121 pictures!!  I think that might freak me out too as a buyer!  There is a difference between a thorough inspector and one who's trying to look thorough, but actually has no clue what they're doing.

Needless to say, the house is back on the market and within an hour, already received calls about it. Showings have resumed, and we'll probably be back in a multiple offer situation by tomorrow.

If you're a buyer in the Austin Texas real estate market, please hire an inspector who is not an alarmist. Please hire someone who is willing to give you the facts about the house and also explain the information so you understand it. The length of the report doesn't bother me, but the fact that the inspector didn't thoroughly explain things to the buyer does bother me.

**For full disclosure, the information I've written in this post is the same information that I've given to agents who have been showing the property since it came back on the market yesterday. We don't plan on hiding anything about the report, but because of the inaccuracies, and the fact that it's not the seller's property to distribute, interested buyers will not be receiving a copy of said inspection report.


**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **
** Platinum Top 50 Finalist 2011 out of almost 9000 agents in Austin TX**
** Five-Star Professional 2011 & 2012 **
** RE/MAX 100% Club **

Copyright© 2012 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Bad Home Inspectors Kill Deals - Don't Be An Alarmist- Help to Educate 
* was first published on

Comment balloon 8 commentsDonna Harris • December 06 2012 01:14PM


Excellent information Donna. You are so right that it is all in how something is presented for sure. Suggesting this one.
Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Donna - totally agree. Inspectors should help faciliate the transaction - obviously, they are also hired to point out the stuff that can cause problems - but some do fan the flames of smaller issues. Those are the ones, I refuse to hire. Hope you're enjoying the season.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORSĀ® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 7 years ago

Donna, that has to be VERY frustrating.  If I really worked at it I could make excuses for the poor inspector until he got to the gobbledygook about the aluminum wiring!  In spite of the report length, it still seems very "minimalist" in terms of actual useful information.  This is unfortunately how some home inspector training schools are turning out inspectors.  I, and most of the inspectors I know, only include photos that in some way clarify or locate a specific problem.  Hopefully these guys will either wake up or find something more useful to do.

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

Donna, I understand your frustration. I have had my share of agents who actively debate information during the inspection.

The examples you give here are certainly at the very least questionable reporting. My reports are lengthy, I would say on average 60 - 70 pages, with a fair amount of pictures, but not 120. I use pictures to enhance the descriptions of defects. Some are just for the documentation of the conditions present. Making assumptions, never! I will make educated guesses or speculate at times with the client over an issue, but I am very careful about doing so. Accuracy above all else. Inspectors like this guy make the industry look bad. 

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

Paula, Just like presenting an offer...

Debb, They are hired to inspect, not assume.

Charles, The length didn't bother me, though it was more than twice the average length, but most stuff included was not relevant.

James, I like pictures as they help explain. This guy put 6 pictures of a hot water heater, from different angles. A hot water heater is a cylinder, how many angles do you need?  4 pictures of the nasty insides of a septic, all showing the same thing, that the water was clear because it was recently pumped.  The Texas inspection form is a standard form. It's about 12 pages. Once most inspectors get done with it, it's about 14-18 pages. That's why 47 is a "thick" inspection. Not sure what you're inspecting for 60-70 pages, but you probably have basements and other stuff we don't have in Texas.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 7 years ago

Donna -- with an inspector like that you would need to have a construction worker as the buyer to fix all the "problems".  Oh wait, he can't fix the inspector.

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

Donna, I'm dealing with this right now. House built in 2000 and the inspector is sure the roof is shot. Not a leak anywhere, but he's the expert.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 7 years ago


Your sure have it right . . . . a good inspector is worth their weight in gold. A bad one is a walking nightmare.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 7 years ago