Most home inspectors know a good deal about a variety of different items. However, there usually not an expert in all. Perhaps the home inspector really knows foundations well, maybe roofs, maybe they’ve worked with septic and sewer systems in the past etc. However, all inspectors need to know a base amount of information and knowledge about about everything in the house so that they are able to give a knowledgeable and accurate home inspection report to a potential buyer or homeowner. However, there are certain items in a home that may need an additional inspection. If the roof is on the fence about whether or not it needs to be replaced or is able to last longer, a roof inspector may need to issue a roof inspection certificate. This inspection certificate could state that the roof has at least five years left etc. may be more may, be less. While these certificates are not the end all, written in stone fact for the roof, they can have a tendency of allowing a home sale to go through. But, this certificate can only be issued by a professional roof installer.
Other items that might need additional inspections include sewer and septic systems, pest inspection, foundation, additional electrical inspections or plumbing. While this is not always the case, if an inspector requests or suggests an additional inspection, it’s strongly urged.
Let me give you this most recent inspection as an example: a young couple was buying their first home and that home came with a septic system. The home inspector went through the entire home making notes about items that might need repair, replacement or things to consider. Once they got to the septic system, the inspector was unclear as to when the tank was pumped last and because the inspector was not a certified septic inspector, urged the young couple to get an additional inspection.
The real estate agent asked the seller and the listing agent about the septic system. The seller assured the buyer and buyers agent that the septic take have recently been pumped and inspected even though they did not have a receipt on such inspection. To have an additional inspection on the septic system would’ve cost the potential buyers $800. Because of this additional expense they waived the additional inspection and proceeded with the sale.
After the couple had moved in and been living in the home for a month, the septic system flooded. They had a professional repair company out to assess the damage and found out that the seller have lied, the septic had never been pumped and that it was in dire need of replacement. It is at this point that the buyers were out of luck. They no longer could return to the seller for proof of his statement as they had closed on the deal and accepted the inspection as is. The homeowners had to come up with a $12,000 replacement for the entire septic system. Had they had the $800 inspection to begin with, they could’ve either had the seller pay for the septic replacement or avoided the home sale altogether.
This is just one of the many stories that we hear as inspectors from real estate buyers that don’t want to spend the extra money inspecting the home. We try to urge them that this is a multi-thousand dollar purchase and they should know everything possible about the home before signing on the dotted line. We try to offer as much information as possible and when an additional inspection is recommended, we urge buyers to take heed.
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