Buyers, please beware of the home inspector who can kill your transaction based on inexperience. A seller had a home built by one of the best home builders in the state, a builder who had three decades of building the highest quality custom homes and who worked with the best framer, the best roofer, the best concrete men, and the best electricians and plumbers. This home builder was extremely meticulous, and he built his homes to standards that were higher than the building code.

Home Inspector

Pictured here is Chuck Bishop, who is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable home inspectors in the Sequim area. Chuck is in high demand because of the accuracy of his work and reports.

Home Inspector Report

So when the seller received the buyer’s home inspector report listing dozens of problems, he was shocked, because the main alleged problems that the home inspector identified were not defects at all. In fact, the home inspector (and the roofing inspector) alleged that the home builder did not build the home to the code, that the attic and the vents and the skylights and the roofing were not done correctly.

The buyer believed his home inspector. Why wouldn’t he? How is a buyer to know that his own home inspector lacks experience and knowledge on construction standards. The buyer had no idea that what home inspector labeled as low quality or not meeting the code requirements were actually standards that were much higher than the building code and better quality than the average builder.

The seller brought in an expert to respond. Then the buyer brought in more experts to respond to the response. Then the seller had to respond again. All this unfolded over a period of weeks and cost both parties more time and money. The buyer was fixated on what he thought were serious defects, and he can’t really be blamed. The fault here lies with the home inspector who was inexperienced and made major mistakes in his report.

The home inspector issued a report that caused tremendous stress for everyone, and ultimately killed the transaction as the buyer finally walked. What’s so unfortunate about this whole scenario is that there are no serious problems with the home, and the real losers were both the buyer and the seller. The buyer will never know how his own home inspector poisoned his dreams of owning a beautiful home.

Home Inspector Choice

The point of sharing this story is to emphasize the importance of hiring a good home inspector, someone who is well educated on construction, who is competent and honest, and who issues accurate reports. Once again, the decisions you make as a buyer regarding who you will hire will make all the difference. Your choices are critical, so be careful about accepting a referral without knowing more. 

I’ve written elsewhere that the single most important decision you will make is who your Realtor will be. After all, you are probably going to rely on your Realtor to refer you to a title company, escrow company, mortgage broker, well inspector, and home inspector. I hope the professionals you hire facilitate your transaction, rather than kill it. Of all the people you hire, the home inspector is one of the most important, so be sure you hire a good home inspector.

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