As we continue with our blog series, we get into defining some of the expectations of the inspection process. The 6th paragraph of the Preamble reads as follows:
THIS PROPERTY INSPECTION IS NOT A TECHNICALLY EXHAUSTIVE INSPECTION OF THE STRUCTURE, SYSTEMS OR COMPONENTS. This inspection may not reveal all deficiencies. A real estate inspection helps to reduce some of the risk involved in purchasing a home, but it cannot eliminate these risks, nor can the inspection anticipate future events or changes in performance due to changes in use or occupancy. If is recommended that you obtain as much information as is available about this property, including seller’s disclosures, previous inspection reports, engineering reports, building/remodeling permits, and reports performed for and by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers, and appraisers. You should also attempt to determine whether repairs, renovation, remodeling, additions, or other such activities have taken place at this property. It is not the inspector’s responsibility to confirm that information obtained from these sources is complete or accurate or that this inspection is consistent with the opinions expressed in previous or future reports.
As we look at the opening sentence, we can reflect on a previous post where we discussed the role of the TREC Rules which provide a balance between all the parties. Here are a few of the reasons why the inspection is not technically exhaustive and may not reveal all deficiencies:
- Home Inspectors are generalists as opposed to subject matter experts and are not required to use specialized equipment or procedures
- Care must be taken not to use invasive procedures or damage the seller’s property
- Consideration for Inspector safety
- The inspection only covers those items that are visible and accessible at the time of inspection
A home inspection is a risk reduction tool designed to reflect, as accurately as possible, the visible condition of the home and represents a broad and sweeping stroke as to the condition of the major systems and components of the property at the time of the inspection. Property conditions can change in only a day or two, so a home inspection is not meant to guarantee the condition of a home in the future.
It’s not uncommon for conditions to change between the time of the inspection and the closing date.
We will discuss this information in greater detail in an upcoming post.
A large part of the real estate professional’s role as well as that of the home inspector is to help manage the expectations of the client. This is especially true when a client has never dealt with the home inspection process before. Explaining the limitations of a home inspection will help develop realistic expectations concerning the inspection report, and what lies beyond the scope of the inspection. Creating realistic expectations in a client’s mind helps prevent misunderstandings and promotes smooth real estate transactions.