I did an inspection several years ago where something occurred that still bugs me. The buyer seemed pretty happy with the inspection and there was really only one major issue to “write home about.” It had the usual wiring issues, assorted plumbing issues (for a home of its age etc), and the all too common rodent infestation in the crawl space.
About a month after the inspection, the agent contacted me—-all upset and concerned that he might be getting sued. (I of course immediately translated the “I” to “we” might be getting sued.)
I pretended to be calm and collected, and asked him what the problem was. He said that it appeared there must have been a major rat infestation in the crawl space that got missed and the buyer was looking for $2,500.00 to pay the crawl space cleaning company—-as well as money for the Pest Control Operator to do their thing.
I was already starting to feel better because it just didn’t seem likely that I could possibly miss a major rodent infestation.
While we are talking on the phone, I am scurrying around loading the CD with the report on it into my computer to see what the report said about it. In the Summary of Significant Findings the report said: “There is considerable evidence of rodent activity throughout the crawl space, including dead rodents, rodent feces & urine, with much displacement of insulation and obvious rodent activity in the insulation. I recommend removal of all of the insulation and the vapor barrier by a qualified crawl space cleaning contractor. After clean up has been performed I recommend that I be called back for further evaluation/recommendation prior to re-insulating the crawl space with new insulation. I recommend proper treatment for rodents by a licensed Pest Control Operator including finding and properly covering any points of vermin entry to the crawl space. Obvious points of entry are the gravity drain at the SW corner and two crawl space vents with missing screens—-other points of entry are likely.”
I read this to him over the phone.
Insert: “Deafening Silence” here.
Finally he said something to the effect of: “Guess I should have read the report.”
So apparently it is not only the client that sometimes does not read the report—it would seem that some agents don’t as well.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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