Another example of “collateral damage” in the current Real Estate mess (which I think is actually leveling off and/or turning around)—-that most of the country finds itself—-is that home inspectors sometimes find themselves being unintentional “deal killers”—-including this Seattle Home Inspector.
Before the bubble burst, it was much less common for a home inspector to kill a deal in such a way that the house might not sell in a timely fashion. This was because if one buyer walked away there might be 10 others waiting in the wings. Previously, while a home inspector might nix the deal for a particular agent involved, the sale at least would likely happen even if it was for some other agent—-and in a timely fashion.
Right after the bubble burst, with so many distressed properties for sale, there were a great many more issues that came up that justified more caution on the part of buyers—-especially first time buyers without the cash reserves to fix the additional issues found at these properties.
The odds are stacked against a house having been properly maintained—-if the owner was not able to pay the mortgage in the first place.
Add to this that some of these homes get vandalized by unhappy owners being forced to leave, or that homes are trashed by being winterized and we end up with the “perfect storm” for the home inspector to “write a book” about. Many of these places look like they have been hit by a tornado —-followed by a hurricane to “smooth things over.”
The result was that more buyers walked away after the inspection—-and it was more likely that there would not be ten people waiting in the wings. Now the houses are in the same condition, but at least, once again, there is more likely to be 10 people waiting in the wings due to lack of inventory and pent up demand.
Inspectors are not “deal killers.” Each house has a “story”—-we merely write that story down. It is up to the agent and the buyer to sort out how these storms have compromised the deal.
More inventory would certainly help the situation.
The whole mess certainly has little to do with the agents or the home inspectors.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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