I find the whole discussion about inspectors being “deal killers” interesting. I have come to embrace the notion that not all deal killers are created equal. What one person considers a “deal killer” is another person’s “butt saver.”
The key is coming to an understanding of what is important as well as what the difference is.
Once one figures out what is important, then it is easy to understand why one might even want an inspector that is known as a deal killer on one’s team.
If all a person is interested in is “closing the deal,” then one is likely to have a very narrow and negative connotation of “deal killer.” If one is solely focused on seeing that their client is “taken care of” to to highest possible standard, the term “deal killer” can merely mean that the inspector is on the same page as the agent in seeing the client taken care of.
Obviously this does not account for the fact that some inspectors and some agents do nothing to help themselves out with how they are perceived.
These few agents and inspectors should not reflect badly on the rest of the barrel that are actually trying to provide good service to their clients.
I am pretty sure that I have never had a client think of me as a “deal killer” but probably frequently as a “butt saver.” Most, while perhaps disappointed that the house did not work out, are generally grateful for being saved from something they were not willing to take on.
Agents on the other hand fall into two camps. The first camp of agents are the few that most likely think I killed the deal–for a host of reasons. Although, quantifying what exactly I should have “left out,” or how I should have communicated the concern, in order for the deal to have not gone South would have been very difficult.
Figuring out what should be “left out” is no place any inspector should ever have to go. Of course these agents will sometimes argue that it is the “way” the information was conveyed that is the problem, not the information itself. I find, with rare exception, that this might be a smoke screen for them merely being bummed that they are back to square one finding a home for the client. There is sometimes simply no “euphemistic” way to say there are two many rats in the attic, that the crawl space would make a better swimming pool, or that the foundation has a 6” crack in it behind the furnace where nobody looked (that accounts for the living room being a bowling alley).
The second camp of agents are those that know that I have protected both the buyer and the agent from problems that neither the buyer or the agent would have wanted left out of the report. Because these agents recommend me because I am a “deal killer” I have already passed the test of “how” I impart the information to the client. These agents have already shifted gears and are on to exploring other options for the client even before they get the report back. It is all merely part of the “process”–otherwise why bother with inspections at all?
Sometimes you simply have to be bad to be good.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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