In our household, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for lying. In fact, we have a motto that we say to each other often to remind us. "Lying is dangerous." We believe that once you start being dishonest about little things, it gets harder and harder to be honest about the big things. So here's what that has to do with you as you read this. I'm going to tell you the truth, the hardest truth a good home inspector has to tell. You ready?
I miss some things. *Yuck!* That feels awful to put into type. No matter how unpleasant it is to admit, though, it is true. When I go through I house, I aim to be as thorough as I can be. I try to poke into corners and dark places that you'll likely never see as long as you live in your home. I try to test everything I can to make sure that when I give you the report, you have all of the info you need. But I'm only in the house for a maximum of 6 hours. You'll be living there for years, so there's a pretty good chance that eventually you'll find something that I couldn't. Any good home inspector can confidently tell you that they work hard and study often to make sure they are doing their very best for you. Any good home inspector should also be able to admit that they might miss something.
I've only ever been called about 3 things that were perceived as misses. They were all little things and were all easily remedied. I never have a problem taking responsibility if there's something that I should have caught. Make sure the same is true for your inspector. When you are calling around asking for prices, ask them about how they handle misses. It's a touchy subject for sure, because we live in a litigious society that likes to get as much as possible out of every mistake. We're regularly reminded of the dangers of taking responsibility when we see so many lawsuits rolling around. Nevertheless, misses happen and you should know that your inspector is prepared to help when needed.
Here's another honest statement for you, one that's much more comfortable for me to make. I will work hard and study hard to ensure that I am being thorough and knowledgeable and accurate. I will give you the very best report that I feel is possible. I won't cut corners, and I will gladly have an honest talk with you if ever you feel I have missed something. That's a conversation I hope we won't ever need to have, but if it comes up, I'll shoot straight with you.
Want to know how you can avoid misses on your inspection? Follow these tips to get the very best information possible:
1. Follow your inspector through the inspection. It may make the inspection take longer, but you'll get to see everything your inspector sees in real time.
2. Ask any questions you have. Don't be shy about sounding uninformed or pesky. A silly little question could lead to a big revelation.
3. Check reviews and professional credentials/trade affiliations on your inspector. A good reputation will typically follow a good inspector.
4. Find out if your inspector does rechecks or callbacks and if there's a charge. We don't believe in charging a second fee to come back out and double check something, even if it's not a miss. You already paid for the info, shouldn't you get all of it?
5. Ask for references. It's an old fashioned thing that we used to do all the time, and it's still a good practice.
Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about an upcoming home inspection or if you want more brutal honesty. I'm always happy to help in any way I can.