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Tue, Jun 19th - 9:42AM

Home Inspector Ethics

Purchasing Real Estate is not for the faint of heart. Purchasers of new and used homes expect their dream home to be completely free of defects. Hiring a home inspector is their reassurance that their expectations will be met when they inhabit their dream home. Why, you ask, are countless claims are made against inspectors, Realtors and sellers for sundry defects that were not disclosed at the time of purchase. Some of these claims are valid, but some are not. Some of the conditions found after the buyers move in were not apparent at the time of the transaction, while others were plainly visible but were simply missed by the inspector. Sometimes these misses are the result of mere human error, but there are also times when they reflect professional negligence. Unfortunately, some negligent inspectors may not take responsibility for mistakes, while the true professional will step up to the plate and accept responsibility for his errors.
In all fields of human effort, errors are inevitable. Even the most competent and experienced home inspectors miss apparent defects and are sometimes called to account. When a professional home inspector gets the call from a client he is faced with an ethical dilemma that may or may not cause him to act as professional. If, in fact, he had missed a defect that was visible at the time of the inspection, he should immediately proceed to rectify the defect for the client.
As soon as the call is received, the home inspector, should show the appropriate concern and make a visit to the home as soon as possible. Apparent disinterest is like salt in a wound, aggravating a situation that is already uncomfortable and which may be teetering between resolution and conflict. An honest and proactive show of interest can often defuse a sensitive and potentially explosive situation. Sometimes a few hours or dollars invested can save thousands of dollars of needless legal warfare, while cementing a lasting relationship and bolstering a good reputation. Often, the reported problem turns out to be minor, the inspector provides reassurance, and an avoidable dispute is laid to rest.
Buyers should be aware that the primary purpose of a home inspection is not to provide a list of every minor flaw and cosmetic defect, but to identify major defects and problems. Many home inspectors include other disclosures as a courtesy, to provide a more complete overview of the general condition of the property and to give the home purchaser a list of maintenance type issues that may be required. Holding an inspector liable for nondisclosure of minor problems, such as a loose fence, doors that rub or a window that is painted shut, is inappropriate and is not within the scope of the home inspection.
Finally, home inspectors work for the home buyer, and provide a valuable service. I enjoy my job and always ensure that my personal service to the client is a positive experience that they will remember and hopefully pass on to friends and family. I have done many 2nd generation inspections that were the result of clients that were extremely happy with my service.

Article Source:

Roger Frost is the founder of Napoleon Home Inspections. Read more articles on home improvement and renovations at and ask experts questions at , where you can ask trades people questions on common home problems.

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