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Know-It-All People

There will be times when you'll get a hostile seller, Realtor, or other third party at the site who will become very defensive during the home inspection. You'll find that these types of people are all experts in everything, yet they have no facts or knowledge to back up their statements. Just don't be intimidated by anyone - not even the client. If you're knowledgeable enough, you'll have plenty of confidence. So don't let anyone "ruffle your feathers" during an inspection.

You'll find that these types of people are all experts in everything, yet they have no facts or knowledge to back up their statements.

Once you learn this material well enough and you get 10 or so inspections under your belt you'll start to get a lot more confidence. That's why you shouldn't let any know-it-all Realtors or other third party people try to contradict you on any of your inspections. When I say know-it-all people, I'm talking about people involved in the transaction, other than your client.

You don't want to be arrogant or rude with your attitude. There will be times that you'll think you're right but you might find out later that you're wrong. You don't want to end up putting your foot in your mouth later. So just be confident, knowledgeable and honest. Don't imitate them by being a know-it-all yourself because two wrongs don't make a right. If that person is honest and sensible, they'll realize that you're much more knowledgeable than they are. For example, lets say you're checking the heating system or the roof and their age indicates that they're past the normal life expectancy for these items. The heating system might still be working and the roof might not be leaking, but they could be past their life expectancy. This is not uncommon and it happens all the time. I'll use a few analogies to make this point clearer.

Have you ever seen an old car that's still running? The old car is operating past its predicted life expectancy. It's also similar to driving a car with a flat tire. The car will move, but for how long and how far? Have you ever heard of someone living longer than their doctor predicted? They may be a heavy smoker, or have some form of cancer or an inherited disease, but they live longer than the doctor predicted. Are these three analogies the exception or the rule? I think they're the exception and it's the same thing with the different aspects of housing construction.

If you had a case, such as the one described above with an old roof and heating system, and you had a know-it-all person at the inspection, they might say to you: "Well, the heating system is working fine now and the roof isn't leaking so the client doesn't have to replace them." Just tell that person that if they want to guarantee to your client that the heating system and roof will last another 5 to 10 years, then go ahead and put it in writing for my client. But don't expect me, the home inspector, to get stuck holding the bag in eight months after this guy buys the house and his heating system dies or his roof starts leaking. That type of comeback will usually put an end to any know-it-all's comments. Basically you're telling that person that if they know so much more about houses than you do, then they should be willing to put their money where their mouth is. A know-it-all's reaction will be totally different when it's their neck and money that's on the line, as opposed to yours or your clients!

It's amazing to me when I come across Realtors who have taken a few basic classes related to  aspects of real estate and - Abracadabra - they're instant experts in every aspect of real estate!!!!

It's amazing to me when I come across Realtors or other third parties who have taken a few basic classes related to some of the different aspects of real estate and - Abracadabra - they're instant experts in every aspect of real estate!! (Or at least they think they are.) They become legends in their own minds. They think that after they take a few real estate related classes and tests (that just about anyone with a pulse can pass), and a few years of experience as a real estate agent, they instantly have more knowledge than: every home inspector, every real estate appraiser, every real estate investor, every real estate attorney, every home buyer and every home seller. I don't know how they do it. They must be giving out some magical pills or secret potion at these classes!

You may also come across sellers that get hostile. Sellers can get hostile when you try to tell your client about some problem conditions and items that need to be repaired at the subject property. Don't let them ruffle your feathers. My first real estate attorney used to say that there are two things that you can't tell a man: One is: That his property is overpriced; The other is: ...(Well, I've decided it wouldn't be appropriate for me to repeat the other item in this book. So I won't tell you. I'll just leave you in suspense.)

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