Tell Your Client To Ignore The Hypocrites
I'm bothered by dishonest and/or ignorant Realtors and other third party people who inaccurately tell your client that everything is just fine and dandy about the house they're interested in buying. They may tell your client that nothing needs to be repaired or evaluated further, when in reality there are repairs needed. I'm bothered by this because they're such hypocrites! (Of course they know better than you what's good for your client. You're just very well trained and experienced in doing home inspections, but somehow they know more than you do.) Do you think they would make the same comments and statements if THEY were buying the house and not your client? NOT A CHANCE!!! That's what makes them such hypocrites. I'll give you some imaginary examples that will make you laugh but you'll have to agree they do get the point across.
Do you think they would make the same comments and statements if they were buying the house and not your client? NOT A CHANCE!!!
- What if they were your client at the inspection and you said to them, "The septic system passed the dye test. However, it's only a very limited test procedure because the septic system is underground and can't be seen. Also, the owner stated the system hasn't been pumped clean in two years. So you have to get a septic contractor to pump the system and do an internal inspection to make sure it's OK."
- Could you picture that third party person, (if they were your client) turning to you and saying, "Oh, well I don't need to get the septic pumped and internally inspected. The dye test is good enough for me. After all it only has to be pumped every 2-3 years so I've got another year before I have to spend any money on maintaining the system. "
- What if you said to them, "I tried to turn on the air-conditioning system by using the normal thermostat control on the wall. It won't turn on so you should have the system checked out by a licensed A/C contractor to determine what repairs are needed."
- Could you picture that third party person responding to that by saying, "You're wrong Mr. Inspector, I don't need to get a contractor to check out the A/C system. The seller and the Realtor both told me that it works fine. They just can't seem to turn it on now. It must be a loose wire inside the thermostat. My husband can fix that himself after we move in."
- How about if you told them, "You have a lead water main line in the house. You have to get an estimate to have a new water main line installed. Lead is a very serious health concern for adults and especially or children."
- Of course they'd answer this by saying, "You're totally over exaggerating. My friend lives right down the block and he has four children. They have been living with a lead water main in their house for 14 years and not one person in his family has been sick a day in their life."
- Let's say you found asbestos and you informed them, "There is some asbestos on the visible heating pipes in the lower level. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you have it professionally removed by an EPA licensed contractor for safety. It will not only be a health benefit but it will also help when you go to sell the house down the road to have the asbestos professionally removed."
- Of course they would answer this by saying, "Oh no, I only have to wrap some duct tape around the asbestos. I don't need to hire EPA licensed contractors. That whole asbestos thing is just an over reaction by some alarmist people in the asbestos removal business who are trying to make money by scaring people."
- What if you found termite damaged wood and you said to them, "There is some termite damage in the base of the garage door. I didn't see the termites crawling inside the wood but then again, it's very, very rare to actually see them in the damaged areas. It's highly recommended that you have the house treated by a licensed Pest Control Operator because the termites could be in nonvisible areas of the house."
- Upon hearing this, their response would be, "As long as there are no active termites crawling around in the visible areas of the house or in the damaged wood, then I have no need to be concerned with getting the house treated by a PCO. My friend Ralph told me the only time a treatment is necessary is when you actually see the termites. Ralph knows what he's talking about; he teaches math at the university."
He said, "They wheel the Bible out when it's good for them and then they wheel it back in when it's not good for them."
Now these examples may seem a little bit carried away and they do have some humor in them. There is a point that I'm trying to make with these examples. That is there's no way any third party who contradicts you on an inspection would have the same reaction and comments if they were the ones buying the house, as opposed to your client. I had a teacher in one of my religion classes in high school who used a great example that fits this type of situation perfectly. He was talking about how some people hide behind the Bible with their actions and use it only when it's convenient and when it benefits them. He said, "They wheel the Bible out when it's good for them and then they wheel it back in when it's not good for them." People who do that are kidding themselves and are hypocrites by their actions.
It's no different with a third party that contradicts the facts during an inspection. They're simply being hypocrites when they contradict you. They're hypocrites and contradicting you because it benefits THEIR wallet and not your client's! All you're trying to do is tell your client the facts and realities about buying a house. It doesn't matter if they're buying this house, or the house down the block. You just want your client to go into the deal with his/her eyes open.
Don't over exaggerate things but at the same time don't let some ignorant, greedy or immoral seller, Realtor, or other third party try to sugar coat anything either. And if you ever have a real problem with a seller, a Realtor, or another third party contradicting what you say to your client just ask them, "What if the tables were turned and YOU were buying this house and my client told YOU not to worry about the asbestos, (or whatever else you're discussing). Would YOU take his word for it and not listen to the inspector that YOU hired who is the expert in his field? " Don't be surprised if they swallow their tongue or fumble for words to answer a question like that.