Camelot Home Inspection Services of the CA Central Coast

First Time Homebuyer? Read This First! (Cont.)

So, ultimately, the buyer ends up with a “clean” home inspection report from a "home inspector" they never met, who never reported their findings (if any) to them, and who wasn’t even qualified to do the job in the first place. And, months later, sometimes even years later, once everyone else has pocketed their money and moved on down the road, the buyer is left with what turns out to be not such a clean inspection report after all. Problems begin to surface that should have been found and reported but never were. Sometimes very big and very costly problems.

But what can you, the buyer, do at this point? Sue the sellers for not disclosing the problems? Can you prove that they knew about them? And if so, what if they’ve moved out of the state? Out of the country? Do you sue the agents? The agents (if they are still in the business) will say that it wasn’t their fault, that the home inspector should have found the problems. Go sue the home inspector, they'll tell you. But even if you can find the inspector, you’ll likely discover that he/she has no errors and omissions (E&O) insurance and no high-value assets. And you can’t get blood from a stone, as the saying goes. So even if you hire a lawyer to sue the inspector, there’s nothing to be gained financially anyway.

It appears that you've lost. The problems that went undiscovered and unreported remain your problems. All because you believed that your agent had your best interests in mind. All because you relied on your agent to do the right thing; to hire somebody who had the experience and knowledge needed to do the job right and help protect your investment. However, if you've actually taken the time to read this all the way to the end, and it's not already too late, you can forego this nightmare altogether by hiring your own home inspector. Someone you've vetted for yourself and whose credentials are impeccable. Someone who has many years of experience. Sure, they might cost you a little more, but wouldn't it be worth it?

Note: I am not at all suggesting that all real estate agents cannot be trusted or are dishonest. In fact, far from it. In my 27 years as a home inspector I have encountered a good many agents whom I would trust to look out for my best interests and many that I would call friends. However, I have also met a good number that are obviously placing their own interests first. So, unless your agent is an old friend or family member that you have known for a long time and can trust implicitly, don't assume that your agent is suddenly your new best friend just because he/she treats you like one. You'll likely discover that it's just a temporary phenomenon...

Copyright © 2018 Martin Hewitt. All rights reserved.

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