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Thread: My first post

  1. #1
    Frederick Reed's Avatar
    Frederick Reed Guest

    Question My first post

    I've been a long time reader but never posted. I have a question. I recently did an inspection of a 2 year old home. Looks like a lot of work was completed by the owner. Mostly cosmetic issues. The water heater was the first major issue I came across with both water connections being corroded. I noted this as well as showed the buyer, who is a very alert and well informed homeowner. He is also a Sgt. Major in the Army. We talked about the connections and why they would be corroded at this point. The home was supplied by well water until recently. The tank is 40 gallons and he asked me if it would be large enough for them. I had met his wife earlier and assumed it was just the two of them. I explained that normally 40 gallons would be sufficient for the 2 of them. He then told me he had 3 children, one of which was a teenage girl who like to shower for an hour. I explained to him that he would definietly be taking cold showers with this scenario. I recommended upgrading the water heater. He took that recommendation and is currently squeezing the listing and selling agents to do just that. At their cost, since the previous negotiations worked the sales price to a minimum. My question is "Did I do anything wrong by answering his question and recommending an upgrade?" Both agents are mad with me!
    I know the situation would have been, buy the house, no hot water, call the plumber. Plumber would ask about home inspection. Buyer would complain to agents, agents would say Fred would not normally miss that. Fred would be chastized and be giving money back for inspection. I am also a realtor. I work both careers. I think I am always fair to buyers,sellers and agents. I don't get picky. Let me hear your opinions. Thanks.

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    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: My first post

    That is actually quite a common question. As far as recommending a second water heater hooked in tandem with the first or a larger water heater, you were recommending the obvious. As far as writing in your report that the water heater was in need of repair, well, that would have been wrong if it were working well and in good repair. As far as a 3 bed 2 bath home (or larger) with a 40 gallon water heater, well that is a bit small.

    I think you did the right thing. Three children and one being a teenage girl that takes and hour shower (I had three girls) there would only be one catching a shower with 40 gallons.

    Don't worry about the agents. (I know, you are one) That my be a new topic for discussion.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: My first post

    You already know the correct answer. And they are mad at you because they know you did the right thing but broke ranks from the usual realtor deception and told the truth. There may just be hope for you yet. Congrats.
    Tell them to look up the realtor code of ethics for your state and see what it says about telling the truth to your client.
    Better yet print it out and wave it under their noses and watch them cringe.
    In my state you cannot be a realtor and a home inspector as it is considered a conflict of interest.
    The truth, what a concept!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: My first post

    Yes and Ted's right. I would not put in my report that the water heater is defective, just the fact that it may not produce the required amounts for a family of 5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN

    Default Re: My first post

    Well, a 40 gallon W/H can work just fine for a two bathroom home if folks use the water wisely. I had a 40 gallon tank for years with a family of five. It was understood in our family that when the water became cool that it was time to get out of the bath or shower!

    Now as for what you did. You told your client that they might run out of hot water. Well, that it most likely a true statement to a point. Then your client based on that information and most likely the knowledge that he already had is using that to leverage an upgrade on the home he is buying.

    It is an upgrade to an existing system that does not need to be upgraded. If the owner won't do it and the buyer is going to walk, then the agents need to pony up the money if they want the sale to work. Not really your fault, but us home inspectors are blamed for many things like this.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN

  6. #6
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: My first post

    Frederick. I think you did do something not so right and not so wrong. Its not what you stated to the buyer but maybe the way you stated it.
    you got caught in the center of something. This time it was a hot water heater next time ? There is good to come out of this.
    As you will think about this for a long time. How did this come about?
    Just what did you say that sent this thing into orbit?
    Dont get me wrong im on your side.

    This buyer put your name on his new water heater to the agents.

    Thats what put this thing in Orbit.

    Put this one in the book of. ( caught in the center )



    P.S. Wellcome.

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 06-23-2008 at 08:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Rockwall Texas

    Default Re: My first post

    You gave an opinion. No harm.

    If you had written in a report it may be a different story.

    You have to remember that when your on an inspection you wear your inspection cap and do your job of inspecting. When your an agent, you put on that gold jacket and leave you HI cap under the front seat.


  8. #8
    Frederick Reed's Avatar
    Frederick Reed Guest

    Smile Re: My first post

    Thanks to all of you for answering my post. I normally would not have been in that position. If it weren't for the corroded connections on the tank, the question probably never would have come up. I have been an inspector for 8 years and an agent for 3 of those. I rarely advertise, but have several agents who recommend me to their clients. I don't work nearly as hard as I once did inspecting. I am focusing on the realtor side of the business. I will have my brokers license in December if all goes well. I will always work some as an inspector, but selectively and never on anything having to do with my office or an agent in my office. I feel that me working as an inspector has made me a much better realtor. I definitely keep my two hats seperated though. As a realtor I am bound by law to disclose if I am aware of any issues or situations. I always recommend an inspection, both pre-list and for buyers. When I first became a realtor I made the mistake of inspecting the property my buyer had contracted. It was a distressed sale, mother had to take over payments for daughter and husband. There were drugs involved. The home needed work and the price we offered reflected this, they accepted and the buyer wanted an inspection. I did it and when he got done beating up the seller, who was a little old lady, I was completely embarrassed and realized then what a conflict of interest was. It all worked out and I swore never to go there again.

    I spoke with the selling agent about the water heater today, the buyer is getting an upgrade because the plumber said the tank was rusted as well as the connections. Lots of iron in the well water. I have learned a lesson here and will strive to not make it again in the future. Again, thanks for everyones' time.

  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: My first post

    In NC if the water heater was performing it's intended function and not in need of immediate repair then it is not a repair item and should not be on the summary page. The size of the heater is not a factor in this case. Hot water at the faucet is all you need if the heater is not leaking.

    I inspected a house a couple of years ago and when the folks moved in they only had about half a tank of hot water before it got cold. They had a home warranty so they call the warranty company. The service guy said that I had missed a malfunctioning heater so they would not replace it in warranty. I told them that I did a function test as prescribed by the NCHILB guidelines and not a volume test. They replaced the heater for the homeowner.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: My first post

    Some of you are missing important parts of Fredrick's post and putting completely different wording in its place.

    Regarding what Fredrick *actually said*, he said nothing wrong, nor did anything wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Reed View Post
    I recommended upgrading ...
    No, you did nothing wrong.

    He took that recommendation and is currently squeezing the listing and selling agents to do just that. At their cost, since the previous negotiations worked the sales price to a minimum. My question is "Did I do anything wrong by answering his question and recommending an upgrade?" Both agents are mad with me!
    The only thing I see which you did (do) wrong is you work both sides of the fence.

    No wonder the other real estate agents are mad at you.

    Your completely logical and truthful comment as a Home Inspector turned the other side (the Real Estate Agent side) of the fence you straddle into mud, and those agents got stuck in it.

    "The agents" were expecting you to protect "the agents" side - and you did not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )


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