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  1. #1
    David Cortez's Avatar
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    Default When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I've been back and forth about this one. I'm in the position as a home buyer. I want to know if you've done or would do your own buyers inspections or would you pay someone else? On one hand, I'm very confident in my abilities and ask people to trust my knowledge, skills, an experience so why wouldn't I trust myself? On the other hand, maybe I just want a house enough that I might overlook something? I seriously doubt it though. I really can't see paying someone else to do what I'm paid to do. I'd appreciate your thoughts and thanks in advance!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by David Cortez View Post
    I really can't see paying someone else to do what I'm paid to do. I'd appreciate your thoughts and thanks in advance!
    Trust me, you will be glad you paid someone else.

    When we moved up here to Ormond Beach I hired an inspector friend from Melbourne (1-1/2 hours south of here) to come up for the day and inspect the house.

    As much as I knew that I would see, I also knew that I would, to some extent, be looking through those rose-colored glasses that all buyers wear when looking at their next new house.

    I am glad I hired him - absolutely no regrets.

    Looking at false saving to try to scrimp on an inspector - would you want someone to try to scrimp on hiring you ... 'I don't need an inspector, I've already owned and repaired xx number of houses, what the the inspector find that I can't?'

    That kind of thinking is just as crazy for you to do as for them to do.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Try negotiating your findings with the sellers on an inspection report written by yourself. Good luck.

    When I bought my place a friend (another ASHI inspector) and myself went through it. He wrote up the report and didn't charge me a dime. I've done it for several other inspectors in return.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Hire an independent person.

    Your own inspection and report could be argued to be a conflict of interest and subjective.

    When I purchased my home I hired an Architect to inspect the house.


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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Inspect it yourself.

    No one would look at it in more detail than you, especially if it is your own home. I can't see how anyone can think that someone else would do a better job. (unless they are lacking knowledge in some areas)

    An inspection is not a requirement for the purchase of a home. If you have an addendum clause for an inspection by a licensed inspector and you want to do it yourself, you should state that in "your" addendum. It's your offer.
    "You the Man"

    If you discover issues during the inspection and you need to discuss those with the seller, then there should be no issues if you state the facts. If you already knew those issues and you're trying to "low ball" then the seller then there is always a chance of the seller not willing to negotiate. This is true in most all sales.

    If you handle it professionally, you can't go wrong.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Inspect it yourself.

    No one would look at it in more detail than you, especially if it is your own home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Try negotiating your findings with the sellers on an inspection report written by yourself. Good luck.
    I have to agree with Ken Rowe on this one.

    One would have to be crazy to think they could inspect a house they were buying and then expect the seller to give a crap about what was in the report.

    Complete and total conflict of interest.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
    David Cortez's Avatar
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Thanks for all the replies thus far. One other piece of info; this is a forclosed home. I'm already bidding against multiple prospective buyers, so there will be no negotiating based on the report. It's either I buy the house at the price I offered($40k under taxed value) or they move on to the next buyer. So it's really a thumbs up or down inspection. If there are no major flaws, I'm in. Also the home was built in 2005.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I would recommend having an HI you know do the inspection on a house an HI is looking to buy. No conflict and it shouldn't cost you anything.
    If one of the HI's I know called me for their house I wouldn't charge them beyond lunch. I doubt they would charge me either. There is a group of us here who refer work to each other, have dinner, etc. If you aren't associating with other HI's then you may want to consider starting.
    As far as doing it yourself, I wouldn't bother with a report. Do a thorough walk through and tell the Seller you found various issues of concern and want to re-negotiate. In this case though that doesn't sound feasible.
    On a house we purchased I did a walk through and our attorney sent the Seller a list of concerns with a new offer. Offer contained new price and take it or leave it OR we'll hire an HI for a complete inspection and then re-negotiate. They took the first option.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    If one of the HI's I know called me for their house I wouldn't charge them beyond lunch. I doubt they would charge me either. There is a group of us here who refer work to each other, have dinner, etc.
    First thing I did when I called the other inspector for my house was to state that I wanted to pay the going rate, and that I know this inspection will take longer, so I will pay more.

    Same thing when our daughter bought a house in South Florida a year and a half ago - I called an inspector I knew, but he couldn't do it in the time frame we needed it, so he called another inspector (whom I also knew) and I paid him the going rate.

    Yes, it is important ... VERY ... important to associate with other inspectors in your area, we did all the time too, and helped each other out, but, come'on guys, you are buying a house, pay for the inspection. Keep it all above board.

    Having the inspection done for free does not remove the "appearance" of a conflict. While it may be slightly better than doing it yourself, there is still "the appearance" of a conflict.

    If you are buying it as an investment and you cannot afford to pay for the inspection ... you should think twice about buying it and if you can afford it. Jeez.

    Markus is right on this though: "As far as doing it yourself, I wouldn't bother with a report. Do a thorough walk through and tell the Seller you found various issues of concern and want to re-negotiate." and if there is no re-negotiation as you are saying, then your walkthrough will allow you to either:
    - a) make a offer you can live with if they accept it
    - b) walk away because of what you saw
    - c) make a low ball offer and be prepared to walkway if they do not accept it

    This is a grown-ups game and a business, treat it as such.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    My experience is a little different than what others have said.
    I have bought 12 properties in the past seven years.
    I inspected every one myself. I feel I am a am as good of an inspector as most, an better than many. Most of the properties were bank owned but not all. After my inspection I was able to negotiate the asking price almost every time, even with the bank owned properties. If you are qualified to inspect property for someone else, then you should have no problems trusting yourself on your own property.
    Trust yourself (if your qualified to do a good job), report the problems to the seller, grow some balls, and let the negotiations begin.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    If the home is absolutely as is then there is no negotiations. There is no addendum for repair. There is no one that cares about what you find.......maybe.

    I have seen many an as is home that had major malfunctions and the seller/bank actually did a couple of the major items like foundation or hazardous safety issues. That is usually after a few buyers bagged out due to cot of repairs. They sit on it long enough and they will do something. That does not happen that often and I would say the inspection you do digging thru the home would be just fine on your own.

    You obviously have confidence in yourself and have checked on similar sized homes in your area for what they have sold for recently.

    Getting a good deal

    Go for it.


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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    David,
    It boils down to a couple of questions that must not be ego driven.
    1) How good are you at inspecting a house?
    1a) Is there some one else that is better than you?
    2) Would you go beyond what you normally do for an inspection?
    2a) Would you expect someone else to go beyond what they normally do for an inspection?
    3) Can you be absolutely objective when inspecting the property?
    4) Can you be objective about the real value of the property based on what you see?
    5) Are you willing to sue yourself for what you miss in the inspection?
    6) Are you willing to sit down and write a report in detail ?
    7) Are you willing to sit down and read your report without getting emotional and react to the report dispassionately?

    Determine what will used to value the property.
    Then,
    Make your bid on its value to you.
    P.S. It is still a bad market and it will be a bad market for years to come.


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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    David,
    It boils down to a couple of questions that must not be ego driven.
    1) How good are you at inspecting a house?
    1a) Is there some one else that is better than you?
    2) Would you go beyond what you normally do for an inspection?
    2a) Would you expect someone else to go beyond what they normally do for an inspection?
    3) Can you be absolutely objective when inspecting the property?
    4) Can you be objective about the real value of the property based on what you see?
    5) Are you willing to sue yourself for what you miss in the inspection?
    6) Are you willing to sit down and write a report in detail ?
    7) Are you willing to sit down and read your report without getting emotional and react to the report dispassionately?

    Determine what will used to value the property.
    Then,
    Make your bid on its value to you.
    P.S. It is still a bad market and it will be a bad market for years to come.
    I disagree on many of your points, although some of the other points are valid.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Let's not loose site of what the purpose of an inspection is.

    1. It's to get to know more about the condition of the home.
    2. It's allows you to get out of the deal if you "discover" things that you were not aware of when you made the offer.

    After this discovery process you then have a few options per the contract and inspection addendum: (which you control - it's your contract)

    1. Buy the home as is.
    2. Walk away and get your money back.
    3. Go back to the owner to re-negotiate your offer.

    You don't need someone else to tell you what condition the home is in.
    You are the EXPERT. You are the BUYER. YOU select the option best for you.

    Getting others involved adds no value. The whole thing is a bit ridiculous!

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Also keep in mind it is a violation of many association's code of ethics to inspect a property you have a financial interest in.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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    Smile Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    David,

    FWIW - I completely agree w/Jerry's logic.

    Have it inspected by the best inspector you can find (not you, in this case).
    Read the report.
    Price the defects and other recommendations.
    See if you still "like" the house.

    Send the lender a reduced offer and state why if that is your conclusion.
    I always feel that "as is" is nothing more than the seller's recommendation - go figure.

    This is a business decision.

    Of course, you'd want to "tour the home" a couple of times before the inspection.

    Also, we highly encourage the buyer to attend the inspection

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

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    Cool Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Hello Dave, after reading some of the post, they all seem to be pretty reasonable suggestions. I am about to close escrow on a house that I'm buying and did my own inspection. I am also a former Real Estate agent which may have helped me a little in the process. I chose to do my own because I could. I told the agent to handle all objections to doing my own inspection which he did and because there is no law that said I could not, I went for it, and it went well. So with that in mind if the law in your area doesn't prevent it, go for it and let your agent deal with any objections they may have. Real Estate agents buy property all the time and represent themselves all the time, no one is telling them they cant.

    Good luck,

    Rick
    PS: By the way mine was also a foreclosure and I requested repairs and was able to get them.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    The bank may require you to hire an independent inspector, but I would still do my own, to make that everything was reported correctly, and so I would know for myself exactly what I need to know about the home in question that I wanted to buy.


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    Cool Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I will you a cliff note on what happened with my transaction. It was a Foreclsure with FHA financing. I did my own inspection; bank wanted the appraiser to do the FHA inspection. Keeping in mind that appraisers valuate property and do not have the true knowledge of an HI, I provided to the appraiser copy of my inspection, and I also recommended that the HVAC needed to be inspected by an HVAC tech. The tech found a cracked heat exchanger and gave me a copy of the HVAC report. HVAC was too old to repair to a new furnace was recommended. I gave a copy of the HVAC report to the appraiser and guess what came up on the appraisal report. Do not rely on an appraiser to do a quality detailed inspection. Bank never requested an independent inspection but did specify FHA inspection by a license appraiser, which is wrong, but I played the game. Do your inspection and be ready to give it to the appraiser, good luck. Once again, great advice from good people.

    Rick


  20. #20
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I bought a condo as an investment to rent
    It has been occupied by the same tenant for 5 years
    The condo was five years old
    As an inspector I inspected it
    On every home I inspect I test the alarm fuction on smoke alarms
    On this inspection I found that the hard wired smoke alarms were not plugged in & none had batteries
    I asked the tenant if he ever replaced the batteries
    He said never in five years
    I disagree that an inspector should get another inspector
    By the way the tenant is a single disabled man confined to a wheel chair
    I guess that says something about my abilty to inspect
    I have asked many inspectors in my area if they check smoke alarms an they all said no
    I inspect evry home as if myself and my family were going to live in it


  21. #21
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Boy, I never inspected a single one of my home purchases...

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Boy, I never inspected a single one of my home purchases...

    When you are in love, you overlook the flaws.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    FWIW,

    I just bought a home and I inspected it. There was some issues but non that big that I felt I had to negotiate anything.

    If I did find something I would have all the documentation needed to verify the finding. This would be no different than another inspector finding it. So if you know what you can live with then go for it.

    If you are good at your job you should be the best judge. When you where looking at homes you must of thrown a few out because of issues found during the walk through.

    Now that said having a second opinion is never a bad idea.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    What about the 500 pound white guerilla; the realtor? When my wife and I starting looking for a house recently, another inspector told me that I didn't need a realtor for the transaction. I think that's like telling a clueless civilian home buyer to bypass the services of a professional home inspector.

    The problem I was having was that in the 3 years that I've been working the DFW area, and after all the realtors that I've come across, I wouldn't trust any one of them to help me out. Since day one my feelings about realtors have been pretty much in line with all of you: they are guilty until proven innocent.

    I don't mind admitting that in a round about way I got lucky and found a excellent Realtor (yes it's in cap this time). She fought an incredible fight with the listing agent who didn't care about the finer points of a sales contract. I got a brand new $8000 roof, $10,000 dollars worth of slab leaks and plumbing repairs and a new $1500 water heater. I also got two inspection jobs; one from one of her associates and one from my lender.

    Who did my inspection? I did, or should I say my wife did. In this case she turned out to be the better inspector. Again lucky for me, the listing agent and the seller never asked what business I was in and they just saw a list of our demands. They never asked to see the full report which would have had my name on it.

    And as far as the conflict of interest is concerned, my interests were never in conflict.


  25. #25
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    "Since day one my feelings about realtors have been pretty much in line with all of you: they are guilty until proven innocent."

    Frank,
    Not all of us feel this way about Realtors. They're just people, some good, some not so good. The same can be said of preachers.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    When you are in love, you overlook the flaws.
    I suppose...I just never seemed to have the time and besides they were all new so I figured...what could possibly go wrong with a new house...

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  27. #27
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    "Since day one my feelings about realtors have been pretty much in line with all of you: they are guilty until proven innocent."

    Frank,
    Not all of us feel this way about Realtors. They're just people, some good, some not so good. The same can be said of preachers.
    I like rrealtors better than most preachers


  28. #28
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    Cool Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I just closed escrow on a home I inspected for myself. It was a foreclosure with FHA financing. I got most of what I requested: New furnace, new stove, miscellanous repairs. Although the process was a bear, having a real estate license my self gave me an advantage. I did not submit the offer myself I had another realtor do it. I micromanaged from a far. But at the end we got a fair deal and I never felt conflicted by doing my own inspection. As long as your honest in your findings all should go well, good luck.

    Rick


  29. #29
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Conflicts of interest are only harmful when a dishonest person is involved.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Also keep in mind it is a violation of many association's code of ethics to inspect a property you have a financial interest in.
    Ken,
    Confused on your comment.
    Where is there a violation on the buyer who is a HI performing an inspection for his own purposes? Unlike a Realtor acting as the listing/selling agent which requires disclosure that the seller is the owner and agent of the property. Where is the violation for the HI? Every buyer that looks at a property before making an offer is performing some type of inspection. If a buyer is a HI and writes a report that is submitted to the seller in conjunction with a contract to purchase that report would have their Lic and other identifying information on that report, thus giving the seller notice and no conflict.

    If you are selling a property and offer an inspection report on your own property to potential buyers without notice that the Hi is the seller/owner then there would be a possible conflict.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I'm for hiring someone else..
    I often see buyers in the trades dismiss small items with the comment, ahh that's minor I can fix that my self..
    After a while that minor stuff can add up to a lot of stuff, and $s, if it's not in writing or on a report.

    Yep, after 14 years most of that " ahh thats minor stuff" is still not fixed at my home, and they still keep popping up on my honey do lists every few months

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 03-06-2012 at 08:27 AM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    I sold my last home FSBO. I inspected it, heck, I built it, and wrote up a 9 page disclosure form, one I found on the net (Idaho?). The buyer did a quick inspection, popped his head up in the attic. He liked all the disclosures, and didn't feel like getting all dirty in the crawlspace. We got Notary Publics to do the legal transfers and title search. My NP cost me $350.

    Then when we bought this place, we got a realtor to help us find it. He knew another realtor who had just told him about this listing. We were the second viewers. That is how an agent can get you ahead of the pack. We liked the location and disliked the house, but saw potential. Ocean view on a deadend road. Put in an offer subject to a home inspection. I was going to see how another inspector operated, pick up some ideas, maybe.
    Properties were selling fast at the time, don't ask me why. The other people put in a higher offer. My agent called me and told us the bad news. I said, we'll match that and skip the inspection. Two hours later, the shack was ours. In four years, we've renovated most of the rooms with a couple to go. Drainage, roofing, crawlspace, carpets, paint, kitchen, bathrooms, you name it.
    The inspection report would have been long and depressing. I'm glad we skipped it.

    Hire an inspector you can learn from. Cheap entertainment. Offer to exchange jobs when you're busy, etc. Networking is good.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  33. #33
    Robert Pike's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: When an inspector becomes a buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Also keep in mind it is a violation of many association's code of ethics to inspect a property you have a financial interest in.
    Thanks exactly how I think. I your to cheap to pay for an inspection, or at least exchange services than why should a contractor hire you to do his purchase ?


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