Anyone that watches HGTV has probably watched famous Contractor Mike Holmes from the shows Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection. I often enjoy the shows but like many contractors and home inspectors I don’t totally agree with everything on the show but I do agree with some statements from a recent interiview with Mike Holmes. I agree that what appear to be obvious defects that are missed. The Home Inspection process is a visual non-intrusive, not technically exhaustive inspection. The inspector is to give his opinion of the visible condition of the home at that day and time. We don’t have the luxury of tearing into walls and moving items. Can you imagine what a seller would think if the inspector did that stuff? Since Mike Holmes comes in after the buyer has purchased the home he can tear into the home in a way the inspector can’t. We have no idea on how the home was during the inspection. There is a whole list of variables that can affect the inspection.
In a recent interview of Mike Holmes about Home Inspections he stated that he believes that the perfect Home Inspection can be done and it starts with education and being more thorough. I would agree with this statement.I take pride in my job by being thorough and taking tons of education. I read newsletters, magazines, and talk to trades people to keep up with the times. No one knows everything and no one should think they do. This is one area I think is to blame for defects being over looked.
Another point made was for the buyer to get the inspector upfront before they start looking and eliminate the agent out of the loop. I find this interesting. I do occasionally get buyers that hire me directly because they are worried about the connection between the Home Inspector and Sales Person. Home Inspectors have often been called “Deal Killers” by others in real estate. Due to this some Home Inspectors may write soft reports to keep the agent that provides repeat business happy. This is another area to blame for defects not making it into the report. I believe the Home Inspector is there to report what is seen and not pick and choose unless that’s what the buyer has asked for.
The comment I like the most from Mike Holmes is that the price of Home Inspections is too low and should start at $1000. Mike states his inspection company does an in depth inspection using snake cameras starts at $525, for a basic inspection on a 2500 square foot house, and a more detailed inspection with an Infrared scan $925. I’m all for this. I can pull this equipment currently for a Home Inspection but the majority of the time there is no desire to pay more for a better inspection. The minimum is what the vast majority of the people are willing to pay for. In the Reno area a Home Inspection is in the $300 range.
From the feedback I’ve received I do a more in depth inspection and that’s what I strive for but should I start offering $1000 inspections? I guess stay tuned to find out.
Mike Holmes was interviewed by Rick Bunzel the principal inspector with Pacific Crest Inspections. http://www.paccrestinspections.com/Articles/Interview%20with%20Mike%20Holmes%20By%20Rick%20Bunzel.pdf