Profile picture for user2307046

Our home inspection missed several things that would have made us not buy the house. What can we do?

We paid $400+ for our home inspection. It was performed while we were still living out of state but both our realtor and a friend of ours accompanied the inspector. The day that he went the owner did not have the water running and there were many issues with the electrical. The owner assured our representatives that these issues would be fixed and so there was little more than a note in the actual report. When we took ownership of the property we found a number of glaring issues that, if they had appeared in the inspector's report, we would not have purchased the home. While we have been able to use the home warranty for certain issues there are others (an improperly installed shower) that are not covered and will cost us several hundred dollars. What recourse do we have? Thank you!
  • August 16 2013 - Front Royal
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Unfortunately, you may have very little recourse depending on your contract. Both agents and inspectors have lots of language in their contract that protect them from lawsuit in the event of professional "oversight". If the inspector noted the issue on the report like the lack of running water some electrical issues that is as far as they needed to go professionally. 


However, your agent did not protect you by making sure the inspection was complete before you released your inspection contingency or closed escrow. It was their responsibility to double check that the owner had followed through on the promised repairs before close. If they did not do that, you may be able to file a complaint with their board/broker, but most contracts I've seen require "arbitration" which can be a long process.
  • August 28 2013
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Hi,

Have you contacted the agents broker and made them aware of your concerns? Since the agent represents the broker I would call and make a appointment to meet with the broker and voice your complaint. This would be my first step.
  • August 28 2013
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I blame your agent and the inspector.

Since you said "our" realtor instead of "the" realtor, you were probably under the assumption that you were somehow being represented.  A good buyers agent would never take the word of the seller and the agents fiduciary duty would have been to protect YOU.  They did not.  Instead they went  forward with a half-assed inspection.

Had this been my buyer/client I would have rescheduled the inspection until the seller had the water back on.

Meanwhile here are my common sense thoughts:
1. Who authorized the inspector to inspect a house with no water? 
2. Who hired this unprofessional inspector who does not write up the deficiencies that he found? Shame on him!

Last but not least....if the seller assured the agent and your friend that they would fix the issues, sellers agreement to repair should have been in writing .

I would put the heat on all 3, the seller, the agent and the inspector.

Eve
  • August 18 2013
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Profile picture for Carole Tyne
One is all the utilities were not on - would have waited till they were to conduct the inspection.  Two - if the inspector did find issues - always suggest the inspector come back and reinspect to confirm items are completed.  
  • August 18 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
If a buyer signed a release at closing, this releases all parties, unless all parties knowingly and maliciously mislead the other parties.  

If everyone is not able to work this out, the last result may be to hire an attorney and seek their guidance.  

Best of luck. 
  • August 18 2013
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I am sorry for your challenges with the house. Home Inspectors have specific language in their contracts that limits their liability so I would begin there. Accompanying the contract was probably an SOP or standard of practice that governs what the inspector is required to do, and will likely list things that they are not required to do (moving appliances, furniture, personal belongings if the home is occupied, etc.) If the defects are part of the SOP you may have a claim. Keep in mind however that home inspectors are not code compliance inspectors and as such they are not expected to know nor state in their reports if something has been installed according to code.
  • August 18 2013
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