Poor Home Inspection – Time to pull the plug?

A poor home inspection report is one of the more common reasons that a real estate deal could fall through.  Plumbing, heating and drainage are among the top major items that a home might need. Best practice? Know what the report means, and have us on hand to help you or your client meet those needs.

Put R&B on your team and you’ll get quick answers to common questions to give your buyer peace of mind.

Common Findings and Questions Resulting from a Home Inspection Report

  • How long will the water heater last and how much will it cost to replace?

A standard 40-gallon gas fired hot water tank costs approximately $1200 to replace. (April 2018)  Any tank nearing the end of its life and warranty period will have been recommended for replacement.  If the tank is leaking, a warranty replacement can cost approximately half the cost of a new one.

How long a hot water tank will last is something you need your crystal ball for.  Nobody can say.  Some run happily long after the warranty period ends.  It’s a healthy aversion to the flood risk that keeps this replacement recommendation coming up.  Insurance companies like it too.

  • What does it mean when the report states it cannot check the air conditioning? How do I know it works?

Sometimes if the weather is cold, a home inspection cannot include testing the a/c for the home.  Invest in a simple service of the HVAC system to assure the buyer that it’s working, giving them peace of mind.

  • What does the home inspection report mean by regular servicing and what’s included in that?

Gas fired appliances ( fireplaces, furnaces, boilers, water heaters) need to be serviced once per year.  This is recommended by Fortis BC for safety and efficiency reasons.  Additionally, some manufacturers’ warranties require regular servicing.  Often the records for service are not available if the customer hasn’t kept those records with the furnace, and it’s unclear if it’s been done.

A company like R&B has the service records for your buyer and seller for equipment we’ve maintained.  If your client is selling, this transparency will be a huge asset and give additional information for the home inspection report thus giving buyers confidence.

  • What does it mean that heating safety devices are not tested? How can I get them tested?

Many home inspection services will not have the equipment to test exhaust emissions from gas fired appliances to ensure the carbon monoxide levels are safe.  There are also pressure relief valves that are not routinely tested because the valves are only opening when needed.  Get a safety check done by a qualified R&B technician to check system pressures and ensure everything is operating safely.

  • What does service inspection by HVAC specialist required mean?

When an inspection report refers to an HVAC specialist it means that his experience has limited his ability to comment fully on the appliance.  Contact a licensed, ticketed plumber or HVAC technician found at R&B—with experience specific to the heating or cooling system of the home to answer those questions.

Some additional items that might arise out of your inspection report that R&B can take care of for you.

  • Warranty information on the heating system
  • Warranty information on the water heater / hot water tank

For more information on what a home inspection report might not cover, refer to our blog series on home inspections.

Working with many realtors on the North Shore over the years, R&B understands that what is needed above all is reliability.  Reliability of service, and of the repairs.  We want the home buying experience to be a positive one for buyers and sellers.  Home inspection reports that have items listed as “old” or “end of life” can be a daunting read for first time, or investment property buyers.  Especially those with a budget that’s already stretched.

Remember, even if a home inspection is less than stellar, contact R&B. We can help.