notes from the field….LBI inspection

The LBI inspection process, part 2

Last week I wrote about the inspection process.   As a follow up, let’s dig in a bit deeper into how we go about the process.

Once a house under contract is through the attorney review, a home inspection needs to take place within a week or two, depending on the language in the contract.  Typically this timeframe is fourteen days.

A buyer has the right to choose to have as many inspections as they wish.  A N.J. contract typically talks about private wells, private sewer, and radon…all of which do not apply to homes on LBI.

As mentioned in the last blog, a buyer can have an independent company in for things like creosote, mold, and asbestos, and I always encourage any inspection that a buyer may have a concern about.  I represented sellers at older homes where lead base paint has been tested for.

An important note for ordering any inspection is he assurance of the quality and reputation of the  inspection service.  There is amazing inconsistency in reports and suggested cures in the area of environmental issues and the way reports are delivered differ tremendously.  Most reports give comparatives and full details.  Some do not.

I recently met an environmental inspector (I always attend inspections of properties when I represent the buyers) who introduced himself and immediately added that he “was not a deal killer”!  I don’t know what this person thought, but the responsibility of a realtor is to care about the client he or she serves, and if a home is found to have difficulties, help cure them or recommend that a sale be terminated.  A good realtor recommends tough inspectors that know the Island well and serve the interest of their client and not themselves.  When an inspector is chosen from outside the area, the results are often a bit off target.  One recent environmental inspection resulted in a cost estimate (for the company the inspector represented doing the work) to total between $150k- $250K!  In this particular instance, the report recommending the remediation did not provide normal comparatives or benchmarks on the results found, but certainly solicited the remediation work.

I am always a bit wary of inspections done by companies that offer repair of the problems they find.  In my mind, the best reports spell out the results, recommend a course of action to address, but do not offer estimates to fix a problem.  For those companies that do inspections and repairs, I recommend getting the report to a third party and get a second opinion of the cost of repair.

So what is the best way to go about finding reputable inspection services?  I would recommend using your realtor.  A realtor is duty bound to help find credible resources that will do the job, but also know the LBI landscape best. If you don’t trust your realtor to do this, change realtors!

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