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Writing the Home Inspection Addendum

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Categorized in: Choosing an Agent
Tagged with: addenda, experience, inspections

Several months ago, an agent called me to ask how to write a home inspection addendum. Turned out she had been licensed for a couple of years, had several settlements under her belt, but she had never been on a home inspection before. Remember that hot market? No inspections? Well, that's when she started selling real estate. She had no clue what to do, but at least she was smart enough to ask someone with experience.


There is an art to writing a good home inspection addendum. I've had real estate agents send me the entire home inspection and expect the seller to figure out what needs to be repaired. That's not acceptable, by the way.  I've gotten addenda that had lists like:

1) leaking drain pipe. (Really? Where? Thanks for letting me know.)
2) faulty outlet. (Oh, you want this fixed?)
3) stains in basement indicate water penetration. (Yep, there are stains allright. So what?)


What does that mean? Fix how? Which outlet? Repair it? Replace it? Waterproof basement? Clean stains?  This kind of addendum is a recipe for disaster. The buyer probably knows exactly what they expect from the seller, and the seller is going to take the path of least resistance. The seller will fix the faulty outlet himself, then the buyer will ask for a receipt from a licensed electrician. Oops! Can't provide that because a) there isn't one and b) the buyer didn't request one in the addendum.


Buyers seldom write these addenda themselves. They depend on their agents to look out for them by writing a clear and concise addendum that reflects what the buyer actually wants done.


I met a buyer a few weeks ago who said that he had no idea what was being done on the home inspection. His agent was taking care of it all for him. He didn't know what, if any, repairs would be done. I'm sure his agent thinks he's really looking out for his client, but the addendum will reflect what the agent thinks should be repaired, not what the buyer wishes. Since the buyer is the one who will pay money at settlement and will have to live in the house, I think this is about as backward as it gets.


Experience counts. Everyone is new at one point in his or her career, but that person should have someone competent looking over his shoulder to make sure the buyer or seller is protected. Too many agents wing it with little or no supervision.


(C) Susan Pruden.

User Comments

1. RE: Writing the Home Inspection Addendum

Written by: Shilo Jorgensen
Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, if my home inspection was written poorly by my agent, and the seller claim to fix issues but now I am having issues with things that were "supposedly" fixed....what do I do now? 

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Real Estate Bits and Pieces

Blog by Susan Pruden
Cheverly, Maryland

Informal observations about Prince George's County Real Estate and happenings around our local area. I'm Susan Pruden, in Cheverly Maryland and I welcome your comments and participation.


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