I performed a basic home inspection for a client purchasing a property in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Infrared Thermal Imaging was utilized as a basic inspection tool to assess issues that may be located behind the sheet rock walls and ceilings. No advanced techniques are utilized even though available, Blower Door and Duct Blaster efficiency analysis was not conducted to quantify efficiency issues in the building envelope.
Though the standards that we inspected by exceeded that which is normally performed by local home inspectors, the advantages were hardly significant. Thermal imaging scans determined that there was an excessive amount of insulation inefficiency throughout the house. Visual inspection showed us that we insulation contractor conduct and shoddy workmanship resulting in excessive energy loss. Also the HVAC contractor installed the air duct system incorporating excessive energy loss deficiencies.
So in essence, the general contractor paid good money to subcontractors for substandard workmanship.
A significant battle ensued (threats of lawsuits abounded), resulting in the general contractor flying two representatives from the quality control group from Atlanta Georgia to Nashville Tennessee during a blizzard conditions!
I traveled 57 miles (each way), in blizzard conditions to discuss situations with these individuals (to facilitate a close of escrow which was not going to happen without my intervention).
There were no real estate agents from Crye-Leike Realtors present at this meeting.
The client is asking me for inspection reports to ensure contractual agreements.
I contacted the principal broker, as it is felt (through conversations with the client) that the representing affiliate agent was not performing to expected standards.
This was simply a “professional courtesy” call .
I was informed that because my standards of inspection exceed what they “expect” and that the building “passed code” I was the one at fault for the fact that the close of escrow may not occur.
I was informed by the principal broker that finished “bonus rooms” are expected to be energy inefficient, and my analysis was uncalled for.
I was also informed that the building “passed code”.
I informed her that conversations with the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) (building code department of Brentwood Tennessee) indicated that they do not do performance analysis, however if they are informed of noncompliance with the energy code adopted by the city, the issue would be enforced to a point that the general contractor and subcontractors would be brought before the state contractors board. Therefore, “it past code” is not an appropriate answer because building code compliance does not do analytical assessment. This is a common reply by general contractors who want to build a “quality home built by…” and set their standard by building code which is the minimum building standard acceptable.
I was abruptly hung up upon by the principal broker because “she had a meeting to attend”.
Apparently some principal brokers feel that their legal obligations to the client ends when the purchase and sale agreement is signed and delivered to both parties!
I advised the principal broker that significant changes of the buyer’s expectations and general contractor’s agreement to comply, have occurred.
It might be of interest to investigate what these changes to the initial contract were. Maybe they can assist in facilitating a “close of escrow”.
I was politely informed that they are doing everything in their clients interest, and they are quite informed and are serving the client’s best interests.
I am a formerly licensed Tennessee real estate agent and have a minor in Real Estate Law.
My intentions are only to inform the real estate agents of the client’s intentions so that a close of escrow may actually happen (I am obviously perceived as a deal killer)!
I have no heartburn with Crye-Leike Realtors. Actually an agent from this organization got me started in residential home inspections because she could not properly service our clients needs with the currently available home inspectors standards of practice.
I invite any inquiry from the powers that be at Crye-Leike Realtors, as my only concern is service to my client!
These situations in most cases are isolated between employees and should not reflect the overall performance of the real estate industry or Crye-Leike Realtors.
Progressive realtors in a depressed economic situation face insurmountable challenges and do not need to be “close minded” of upcoming technology which is designed with the home buyer in mind! Simply refusing to accept third-party diagnostics because “it was never done before” in their town does not mean it will not be the front line of a wave of technology that will overcome their industry!
Thermal imaging is but the tip of the iceberg!
In conjunction with building depressurization with blower doors and HVAC air duct leakage evaluations with duct blaster equipment, energy efficiency requirements will only escalate as homeowners realize the actual cost of maintaining their residential buildings!
Crye-Leike representatives please direct your inquiries to: AndersenInspections@charter.net