disclosure items

I have an inspection & the (potential) buyer has asked us to look at some things specifically from the disclosure sheet the seller filled out. 1 item is the furnace - it was disclosed that they sometimes have to turn the furnace on & off several times to get it to “work” & that it’s been looked at twice & still not working properly. The client asked us to check this out. Well, all we can do is try & see if it works the day of the inspection & note that, right? If not, we’ll know it’s still not fixed. But it’s not like we can repair the unit. I just am not real sure what the client expects…other than us noting if it’s not working properly, which we would certainly do.

The second item is faulty windows that allowed water penetration & staining on walls. Seller says this was due to faulty installation & has been repaired. Luckily, I think it’s supposed to rain later this week! :slight_smile: so, maybe we can be there to check that.

I just wondered how you handle it when the client has specific items like this…just pay special attention & point out the obvious??

Anytime a piece of mechanical equipment doesn’t work properly it should be noted as such. It may work just fine the first time you try it and not the next 50. It is already on the disclosure list as “faulty” or at least suspect. They may have had the same person out to fix it both times and he just may not know what in the thaw he is doing. I would assume it is still faulty, test it several times, if it fails the first time, write it up, move on. Unless you plan to spray water on the window (Ive actually done this) there is no way to tell if it is going to leak again. I generally find that the best way to approach things like this is to write it up exactly the way you test it and put a caveat in the report referencing the disclosure. Reports do not have to read like the World News Report. Simple and to the point is best. Say what you see and stick to the facts.

Oh yeah, if the furnace needs them to have it serviced again say so. Some clients have a strange and misguided idea that just because they had a home inspection that somehow all the problems with a home will magically disappear and nothing bad will ever happen to it for the entire time they live in it.


Doug made some good points.

Everyone knows (ie:Seller, Buyer & you) by the disclosure statement, that there is a suspected problem with the Furnace and Windows. Even if everything shows and works well at the time, I would still right in my report that there is a question, and should be checked by a Pro.

By the way, we are not “Superman”, we can’t see behind, under or above finishes that are not otherwise accessible from the other side. Treat it as trying to look through “Lead” finishes. Make sure your Client understands before you go out, and you’ll save on a lot of headaches.

That was my issue - I feel like the buyer thinks maybe we can FIX the things listed on the disclosure or something, by waving our magic home inspector wand. No, we’ll just “disclose” the issue again.
thanks for your help!!

The same people called me and asked the same questions Robin. I told them I could only report if the unit operated or not, I could do no more. Like was said if this item was already disclosed then it is known to be faulty. I guess they didn’t like my answers. We are not there to troubleshoot or repair items. It works or it doesn’t for the most part with a little wiggle room if you have knowledge in the HVAC field.

Ok, thanks James.
yea, they seem to think we’ll fix it or something. Even asked if we do repairs?
I’ll be anxious to see if anything pans out on this one.

Be careful, I saw red flags when I talked to the wife.

Doug gave very good advice: reference what’s in the disclosure, say how you evaluated the furnace, list its age, hope to discover other defects (rust-contaminated firebox, particulates smothering the burners, maladjusted gas/oxygen ratio, etc), and recommend a second opinion by another specialist. Good luck

Well, our company got the inspection…My husband completed it & the disclosed items worked ok today, but will certianly be called out on the report & “disclosed” again. He LOOKED at it all VERY closely. He’ll report all he saw & he should be fine! The buyer was there to be hands-on & ask questions, so it went well.
Thanks for the feedback - I do appreciate it!!