Do you report no G.F.C.Is in a house over 30 years old

Should you report G.F.C.Is missing in a house that is over 30 years of age? If not should you tell them that it might be a good idea to add them in the needed areas, next to sinks, outside outlets, ect…

My standard older kitchen comment. Modified as needed throughout the house.

It may not have been “code” thirty years ago, but we don’t inspect “code”–we inspect “SAFETY”.

What was considered safe in 1976 may not be safe in 2006–that’s why the NFPA makes changes in the NEC–SAFETY.

Report it.

Report the deficiency and Recommend the repair / upgrade to GFCI protection.

I usually recommend adding GFCI’s for safety in my summary list of “other comments”. That way the buyer knows they should be installed, but they do not have to be. Same thing with smoke and co detectors.

I have a separate section of the summary just for recommended upgrades (safety). Very often the sellers do not have to do squat but the buyers may want to know what your recommendations are. That is one of several reasons for hiring a HI.

In NC, we are instructed by the state to not put safety upgrades in the report summary section (realtors are on the HI board in NC) but we do report them in the body of the report. A summary section is required in NC.

Brian K seems to have a very good answer. That sums it up

:shock::shock:You mean the realtors on the board know many buyers will not read anything but the summary?

I put very clear notice on my Summary Page that warns reading the summary is not a substitute for reading the entire report. I’m quite sure many don’t read the rest of the report anyway but at least they have been warned and my backside is at least somewhat protected.

I note that GFCI’s are missing & a safety recommendation. But certainly not a MANDATORY item that needs done ASAP.
these are noted in the particular areas of the report - kitchen, bath, etc.

I have a question.
Why is it often considered the responsibility of the seller to “correct” certain things, such as no GFI’s in a 40 year old house, when most have no idea there is any issue at all since they have lived in a perfectly code legal house for 40 years?
Isn’t this the resopnsibility of the new buyer; to upgrade as they see fit?

I like way Brian, Bart and Doug write these issues up. Seems the most fair.

Quite often though, I see reports that make it seem mandatory that this “extemely unsafe” situation be corrected. That, IMO, gives the buyer a distinct, yet very unfair, bargaining advantage.


Lets look at it this way.....If I am buying a $ 400,000 house and all I request is a $ 12.95 GFCI placed on the counter for MY safety....if thats my concern......and the inspector is bound to inform them that they should be added for safety...not because they are is part of the safety aspect of their job description. I stated.....remember the SELLER can choose to not do in the end no matter what the HI says the Seller has a choice to make...and the buyer has a choice to make depending on the sellers stance........

My opinion...Ben's got a nice statement as Greg fine for me...:)....

But I can tell you this...if thats all I want when I buy a $ 400,000 house.......I might ask for it...but wont be a deal breaker for me if the seller says no way......some it might......but again they only cost $ 12.95 each....heck I buy them for $ 7.95 so go

I usually explain to the buyer that any such safety upgrade is for their benefit and is not the fault of the seller. However, one may always ask, but be prepared to be turned down.

Some things happen on the seller’s watch, and some things don’t.

Ahhh Speedy Petey, a very common misconception. I just call out reccomendations and do not really care if they are addressed or not, let alone by whom. I am not some nanny state inspector that insists anything be done, except paying me of course.

Buying a house is a negotiation, how people negotiate the purchase of the house using whatever information they may have is up to them. The Realtor is supposed to hold their hand and provide them counsel according to their current market conditions.

BTW…How in the HECK did you get 200+ more posts than me Brian…you Serial Poster You…

Not really a misconception, and kind of my point.

I have to deal with the folks after you guys leave. So many times I get: “The ‘inspector’ says this ‘needs’ to be done.”, regardless of how it is written. All the buyer knows it is in the report, and use it to their advantage.

I am not really complaining though. It gets me a lot of work. :mrgreen:

lol…I hear ya brother…I get the same work as well…but I think the point is the HI needs to explain it and cover their BUTT…regardless of the reaction or how the buyer will react or the seller for that matter…

The HI simply can’t hold their hand and translate it beyond the initial conversation…you know…like saying…

BRIAN KELLY actually caught the (2) fish in his profile…or he rented them from DALE DUFFY to simply show he is a good fisherman…see how things can seem…lol

Anyway…the HI can only give their part…its the time they DONT report it that something happens and they WISH they did…they cant be concerned with how the Buyer or Seller will INFLATE the problem and make it sound just to enhance or de-enhance the sale.

Duh… That is how negotiations work. Everyone uses what they think will work for their advantage.

Still seems like a misconception to me. I am not responsible for what the seller does or does not know. Or for how honest and truthful they are either.:wink:

We are HI’s not any type of governing athourity Speedy.

I find the phrase Pack Sand sometimes useful during negotiations. Sorta brings certain people back to earth.:slight_smile:

lol…funny story…I was called out to be the “FINAL” word on a argument from a HI and an Electrician…sad thing is I knew them BOTH…

So I came out…one said one thing in the report and the other said it was wrong and this and that…so here I am playing Judge Paulie…

Anyway…end result…I sided with the HI…the Electrician was furious and not because I said he was incorrect…it was because I did not SIDE with my fellow tradesmans regardless of who was right…lol…ahhh…it happens…

And I know of another time same situation…( gotta remember I am listed on a well known site as VA’s only electrical expert…now we know that is not a FACT…but I digress…) so they called me and the HI was wrong…DEAD wrong…and the Electrician was 100% right…so everyone has an opinion and it’s all good…all works…but I agree with Speedy as well in that some sellers and buyers use the info as the almighty WORD…but thats not the doing of the HI…or atleast it should not be…

Report Writing 101- Write it as a 3rd Party…keep it professional and state the facts…