Explaining simple things

I just finished an inspection for a first time home buyer that has lived in apartments her entire life.

While a very wonderful woman, she was very much clueless about the basics of a home. Including asking what the rectangles in the basement wall were, in which case I explained those were bricks composed the basement wall and foundation.

She also didn’t understand the concept of a tank-less water heater until I compared it to a Keurig in that is heats up the water as you need to use it.

I think we take for granted the knowledge we know regarding homes, construction, and maintenance compared to a lot of average people. I also think explaining things as much as possible helps build a great rapport with clients to get good reviews as well as a higher likelihood of a referral from the realtor.

What I would like to know is, what were some very basic things that you never thought you would have to explain to a customer and how did you describe it to them?

why you need to paint and caulk

Gotta love this one.

Call from a lady 6 months after the inspection:

Q: The light in my closet won’t come on!
A: Try a new light bulb?
Response: Oh never thought of that:(


I recently had a 30+ year old male ask me why you need to change the filter at the air handler. He first stated he didn’t know they even had a filter. Yes, he has owned 2 other homes.

I opened the “mini drawer” in front of a kitchen sink the other day and the owner said “WOW, I didn’t know that was there”, found their missing disposal drain stopper. :wink:

Explaining simple things
Don’t use “We” ! Nope. I don’t fit into your “WE”.
And there are plenty of great inspectors on this board who know how to phrase an narrative/comment where most if not all will understand…Yep!
I do my very best as to state the issues in my inspection report as close to elementary as I possible can. It is really simple…Remember the elementary.
However, I have observed that many HI’s( Not all) have a hard time verbalizing the issues where "anyone " can walk away understanding the report in simple terms…
Give us a sample of your misunderstood comments and/or narratives that you want to make simple.

It is called your voice. If you have a client standing in front of you …How would you explain this issue as you are talking to them (Your Voice)?
Not all of us have the same voice, but do your best to explain it as if someone was standing in front of you…Yep!
It takes time to develop you voice, but it will happen.
This doesn’t happen overnight.

I always show people who need some help things like filter locations, main breakers, water shutoffs. The now you have had inspection books really help, well written/easy read with lots of pictures. I try to keep explanations short and let people ask questions.

Too complicated

I was once at a house with an agent, waiting for the client. I mentioned there was a drip leak by the water meter. The agent walked over the electrical panel and asked where the leak was.

Since then, I just assume there is no such thing as simple things about a home.

I have had a client state to me it’s ok I have done some wiring before and I politely asked What kind and the client stated I used to wire car audio for fun. ok good luck with updating that fuse panel and ungrounded cable on your own.