When to say "No"?

I did an inspection on a well built home in good condition yesterday. The buyer is a realtor.

She is asking me to add 2 things to the report

  1. The rough square footage of the house which I measured quickly with my lazer measurer as a favor since the tax rolls showed it was a 4 bed of 2000 sf when it’s actually a 3 bed closer to 1800sf. My rough measurements came up to 1500 sf interior space (ie excluding the area of the interior walls). I’m sure this is not part of the SOP, and I don’t think it’s relevant to home inspection.

  2. A 2" x 2" x 3" triangle of missing concrete in the driveway where it goes under the garage door trim on the outside. It’s really small and not a safety or structural problem. In fact you have to be looking to even notice it.

I’m thinking I can put a note for the concrete in the report, but the square footage is not my concern and is only going to get me into hot water.


  1. Well… you could always make a comment that the home does not “appear” to “measure up” to the listed square footage, and call it out for an “Appraiser” or the local “Tax Man” to visit the home to confirm!

  2. Gap in concrete may allow rainwater to migrate below the garage slab. A qualified concrete specialist should perform any necessary repairs.


I agree with you about the square footage, just leave that be as it’s not relevant.
And sure, might as well put in the little concrete item.

I would not comment on sq footage. At least here in Oklahoma, you must report where sq ft was obtained and home inspectors isn’t a choice.

Little concrete, sure.

We don’t put sqft or age of home in our reports any more. I especially would not if someone specially asked for it because they obviously want to rely on it.

I use the sq. ft. indicated on the listing.

For private sales I do not report square footage

You could just add the words “I think the home is about…” before your square foot estimate, and then add the words “… but I could be wrong.” after your square foot estimate.

  1. I agree saying no.

  2. I would have already had in my report.

I just list what the mls shows (if there is one), and put (MLS) after the sq ft, same with age. If I don’t know it, I just put “unknown”, or “approximately”.

Let the appraiser determine the square footage and next time, give the agent your laser measuring device so that she can calculate it herself rather than you getting into something that is not a part of your practice. Notice how the first favor (measuring the square footage) became the basis for requesting the second favor (contesting the listing)… Maybe the third favor is for you to draft a letter to the county appraiser contesting the property tax for her…

BTW: I don’t list things on reports that I don’t verify first hand. I don’t measure the house, so there’s no reason for me to make any assertion as to what the square footage is. It’s hearsay as far as I’m concerned and not relevant to a home inspection beyond price determination.

Sure. Comment on a missing piece of driveway concrete, but remember it’s only a molehill.

I agree with Chuck :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the great advice guys!

I put the appears to be and check with tax appraiser or appraiser. And it was actually a different piece of concrete she was talking about. Small cracks in the driveway I put them in.