Why is always the home inspectors fault?

About a month ago I was hired to do home inspection on a 90 year old single family home in Homewood IL… I met with the client, and as we proceeded with the inspection I found a large crack in the basement foundation. It had appeared that someone had recently patched it with mortar. Further investigation found that the crack carried on to the concrete floor. In the basement it seemed odd that there was a large rug with furniture on top of it near where the crack in the foundation was. My client asked didn’t this seem kind of odd. I moved some of the furniture and found that not only was it put there intentioally, but it was covering a measured 4 inch crack in the floor. With this my client said, I have seen enough, let’s go. She paid me my fee and said she would be in contact when she locates another home.
About an hour later I get a phone call from the seller, who immediately started in on me telling me that I blew the deal. He further stated that when he purchased the home a year earlier, that he had a home inspection and the crack was not mentioned by the inspector or in the report. He stated that he hired a franchise home inspection company to do the inspection. I told this guy that the crack in the basement did not happen over the period of one year, and his reply was that I did not know what I was doing because I did not work for a franchise inspection company. To that I informed him that all home inspectors in Illinois are licensed by the state, and that franchise home inspection companies hire home inspectors who meet the franchise qualifications. He persisted that I blew his deal and he would report me to the state. Nothing ever came of it. He had also called the buyer, my client, and informed her that she had a bad inspector, and that she should use the franchise inspection company he used. About a week later my client called me for another inspection at another property which she has since purchased.
A side note, my client’s agent could not thank me enough. Oh and by the way this guys house is still on the market at a considerably lower asking price. I guess it was his fault.


Your story sounds like a classic case of the seller fighting mental illness.

And the buyer learned to Just say “no” to crack!

Read this file from the Independent Home Inspectors of North America site. It contains info about the House Master franchise that TRAINS its inspectors to say nice things, when it helps their agenda. . Realtor Friendly Inspection Firm Sued http://www.independentinspectors.org/pdf-files/superiorcourt.pdf

Great find John definatly a keeper .
Love to read these type of posts they increase all our knowledge and help us to write a proper report .
Thanks Roy Cooke

That decision has been batted around here before and training has likely changed in accordance I can’t say for sure, not having experienced it personally, but I would suspect they would want to avoid similar suits int eh future.)

Our past president Joe H is a House Master franchisee, I believe, and I can think of no one who would offer a more sobering assessment of a home.

It is a case of the individual inspector and how they approach it - franchise or not.

“He further stated that when he purchased the home a year earlier, that he had a home inspection and the crack was not mentioned by the inspector or in the report.”

Our job is to mention these defects. While I hate doing it, I think I would have told him to call HIS inspector and ask him why the crack was not mentioned. Sounds to me like it was visible. Also sounds like a law suit waiting to be filed.

BTW, to the OP, kuddos!

Now, I’m reading the judgement and found some interesting information:

  1. “undisclosed to the consumer that HouseMaster insures the realtor against liability for a faulty inspection, coverage which is not provided the consumer.”
  • So if you have to tell customers about any “Hold Harmless Clause” with the realtor?
  1. “The informational brochure reviewed by the Herners deceptively highlights
    HouseMaster’s independence, attention to detail and thoroughness. Yet, inspectors are trained not to reveal they are part time or may be early in their careers as inspectors.”
  • The [NJ] law consider being a new inspector as NOT being able to pay atttention to detail, and thorough?
  1. “The brochure fails to disclose that the 90 day guarantee promised by HouseMaster lapses 90 days from the inspection rather than from closing, information which in this case, at least, vitiated any value to the Herners in the guarantee.”
  • Isn’t it reasonable to understand any warranties/guarantees starts from the time of service, not the start of use? Do ‘we’ have to detail this out in any pre-inspection agreements?
  1. The original report was may 13, 1995, the follow-up report was dated April 26, 1996.
  • So is this really admissible? {which appears to be had been} The second report clearly listed items/actions taken by the home owner after they moved in.

Now that is from the report, I understand once reading it, the question wasn’t was there outright fraud, but they were found ‘liable’ because of poor business practices, however the inspections, and the assumption the first inspector was ‘temp’ or ‘new’ might had some bearing on the judgement. A footnote after the fact, is noted that contradicts what was said in the judgment, what is declared as #2.

Not flaming, just asking if anyone has a minute to comment.

thank you very much,


Do a search for Herner here or over at www.inspectionnews.com.

Plenty of commentary on both when it first came out years ago.

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