Updated: Mar 3
The new HGTV series Home Inspector Joe stars Joe Mazza, a real-life home inspector with 22 years of experience.
This entertaining show’s premise is he guides buyers into making a good decision about a house purchase.
But…is this how actual home inspectors work?
While his intentions are good, the process is shaky at best and certainly made for TV. So let’s take a closer look at what happens in a typical show and contrast it how most certified, licensed inspectors work.
Joe works exclusively with first-time home buyers.
Most inspectors provide various services to multiple customers, including sellers, buyers, commercial property owners, and individuals who haven’t had their home inspected for a few years but have no immediate plans to sell.
Joe works hand-in-hand with a home renovation specialist to fix all the issues identified in the inspection.
Although state laws and standards of practice (SOP’s) may vary, certified and licensed inspectors typically cannot make repairs to a home or business after issues are identified for at least 12 months. It is an apparent conflict of interest as inspectors could conveniently “find” things to repair during the inspection. It can also be considered a conflict of interest when the inspector happens “to know a guy” that can make repairs for you.
Joe walks the buyers through two-three potential homes, telling them whether they should purchase or walk away from the house.
Home inspectors should not do this! Yes, the buyer is welcome to schedule an inspection and meet us on site, but this almost always occurs after the seller accepts their purchase offer. In addition, having a buyer pay for multiple inspections is not something most first-time buyers can afford.
Inspectors should not and typically do not provide advice about buying or not buying a particular home. In many licensed states and SOP’s this is strictly prohibited. Instead, they provide facts about the home’s condition, safety conditions, or hazards.
Where allowed, the buyer(s) should attend the inspection as items may need to be discussed as they are found. It is much easier for everyone to see the issue in real-time as opposed to looking at a flat sheet of paper or on a computer screen. When the inspection is done, the inspector should provide a verbal summary to you while onsite, followed by a written report. This is a perfect time to ask questions. Also, once the buyer has read the report, they may have more questions.
Joe tells the buyer how much it will cost them to repair it.
However, we believe HGTV foots the bill (or they have sponsors that do so).
Inspectors can, but usually do not provide cost estimates for repairs as costs can be subjective and honestly all over the place!
It seems that Joe’s priorities are to check the roof’s condition, siding, and driveway.
Hey, finally, something we agree on, but there is so much more to a real home inspection!