Are Home Inspectors Deal Makers or Deal Breakers?

The quality of the Home Inspection will influence the probability of a sale, so it is critical to select a Home Inspector that is neither a Deal Maker nor a Deal Breaker.


What is a Deal Maker?

The Deal Maker will minimize the defects of the property which will influence the Buyer to proceed with the purchase of the property.

Why would a Home Inspector play this role?

The Home Inspector relies on the Realtor for business referrals, so the incentive is to not displease the Realtor and jeopardize the sale for the Realtor. The Realtor is happy that this contingency for the sale will be removed so that the sales process can move forward toward a closing date. Unfortunately, the Buyer does not benefit from this scenario as defects that were described by the Home Inspector as “minor” may, in fact, be discovered later by the Buyer as very “major”, and the Buyer will be stuck with the high repair costs. Once escrow is closed, it is exceedingly difficult to seek a remedy.

This is a major compelling factor that led to the regulation of Home Inspectors in 36 States. Click on this link for my last article, “Are Home Inspectors Regulated (Licensed) in Hawaii”?

Here is a graph to help illustrate this scenario:

What is a Deal Breaker?

The Deal Breaker will exaggerate the defects of the property which will influence the Buyer to NOT proceed with the purchase of the property. It is the opposite extreme of the Deal Maker.

Why would a Home Inspector play this role?

The Home Inspector’s personality and demeanor are the reason for this scenario. The interpersonal communication of the defects of a house to a Buyer can be a distraction from the actual defect. The purchase of the house can be an emotional decision and the presentation of the defects can lead to an impression that “The sky is falling”. This can be very discouraging to a Buyer that has “fallen in love” with the perfect house. In short, the Home Inspector is “scaring the Buyer” from purchasing the property.

Here is a quote that summarizes this scenario:

What is a Good Home Inspector?

Avoid the Deal Maker. Avoid the Deal Breaker.

The Good Home Inspector provides an Impartial Opinion based on Industry Standards and communicated objectively.

Simply put, “Inspectors shall be objective in their reporting and not knowingly understate or overstate the significance of reported conditions (ASHI Code of Ethics).

For any questions on this topic, please call Oscar Libed of Inspect Hawaii at 808-728-5707 or send an email to

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