Would You Get on the Roof in a Home Inspection?

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

I saw something today I never witnessed before. It happened when I was covering a home inspection for one of my agents (Yes- I know. What a great guy I am).  A home inspector brought the buyer onto the roof to show him something. I was so surprised to see this that I snapped a picture of it on my phone. Now, this was the first time I ever met the inspector. He was a sharp guy, handled the buyer's 3-year old son like a champ, and from everything I saw made a thorough, straight inspection. He even had one of those infrared thingies that can detect moisture and rodents in the walls. He really was very good in every other way. 

Up on the Roof

However, I know inspectors who wouldn't go up on a roof themselves. It's part of risk management. I have often said that New York is a shark tank of liability, and many inspectors don't feel it wise to climb up there, opting instead to making a visual inspection , even using binoculars. But they don't go up there. 

We can argue whether or not that is right or wrong, but I have never seen an inspector take a buyer up there with him. The buyer is a young guy, ostensibly fit, flexible, and coordinated. But gravity is gravity, and I really wonder if the inspector's insurance, let alone the home owner, would be comfortable with such a thing. 

I am not trying to give the inspector a hard time, or impugn his judgement, but I really do have to wonder if that move is very wise. 

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Topic:
Home Buying
Groups:
40 Somethings
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LATE NIGHT - EARLY MORNING AT ACTIVERAIN
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Tags:
risk management
liability
home inspections

Comments 22 New Comment

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Rainmaker
295,831
Dan and Amy Schuman
Luxury Home Specialists
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Sounds like a risky habit for the inspector. Most that I know use binoculars and can get enough details without having to climb the roof.

September 03, 2010 08:09 AM
Ambassador
1,359,006
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County Ohio
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

I don't even like going up on my own roof, much less advocate a client up on someone else's roof!  Buyer takes a fall, the lawyer is going to have a field day with a so many people to blame!

September 03, 2010 08:49 AM
Rainer
37,033
Dan Cronin

Perhaps I'm naive, but, I wouldn't hire an inspector that wasn't willing (and insured) to climb on the roof and go into the attic. As the buyer, as long as I feel I can safely do so, I'd want to physically accompany the inspector to see any potential problems with my own eyes.

September 03, 2010 10:16 AM
Rainmaker
525,394
Morgan Evans
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

My guess is that the inspector is trying to play the hero part to the buyer that he goes above and beyond the normal call of duty.  He probably hasn't thought out the what if scenarios of what could happen like you said.  I think you took that picture just in case something happened you'd have proof of what happened.

September 03, 2010 11:59 AM
Rainer
34,473
Maureen Harmon
YOUR North Florida Relocation Specialists
Exit Real Estate Gallery

My home inspector always goes up on the roof unless it is raining.  In fact, he usually gets there early to walk the roof before we get there so my buyer doesn't have to stand around waiting for him to come down.  I did have one buyer, however, about 2 years ago, a woman, who climbed up the ladder right behind the inspector and walked it right along with him.  You bet I was more than a little nervous but I certainly was not going up there.  Of course this buyer also went up into the atic (AKA...crawl space..this is Florida remember) with the inspector and seemed to be glued to his side the entire time.  She asked more questions and wanted more details than any buyer I have ever had.  By the end of the inspection this buyer knew every inch of the home and had no questions left.

September 04, 2010 09:35 PM
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Rainmaker
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J. Philip Faranda

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Additional Information

Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900.
Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*



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