Examination By Peers

October 28, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionYesterday I had the opportunity to take a review by peer exam for the Arizona ASHI master inspector program. The program is not yet in place and the exam was only a trial so that the chapter could get some experiences in how best to proceed with the program.

My self and two others took the exam which consisted of; doing a home inspection, relating the major defects in an oral exam and then a small question and answer session followed by a show and tell photo exam.

The oral exam was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Many of my disclaimer types of comments are written in my report and I couldn’t recall exactly what they said when asked because I wrote them once a long time ago and really haven’t been asked about them since.

Even some of the terms I was using in my oral exam didn’t match what I had written. It’s kind of a high-pressure question and answer with the examiner playing stupid if you didn’t qualify what you were saying in layman’s terms.

The assumption that your client understands what you’re saying just because his head nods is probably a mistake. I think we get caught up in using the terms that as home inspectors we use everyday and expect that others are just as conversant in them.

Yeh, I failed. I needed to get a score of 10 must report on items in the home inspection and came up short by 3. Not to give too much away but I blew it in the areas of access, structure and appliance venting. Not inspecting one of the building’s rooms didn’t help either. How’d that happen?

Well, it happened because I was out of my normal routine. First, because this is a controlled environment you couldn’t use your own ladder. Second, you were not to occupy the same general area as one of the other participants which in my case altered my path. That’s how I missed the exterior storage room, bumped into another inspector and took another route. This can typically happen to you on a normal inspection when the client pulls you away to look at something and you don’t quite get back to where you stopped your routine.

Of the three items missed only one was something that I didn’t already know which had to do with access. The structure mistake was one I don’t think would have happened if I had been able to use my own equipment. The venting issue is one in which I don’t have any excuses, not that I’m making excuses, I just plain missed it.

It was a good experience and one that has me thinking quite a bit on how easy it is to mess up and a reminder that there’s still more to learn. Of course your most expensive mistakes are your best-learned lessons. I got to skate on my structure mistake which if in real life had come back to haunt me would have cost twenty large.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click this link.www.inspectorsuccess.com

In The Closet Of Course

October 19, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionIf you’re in this business long enough you’ll pile up a few good stories like the one that follows.

As usual, I arrive on the job 20 minutes early and find that the realtor is already there with the front door open. As I’m walking up the sidewalk I notice a weird look on her face, possibly anxiety I’m thinking.

Wrong, it was fear. Apparently the car in the drive wasn’t supposed to be there, nor was the wine and cheese on the kitchen counter as this was a brand new home, never lived in.

She had arrived just minutes before me and had heard noises, to scared to check it out she immediately asked me take a tour of the house. Well, it turns out that the master bedroom door was locked and after knocking softly with no response I gave it a good whollping. This had some effect as the door opened and a gentlemen with messed up hair stood there and asked what I wanted.

I replied that I was a home inspector with an appointment to inspect the property. Oh, he says. Is it that time already? I’ll just finish up and get out of your way.

The realtor and I waited in the kitchen for a few minutes trying to figure out who he could possibly be and what he’s doing there. Didn’t take long to find out who he was as when he came into the kitchen the realtor recognized him right away as one of her doctors. This was one of his investment properties. The real surprise was right on his coat tails, his secretary announced her presence and sashayed out the door.

The master bedroom closet contained a large sleeping bag and a comforter spread out on the floor. Who’d of thought? Here’s the funny part.

When the clients arrived a little later, we were all standing in the kitchen and the wife says to the husband, “Honey? Where would you put the secretary?” As you could imagine the realtor and I just busted out laughing and then told them the story.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com