Turning a Negative Situation Into a Positive Lesson

Buying a home anywhere is a stressful experience for the homebuyer; in a hyper-competitive real estate market like Nashville, the stress amps up a notch.  

Everyone is Nashville is paying (sometimes a lot) more than they thought they would for a home, and a lack of inventory means that buyers are having to buy the available property that checks off some of their boxes.

In these types of markets, you’re no longer buying your dream home.This type of environment is great for sellers, particularly for unethical ones that know they are getting top dollar just for listing their home for sale.

“We had something occur that almost never happens at Magnolia Home Inspections,” said Benjamin Hammond, President, “A negative review came in on Google during Memorial Day week from a customer that had closed on a home we had recently done an inspection on.”

A bad review is an anomaly over here. We reach out to each and every customer after we’ve completed their inspection and report multiple times to make sure they’re happy with their customer experience with Magnolia Home Inspections.  

The majority of the time, we hear nothing but good things from our customers, and reaching out to them has given us a 5-star rating on Google with over 365 reviews. Something was up. 

We were able to speak with the homebuyer to find out more about what happened. The purchasers of the home, a young family, had had an unfortunate experience after closing and moving in. During their evening bath for their children in the upstairs bathroom, a large amount of water began pouring through the ceiling of the kitchen below.

It turns out, a very large crack had formed in the bottom of the upstairs bathtub, allowing water to flood out to the room below.

“Understandably, the homebuyer and her Realtor were upset and wanted answers, needing to know how the inspector could have missed it,” continued Hammond. “The challenging part of the situation is that we had provided a detailed inspection report to the customer on the home that noted no damage to the bath.”

HELPING THE CUSTOMER

As home inspectors, we did what we could to help the situation. We went out to re-inspect the home and the damage that had occurred. “During your normal home inspection, we are limited to a ‘visual inspection’ only of the property. When a situation with a water leak like this occurs, the knee-jerk reaction from the buyer and their Realtor is to blame the home inspector,” said Benjamin. “During the re-inspection, the damage from the upstairs water leak told the full story, and made it clear what was going on.

Our team at Magnolia Home Inspections has a combined 65+ years of construction and contractor experience. Two licensed plumbers also reviewed the water leak, damage and the tub in the bathroom upstairs. Between our experience and the plumbers, we were able to give the homebuyer solid forensics info on the real nature of the problem.

There had been a prior improper repair to the bathtub that had been covered up 100% cosmetically. It appeared that the prior homeowner had hired a contractor to “fix” a problem where the only responsible repair would be to fully replace the bathtub itself with a new unit.

“Whoever put a band-aid on this bathtub spent a huge amount of time covering up the repair work cosmetically. There was literally no sign of the repair on a visual inspection until after the bathtub cracked from stress. The only thing we can’t tell is if the seller requested the concealment work from the contractor to avoid authorizing the full replacement cost of the tub,” said Benjamin.

Ultimately, this was a nasty surprise for a family that had just purchased a home.  As home inspectors, we were able to give the homebuyer support with the additional re-inspection at no cost, get expert second and third opinions from other licensed professionals on the concealment of the damage,  and provide detailed reporting for them to use to pursue the seller of the home.

LESSONS LEARNED.

We’re using this whole experience as a great lesson to reinforce our company values and brand philosophy with our inspection team and staff. 

Our brand is that we’re not your typical home inspector. Your typical home inspection is normally specifically related to a real estate transaction requirement. At Magnolia, we’re actually here to use our construction experience to protect our homebuyers and also prepare them overall for homeownership. 

It is all about buying your home with confidence and peace of mind, knowing for yourself what deferred maintenance issues may be facing the home you are buying.  You are not just paying for a home inspection report, you’re paying for a relationship with professionals who have access to resources and tons of expertise. We have our customers’ backs. 

In this case, doing right for the customer means a deeper inspection after damage occurred and then bringing in other professionals to properly document a 100% concealed improper past repair by a seller.

Magnolia Home Inspections
Preparing Home Buyers For Home Ownership ™

About The Author

More Great Magnolia Content.