Pat Starnes Snippets: Home Inspector Gone Wild

Home Inspector Gone Wild

I represent a seller who's home recently went under contract. The sales agreement is contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection, a common stipulation.

The report was sent to me via e-mail. Usually the repair list is summarized within the report and I can print a one or two page summary that addresses the primary issues/repairs. Unfortunately, the report was lengthy and I couldn't find the summary. To save myself time and eyestrain, I hit Monkey printthe print button on my computer so I could carry the report with me for later review.

Since the house was 35 years old, the seller and I expected there would be repair issues, along with some minor wear and tear. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the home inspection report was 69 pages long! Really! SIXTY NINE pages!

The report contained 147 photos. While reviewing the report, I did notice a summary, which included duplicates of the aforementioned photographs.

My home inspector friends might object to my critique, but this post is not meant as a personal attack. Home inspectors offer a valuable service. And if I represented the buyer side of this transaction, I might feel differently. But a sixty-nine page report seems excessive, in my humble opinion.

The real problem with the report, despite it's length, was that it was difficult to extract the issues! Many of the photos were taken, I believe, to CYA or to justify the cost of the inspection. There were numerous plumbing and electrical issues addressed (multiple times throughout), duplicate photographs, duplicate commentary, etc.

Fortunately, the buyer and seller are behaving professionally and each want a mutually acceptable resolution to the home inspection, so this house WILL close. However, if the buyer wanted to be a snoot about it, there could be a different outcome.

What do you think? Could a sixty-nine page report kill the deal? Hopefully, it won't kill THIS one!

Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood, Madison and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-991-2900 - Office

601-278-4513 - Cell


Recent Blog Posts by Pat Starnes:


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Six Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

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Homes for Sale in Scottish Hills ~ Brandon MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Hidden Hills Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

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Gardens of Manship Neighborhood Information - Brandon, MS 39047


Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 8 commentsPat Starnes-Front Gate Realty • September 18 2009 10:19AM


I think you said it CYA for you the buyer and the inspector. I don't find any reason to double up on pictures or repeat the same findings in the report to build the impression that the inspector was extra through. Not saying that's what was the  case here. I like to keep my reports around 20 to 35 pages with a summery of defects and deficiencies. And I also include in a separate PDF of all pictures taken on the day of the inspection. These high resolution pictures are provided just encase the images in the report were reduces for any reason. I normally take 250 - 375 pictures on average.

Posted by David Salvato (David Home Inspection Service Home Inspector San Bernardino) over 10 years ago

That's a LOT of pictures, David! I appreciate the fact that you try to keep the report to 20-30 pages. That is manageable. Anything over 50 is OVERKILL! Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 10 years ago

As I read this, I'm preparing to go to a home inspection myself.  I hope the inspector won't flood my buyer with excessive information that will frighten and confuse her.

Posted by Tom Boos, Providing the very best of service to Sellers and (Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living) over 10 years ago

It sounds excessive to me too, and if information was duplicated there shouldn't be any need for it to be that long...I'm glad the deal is still going through and both parties are looking to close.  Hopefully it will be soon!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 10 years ago

Pat, I emphatically must agree with you. It is obvious that this inspector did not want to assume any personal liabilities. I have inspected some really tough homes that were large and even then the total pictures didn't exceed more that 30 and the report was approx. 28 pages long. If the eaves are moisture damaged around the perimeter of the house, only a few representative photos along with carefully written comments will explain that finding. Being a professional inspector is more than someone taking a bunch of pictures and submitting a report. It should be someone who uses common sense along with good communication skills to educate the clients and not create a bunch of confusion for you and the clients. Thanks for sharing your story with us and I hope to se you soon.

Your Friend,


Posted by James Brantley over 10 years ago

I guess some people like to show they are earning their money by doing such a long report. If is was one page, I imagine the buyer wouldn't want to pay the inspection fee, but since it was so long, they figure the inspector did a good job. 

Posted by Brian Griffis (Realty Choice) over 10 years ago

James, I'm so glad you agree with me! The buyer and buyers agent were responsible for choosing the inspector and the report was the most confusing one I've ever seen. Nowhere in the report did it divide the repairs into workable categories, like safety issues, major concerns, etc. It took DAYS to determine what the buyer wanted repaired.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Pat I have seen some very good reports and some very bad over the years. The issues should be clear and concise.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago

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