Monday, April 22, 2024

Marty and Max: Inspect over suspect

| March 8, 2024 1:00 AM

One of the greatest moments in sports history was when the 1988 Dodgers beat the mighty A’s to win the World Series. Analytics had not yet taken over the game and managers managed with instincts instead. Injured Dodger, Kirk Gibson (Gibby) had just one at-bat, but what an at-bat it was. 

With the Dodgers trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda sent Gibby to the plate to face the fierce future hall-of-fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley (The Eck). Eck had been unhittable all season with a blistering fastball. Gibby could barely stand, much less run the bases yet somehow worked the count to 3 balls and 2 strikes. Mysteriously, Gibby stepped out of the batter’s box and laughed then smiled to himself. Everybody knew that Gibby was too hurt to get that bat around on a fastball. Gibby hit the next pitch over the right-centerfield fence for a walk-off 2-run home run that stunned the entire world. 

Dodger scout Mel Didier, a Texan, commented in a pre-game meeting, “Pardners, you can bank on this as sure as I’m standing here. If you’re a left-handed hitter and you get in a tough situation with Eck, he’s going to throw you that back door slider.” Gibby knew what was coming and later said he picked it up as soon as it left Eck’s hand. If Gibby had gone with what everyone suspected the Dodgers would have lost, however, he went with what the scouts inspected and the rest is history.

Buyers do not always get what they suspect. It is often a good idea to get some help to inspect.  Matthew Brown with HomeSight has over 20 years of experience, is a certified ASHI home inspector, and has helped both buyers and sellers.

Hey Matt -Do I need an inspection when buying a home?

“Knowledge is power. Interviewing and hiring an inspector is your opportunity to receive unbiased information, re-negotiate over any major issues found, and perhaps even decide the home isn’t right for you, before purchasing the home. The art of a great inspector is being not only skilled in discovering the condition of the homes’ many components but also possessing the ability to communicate those discoveries and properly document them.”

What does a good inspection cover?

“A thorough home inspection will generally cover structural, roof, plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems, fireplaces, insulation, and ventilation. While the visual inspection of these components is the industry standard, discerning buyers will seek out inspectors who offer additional services such as radon testing, sewer camera inspections, thermal imaging, chimney flue inspections, and advanced moisture and mold testing.”

What should I look for in an inspector's qualifications?

“Inspectors who are members of long-established professional organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). When hiring an inspector, ask if they have passed the proctored National Inspector Exam. Ask if they take ongoing continuing education courses, and their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. The industry has “certification mills” that, for a fee, can give the illusion of qualifications by way of meaningless seals and certifications. In Idaho, home inspectors are not licensed by the state.” 

How long should an inspection take and when should I receive the report?

“On average, plan on three to four hours. Your report should be specific to your inspection and not simply filled with boilerplate and disclaimers. Ask to see a sample report. It should be descriptive, easy to understand, and packed with photos and videos. Pro inspectors will deliver same or next-day reports.”

Can I accompany the inspector during the inspection?

“Reputable inspectors encourage client attendance because they understand the importance of transparency and providing comprehensive information to help you make an informed decision. Any inspector who discourages your attendance may have something to hide or may not prioritize your best interests. So, it's wise to be cautious in such situations.”

Are there any red flags that might indicate an unreliable inspection company?

“Be cautious if an inspector does not carry errors and omissions insurance in addition to general liability. Don’t be fooled by 5-star reviews left online by Bot accounts but instead, look for personalized reviews left by real clients. Beware of unusually low quotes as good inspectors know what their expertise is worth. Promises that are too good to be true usually are. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel that the individual on the other end of the phone is a professional with the knowledge and experience with the information you need, keep calling!”

The 2022/2023 Dodger’s were one of the best teams of all time winning over 100 games each year and a far better team than the champions. Dave Roberts, however, manages with analytics but has lost in the first round of the playoffs each year. Trust your instincts and ensure your investment is thoroughly inspected. Then you can step back and smile, because you too will know what’s coming.  

For more information, contact Marty Walker at or call (208) 518-6636.