One sure-fire way to kill a real estate deal based on the home inspection


I first encountered this acronym on Facebook when I asked a friend why he got fired from his job.

His simple reply was: “SMH!”

Not wanting to expose my ignorance, I did some research (Googled it) and found this definition in the Urban Dictionary.

“Shaking my Head”

There now . . . You’ve already learned something, and you’re only getting started reading this post 🙂

In a recent (FAILED) real estate transaction, the cause of said failure leaves me SMH.

The negotiation was relatively smooth, and we were binding within 48 hours of the first offer.

My Seller accepted less than desired in the way of price but was happy to have the contract so as to be able to “Turn the page” and move on.

The inspection period was 10 days . . .

On the 3rd day after Binding agreement, the agent notified me that the inspection would happen on day 10 and that the Buyer had arranged for “ALL of the inspectors” to arrive within a 3 hour window of time . . . as would the appraiser (How they thought they could “control” when an appraiser would show up is a mystery to me).


  • Last day of the Inspection Period
  • “Buyer arranged”
  • “ALL of the inspectors” (PLURAL)
  • “3 Hour Window”

So . . . We dutifully waited for the 10th day (and continued to market the property in hopes of a back-up offer).

I wish I had had the time to sit across the street during that 3 hour window to watch the mayhem that ensued. The neighbors reported a steady stream of vehicles coming and going.

This was a veritable circus of “Experts” in a feeding frenzy.

At the end of it all – instead of a nice, clean inspection report noting the overall condition of the house and its systems . . . We received a Contract termination notice.

Turns out, each of the “inspectors” came from service companies, and this is a 65 year old house with many things that don’t conform to today’s code (our purchase agreement does not require Seller to fix items that were installed properly by the code at the time of installation).

Reason for termination?

Buyer said the house needed over $20,000 in replacements/repairs . . . and provided “Reports”

These reports were an array of estimates for complete installation of new systems.

  • Electrical – Replace Service Panel and all wiring . . . The only exception being ONE security flood light that was properly grounded $6,600
  • Plumbing – Replace ALL supply lines, all drain lines, line to the street, both toilets, and most of the fixtures $5,600
  • HVAC – Replace the system $6,500
  • Regrade the yard



Of importance is the trivial fact that ALL of the systems are functioning properly.

Sounds like a buyer who needs to buy a new house.

It is true that any Buyer has the right, per the contract, to have ANY inspections the Buyer wishes.

There are ample Professional Home Inspectors in our area who don’t have a dog in the hunt (Not inspecting for the purpose of securing an installation job) and charge a fair price to run the systems of the house through their paces sufficiently to identify any deficiencies.

My only hope is that whole scenario wasn’t a complete waste of EVERYONE’s time, energy, and money . . .

I hope the Buyer learned enough to inspect the next house he gets under contract in a different way.



Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities Invite-Listen-Love

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.