Did you know in real estate that there is a term that floats around…deal killers.  This is what some Salem Oregon real estate agents call home inspectors that are “nit picky.”    Some home inspectors were renamed deal killers by “wrong thinking” agents because they were actually good at what they do.  They “killed deals” because they would point out things to buyers and real estate agents would lose their commissions.    A good thing for buyers, but not a good thing for agents.

Now a few home inspectors kill deals due to incompetence, but that is not what this post is about. This is about why you WANT to hire a deal killer.  Really you do.

buying a homeFor Salem Oregon buyers, the reasons for loving a deal killer are obvious.  No home is perfect (seriously all homes have defects, even nice new ones) because they are built by human beings on earth that moves. Nature doesn’t stand still for us and our homes, which means that all homes need some repair at some point.  Solid building and engineering can minimize this, but it always exists.

Deal killers will point out all of those issues big and small to you.  Each state has a slightly different practice when it comes to home inspections and repairs.  In the  Salem Oregon area we have as-is contracts.  The point of the home inspection is for the buyer to satisfy themselves of the condition of the property. It is not to negotiate repairs, but that is often a consequence of it. Some things are really obvious when you walk into a home, that you can take into account when you write an offer.  The rest is for an inspector to help buyers sort through.

For Salem Oregon sellers, the reasons should be obvious why you want a deal killer to inspect your house, but most seller’s don’t see it that way.

Last year I closed on a listing where the buyer was unrepresented (I don’t practice dual agency).  They had asked who I refer people to:  “Jim Allhiser,” I said. “He’s fantastic.”

After the buyer got the report they called me to ask why I referred Jim to them.  “I figured you wanted someone good.”

“Weren’t you worried that they would kill the deal?” they asked.

“No.  I’m protecting my sellers,” I replied.

Yes, I was protecting my sellers.  Let’s face it.  Misrepresentation is a huge source of lawsuits in real estate.  Deal killers protect all parties including agents, which is why you should love them. A home inspection is a snapshot, but an important snapshot.

For example, a buyer hires a deal killer who notes the 1/2″ piece of deteriorating siding, the slightly leaky hose bib, and the one dead outlet in the house.  Six months later the house has mold and the buyer thinks the seller knew about it.  The buyer wants to sue.  In my opinion, deal killing home inspection reports help to protect sellers from future litigation.

broken houseWhy do I love deal killers?  They protect me, my buyers,  and my sellers.      It’s that whole misrepresentation and failure to disclose thing.  Sellers, you know who you are,  sometimes do those special DIY projects that are “custom carpentry work.”   Let’s face it, sellers sometimes do “weird fixes” to their home that make sense to the seller, but not to anyone else.    Seller’s often forget about these fixes since they did them ten years ago and so they forget to put them on the disclosure form.  It’s not their intent to misrepresent, they just forget. Deal killers can find these special gems, and start a dialogue between both sides.

Now a home inspection is a snapshot in time of the home.  I have had listings where garage door openers and thermostats worked during the home inspection and went kaput the next week.  A home inspection can’t protect against these things, but a really good thorough home inspection can help to prevent future lawsuits for buyers, sellers, and agents alike.

Me, I say bring on the deal killer and you should too.


  1. So, so true! No one should be afraid of the home inspectors, especially the really good ones. A professional inspector knows how to communicate any defects found in the house without making it sound like the place will blow up, burn down or collapse overnight. Unless, of course, it might, which is a whole ‘nother story. I have a favorite “deal killer” as a buyer’s inspector and he is worth every single penny he charges because when he leaves I know that my clients know everything possible about the house and are going to a sale armed with that knowledge.

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