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Inspector Not Allowed To Walk On The Roof

Dear Phyllis,
My son purchased a home earlier this year when the market was much more difficult for buyers. There were more than fifteen offers on the La Crescenta home he bought. His Realtor advised him to waive his loan and appraisal contingencies to be competitive. In addition, he had only five days to complete inspections. When it came time for the inspection, the seller’s agent remained at the home, and the inspector was not allowed to walk on the roof. Therefore, the roof could not be inspected. After it closed, it rained, and my son discovered a leak. I suspect the seller’s agent was covering up a problem, and my son should go after her. What are your thoughts? ~ Alice


Dear Alice,
It was a much more competitive market earlier this year and home buyers were much more aggressive. I agree that five days is a tight timeline for inspections. Before your son does anything, he should review the seller’s disclosures — the Transfer Disclosure and the Seller Property Questionnaire. If the seller was aware of a roof leak, they should have disclosed it on these forms. In addition, your son should review his inspection report. If there was an attic crawl space, your son’s inspector should have noted if there was evidence of previous leaks.
I don’t know what type of roof your son’s home has. For instance, if it’s slate or concrete tile, it can easily be cracked if walked on improperly. In this instance, the seller’s agent was correct in not allowing the inspector to walk on the roof. Some inspectors have drones to view the roof. And this would have been an ideal solution in your son’s instance. Did his inspector or his Realtor mention this?

I understand that with the five-day inspection contingency that hiring a roof inspector with a drone would have gone beyond the deadline. However, your son could have removed his investigative contingency except for the roof portion and asked for an extension on that aspect. If the seller’s agent didn’t mention this before you arrived at the inspection, I don’t see how she or the seller could have refused a reasonable time extension.