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Inspection Drama


Dear Phyllis,
We just had to cancel escrow and I am both upset and confused. We opened escrow on a 1930’s home. The day of the inspection, the seller’s agent asked the home inspector to remove his shoes. The inspector refused and he and the agent went back and forth. The agent wouldn’t let the inspector in with his shoes on. We then had to reschedule with a different inspector.

Because of the age of the home, our Realtor® wanted us to also get a sewer and chimney inspection. The chimney needs $5,500 worth of work to bring it to today’s standards. The sewer inspection recommended $1,500 worth of work. There was almost $5,000 in termite work and some other items on the main inspection report. We asked the seller to credit us $14,000.00 instead of them hassling repairs. The seller only agreed to pay for the fumigation. We had paid for all of these inspections and the appraiser too. But felt we had to walk away from the deal. My question is really why so much drama? Disappointed

Do you have a real estate question? Ask Phyllis! Email her at or contact her directly at
(818) 790-7325. Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Dilbeck Real Estate.

Dear Disappointed,
Shoe removal is usually at the request of the home owner. They certainly have the right to decide whether or not shoes are allowed in their home. The seller’s Realtor’s® job is to safeguard the client’s home and respect their wishes.

Other than point of sale requirements which vary from city to city, the seller is under no obligation to make any repairs. Point of sale requirements are smoke and carbon detectors and water heater strapping. In some municipalities there are additional requirements such as a safety release valve on the gas meter, low flow toilets and shower heads, safety glass in sliders, etc.

Several years ago, the California Residential Purchase contract was revised to omit the section regarding termite reports and completion. Termite completion is now an inspection negotiation throughout California. It is no longer customary for the seller to provide a termite report or completion.

In regards to the chimney: Building codes are constantly changing. You opted for a 1930’s home. It isn’t reasonable to expect that the seller bring the chimney up to today’s standards. If the chimney was cracked, that’s a different situation and that’s typically a cost of $15,000 and upwards.

The home seller is under no obligation to provide you with a move-in ready home. I am sorry you both were not able to come to an agreement. Best of luck in your home search. .