Pool inspection said pump is going bad gas engine efficiency

####

Yeah we aren’t fixing any cosmetic, issues. But they asked for a new pump. Also I had a waterline tile break off and I don’t mind getting that repaired. I called the inspector and asked him how he determined it was "at the end of its service life" he said he never said that and the I told him I just replaced the bearings and he said well the motor is going out. Which doesn’t make sense because the bearings are what make contact.Well, my focus would not be on the pump. Because that’s not likely what this is about. You have every logical reason to push back about the pump, and I’d be sorely tempted to myself, because it’s a silly, short-sighted request, in the grand scheme of things, and the darn thing is working! The buyer’s want to win this negotiation. They want to feel like they got a better deal than they should have, somehow, through their genius negotiating skills. It’s human nature when you’re spending this kind of money. Just like it was explained that the inspector had to find something, even where nothing was wrong, the buyers have to get something out of you, just so they can say they did. They know they can’t come after any "cosmetic" stuff. So they’ve glommed on to a pool pump, of all things. And maybe, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re only going to all this trouble about the pump for a similar reason? So they don’t get that $500 out of you?

In other words, I’d worry less about the pump and what the inspector said and bearings and what not, and more about the house-selling strategy that is behind this all. What is your realtor advising? What’s his commission? Ask him to pony up for the pump! He will if he wants this sale bad enough. Like it’s been said, everything is negotiable.

If it comes down to it, tell the buyers (you know, thru the realtors) that while the pump is fine as is, you want them to be happy and enjoy the pool. But instead of you paying to have the pump fixed or replaced with the cheapest thing you can find (paraphrasing), that you’d rather they accept x-dollars in "cash/discount" so that they can upgrade the pump to something better. This will sound like a magnanimous gesture to them, it’ll put cash in their hands, which is all they really want, and you can offer them half of what it would cost you to put in a new pump. Win-win.

The "problem" with inspections is that they work for whoever paid for their services and if the buyer paid for it then, like my buddy who does A/C says, "when I come to your home to service it then I’m there for an entirely different purpose than when I come to inspect something before you buy it," which roughly translates into, "The additional couple hundred dollars I charge over a normal service visit for a pre-purchase inspection buys you some negotiating points."

Unfortunately, ou don’t even have a guarantee the report is about your property. A couple days before the buyer of my condo closed on the property, her agent sent my agent an email asking if I knew why the GFCIs in the kitchen weren’t working, why the light "fixtures" didn’t work (my first clue), and whether there was a problem or if the circuit breakers were just off. I read through the report to verify what I suspected: the report had pictures of my condo but all of the descriptions couldn’t have been for my condo. My condo doesn’t have light fixtures because we remodeled it with can lights throughout the first floor. Maybe someone might call recessed lights "fixtures" but they’d have a more difficult time explaining why he suggested the gas line be capped off correctly (21 town home "condos" and none of them even have gas run to them when they were built!) and questionable expertise on his opinion that the stairs were "non-standard" and should be verified to be "code compliant" …I should have forwarded that to the inspectors for giggles.

In any case, I simply went into the condo and took video of me plugging a lamp into every outlet and testing the GFCIs and flipping the light switches so the agent could see everything worked properly. I never heard anything back…not even a thank you when I listed all of the issues and concerns over the report and suggested the buyer get her money back.

When I inspect, it doesn’t matter who paid me – the reports will be identical.There’s no reason to be disappointed by what I wrote. In my post, I specifically limited what he was talking about to the difference between a "service" call and an "inspection" — not the difference between a buyer vs. a seller paying for an inspection.

The "problem" of how inspections are generated has more to do with the asymmetry of an inspection’s utility; I was not referring to bias in reporting. The report may be neutral, but even a neutral report places buyers and sellers at odds with one another and provides a buyer with more leverage over a seller.

In this situation, since we are discussing the issue with the seller, the report presents a problem (even with it being completely neutral) because it is revealing potential concerns (which is its intended purpose): the pump is on the downslope of its life expectancy.

This "neutral" report provides information to the buyer that can be used during negotiations but fails to provide the seller similar utility. At best, an inspection could come back clean so that the seller can sigh in relief but can’t ask for more money. A report’s utility, even neutral ones, are more beneficial to a buyer than a seller during negotiations.

We just sold a house. We didn’t have a pool, but I’m familiar with the ‘end of life’ comments. I think they use general industry assumptions, like a gas water heater is typically good for X years, a shingle roof is good for X, years, etc. Our buyers report called out almost every thing, as the house is 11 years old and everything is original.

I would say, no repairs will be done on the pump, as you just had it rebuilt and it is fully operational. Provide proof if you can. You could always throw in a home warranty. But, if I was the seller, I would just refuse. Our inspection called out some warped vinyl, and we said we weren’t replacing because we already replaced it last March, and it happened again, due to the reflection of the sun. We showed pictures from last March, and the buyer was OK with it.

But, beware, that underwriters and appraisers can request repairs nowadays too! The buyers appraisal was contingent upon us spray painting some aluminum posts, pressure washing the house and replacing the stupid warped vinyl the buyer was OK with. Wth? They probably won’t over a pool pump, but they can do whatever they want. Ugh.