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Navigating real estate inspections

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I have done it again. One year in every three I manage it----- A sort of walking disaster, my eyes dull as a real estate disclosure form, my two feet, a mudsill My face a featureless fine-grade drywall. Peel off the plaster, O my inspector. Am I rotten? Here's my bad real estate rewrite of "Lady Lazarus," Sylvia Plath's paean to her multiple suicide attempts. Silly, I know. The real poem is about the place between life and the unknown that Plath found herself in again and again. But in my case, it's not death déjà vu, but real estate limbo, something that seems, if not as final, then certainly almost as scary. That's right – I'm in that murky netherworld known as escrow. Every three years, it seems, I get myself into this situation, and it's always confusing. It is here that I stumble about in the dark in search of the holy path of wood-boring beetles. It is here that I try to understand how to correct past misdeeds, how to predict future failings (structural, n...