The sale that could've been

Seller blames 'nit-picky' inspector for killing deal

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DEAR BARRY: A home inspector recently came to our house and scared off our buyers with false assumptions about our foundation and with nit-picky disclosures of all kinds. Our foundation was actually repaired last year, but we never patched the stucco crack that occurred before the repair work was done. The home inspector assumed that the crack occurred after the foundation was repaired. He reported this to the buyers, and they bailed out of the deal. He also stated in his report that the stream at the bottom of our property (nowhere near our house) is "a major erosional feature." On the nit-pick side, he mentioned such things as a small stain on our carpet and a scratch on the bedroom door. How can we market our home to other buyers with this kind of inspection report to disclose? –Ginny

DEAR GINNY: When home inspectors report defects, they should state what they see and limit their conclusions to things they can confirm. If an inspector sees settlement cracks in a stucco wall, the cause may be apparent, but the age of the crack can rarely be determined.