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“My agent say’s that you are known as the supreme deal killer. Is this true?”

Deal Killer?As a long time inspector in Northern Utah I have inspected thousands of homes. The majority of these homes have been found to be in good condition, while some have had major issues that were never disclosed until my inspection of the home. Major water entry issues, structural failure, rot, and termite infestations are often hard issues to deal with in the negotiation process and some of the deals have died an ignominious death.

Do you see the issues?

I marvel that these same homes with major issues don’t get the blame for killing their own deal.

Michael Leavitt
Michael Leavitt

Why do I get tagged as a deal killer for identifying the home’s issues? I don’t make up the issues found during my inspection process. I just have a talent and expertise for finding these issues. This is what my clients are paying me to discover. As the home inspector I get paid to share both the good and bad news by identifying and documenting the conditions that the structure has to reveal. This is my job and I strive to be the best inspector in our 5 state region.

  • “My agent says that you are too critical!”
  • “My agent says that you report stuff that no other inspectors report!”
  • “My agent says your fees are too high and the most inspectors are well under $350 if not below $250.”
  • “My agent says that you are a deal killer!”
  • “My agent says that he recommends you for all of his buyers but that he doesn’t want to see you at any of his listings.

Many of my clients come to me because of their real estate agent’s positive or negative testimonial. Good agents realize that their clients needs to invest their money in the best home inspector they can possibly afford. Buyers are better off knowing the scope of the issues before they close on the home rather than finding out later after they move into the home. I have found that great agents who are looking out for their client’s best interests recommend the best, most detailed, and most expensive inspectors.

I have often chided that some agents would prefer the one eyed, one legged home inspector that can't see everything and can't get to everything. On the other hand, I have found that my clients really do want to know the truth about the property that they are buying and they want their inspector to get everywhere possible.

So let's take some of these issues head on...

TOO CRITICAL - How is it possible to be too critical when you are an inspector? The nature of this profession is to identify what is right and what is wrong with the building. I was blessed with a critical eye and I strive to be the very best inspector that I can be. My clients love the fact that I am extremely critical and detailed in my investigation and reporting. If you want to save money, then go with another firm and ask yourself what they are not reporting for their lesser fee.

"You're reports are so complete. We really love the digital pictures and detailed descriptions." Marlow - Orem, Utah

DEAL KILLER - Yes, sadly I have been involved in many real estate transactions that did not come to fruition. For that I usually get the blame. Many sellers and agents lose track of the fact that I don't invent issues. I simply document the story that the structure tells me. The inspection process often identifies issues that may overwhelm one buyer but not another. Each client has different expectations and thresholds of pain. The goal is to get the right fit between a buyer and a home.

"Michael, we used you on 2 houses before we finally found our dream home." Rowena - Springville, Utah

NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY - To be the best home inspector I have to remain a neutral third party that reports the facts accurately, indiscriminate of who the findings may offend. This means that I often have to be the message bearer of bad news. I accept this role knowing that it is better for the truth to come out before the sale is consummated rather than after.

"Michael, thank you for representing our interests by finding the water damage that others had missed." Scott - Sandy, Utah

TOO DETAILED - I accept this criticism. My clients pay a higher fee for the extra detail contained within my reports. This may include added verbiage, web links for more information, and extra digital pictures to help convey the issues correctly. Isn't that a quality you want in your inspector?

"I never knew there could be so much to learn about our 83 year old house." Allison - Salt Lake City, Utah

TOO TALL - I also accept this criticism. At 6'6" I am able to reach smoke detectors and accurately identify when the stairway head clearance does not meet the 6'8" recommended height. I have the scars on my scalp to prove it.

"Wow, you are really tall!" Cindy - Age 6

TOO BUSY - It is true that there are times during the year when it seems impossible to book me in the needed time frame. I am only one man and can only do so many inspections. But that should not force you to go with a commodity grade inspector who is just sitting around waiting for your call. I do offer a rush inspection service to aid those without an adequate time frame.

"Thank you for fitting our rush order into your schedule" Jonathan - West Jordan, Utah

STRAIGHT SHOOTER - I am hired to be honest and accurate as I shoot a straight shot with my client. I get paid whether or not the deal comes to fruition. This means that my opinions are not influenced to speak nice words to help the deal close. Being a straight shooter allows me the freedom to do the best possible inspection without fear of offending the parties involved. I have found that this scares many of those involved that don’t make any money unless the deal comes to fruition.

"Michael, thank you for investigating and finding the source of our moisture entry." Tom & Mary - Lehi, Utah

TOO MUCH MONEY - My clients pay a higher fee for my service when compared to commodity grade inspection services. I feel that my clients actually get more bang for their buck by investing in my services than by saving money with a cheaper firm. My clients are paying for a professional opinion and that is worth the higher fee.
"You service was worth every dollar!" Marjorie - Alpine, Utah
AGENTS - MANY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH - It sounds like I am condemning the real estate agents and that is not my goal. There are many Northern Utah agents who refer me by name and are completely sold on open disclosure and thorough inspection reporting. I respect the likes of Lakshmi Johal-Domingues, Lori Summers, Patrick Wyman, and Mary Street. These are agents who have built their businesses with the philosophy that if there is going to be an issue to deal with, then it is much better to deal with it before closing on the home rather than after the deal closes and their clients move into their home.
  • LORI SUMMERS - "I tell all my clients to use Michael!"
  • LAKSHMI JOHAL-DOMINGUES - "Michael finds the difficult issues that other inspectors miss!"
  • PATRICK WYMAN - "Michael's inspection reports are just outstanding. I have referred him to my clients for years."
  • MARY STREET - Mary tells her clients, "Michael Leavitt's report is going to scare the life out of you, but it is information that you need to know before you close on the home." Mary has had many deals fall through and dozens more that have closed even though major issues have arisen during the inspection process.
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Orem, Utah 84057
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