So, a walk and talk. What is that? Well, in today’s market, it is anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes that a home inspector walks through a house with a buyer giving them verbal information about issues that are seen.
What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, let me explain. Since we are in Ohio, I am going to focus on my state. Please confirm with your state any questions that you may have regarding walks and talks. I do know that there are some states that worked in walk and talks to their law. Ohio did not.
State licensing for home inspectors began to be enforced in 2021. The state law requires that a person performing an inspection for money meet certain requirements set by the state. What are those requirements you ask? Well, there are two big ones that we will focus on.
So, there needs to be a contract first and foremost. This means that the buyer has an expectation of what the inspector is going to be looking at and what he will not look at. This protects the buyer because expectations are clarified, and the inspector needs to meet them to fulfill his part of the contract. If these expectations are not met, the buyer has a signed contract spelling out what was to have been performed during the inspection and subsequently has recourse if there is a major issue. This may not meet the requirements if the inspector has not had the buyer look at and sign an agreement.
The second part of the licensing requirements was to spell out exactly what is to be looked at in an inspection. If a requirement is not able to be met, the inspector has to explain why it was not in the report. This is also important because our law states that a report has to be given in writing after a home has been inspected. A walk and talk do not meet this requirement. In fact, Ohio does not allow for differing degrees of inspections. All inspections for a home have to meet their requirements. A walk and talk are performed in a very short amount of time. It is not very detailed and does not look at all of the systems that an inspection should look at as required by law. There is nothing given to the client in writing and subsequently nothing that protects him/her. To see what is required to be looked at during an inspection go to Rule 1301:17-1-17 – Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws. For additional information on the home inspector law in Ohio, start with Chapter 4764 of the Ohio Revised Code.
The truth of the matter is that a walk and talk does not protect the buyer. It is also very likely that warranties will not cover the property if a walk and talk alone was performed. This leaves the buyer with little protection and little recourse if there ends up being a major issue.
Contact Habitation Investigation for your complete home inspection. Know what you are getting into. Didn’t give yourself an inspection clause in your contract? No problem, contact us as soon you take possession, and we will be happy to do an inspection for you. You will know the most important items to take care of immediately. And the best part is that you will still be covered by our warranties.
Call or text 614.413.0075 or schedule online for a discount at Home Inspection Columbus Ohio – Habitation Investigation (homeinspectionsinohio.com). And as always, let us know if you have any questions.