What Real Estate Agents Should Prepare For When Doing Home Inspections

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed Agent12/1/2022

Close-up,Of,A,Person's,Hand,Filling,Document,In,Front,OfSometimes, a home inspection ends up being exactly that, a home inspection. However, more times than not, a home inspection can make you feel like you’re walking into Area 51 – not knowing what to expect. Some real estate agents and even home buyers have seen many unexpected things during home inspections. Some of these are weird, crazy, scary, or even funny.

Recently, we asked a few experts about the craziest things they’ve seen during home inspections. You wouldn’t believe some of the things these experts had to say.


Deborah HeadshotA Home Inspection Turned Creepy

Deborah Ann Spence, a real estate broker, disclosed the creepiest thing she’s ever run into during a home inspection. It completely blew her mind!

“The craziest thing that I found at a home inspection was a cat split in half on the kitchen floor. I felt as if I jumped out of my skin. It was terrible. It was cruel and disturbing. And then the home inspection was over before it even started. The buyer did not purchase the home,” said Deborah.


stan headshotA Detective On The Job 

Stan Mead has had his Texas real estate license for almost a decade now, and he recounts how he became a detective once during a home inspection. 

“We were very surprised to find dozens of old license plates behind some drywall during a recent home inspection. It left us wondering if the home had previously been owned by an auto-theft mastermind!” he said.

“The incident was reported to the local police. Agents should always report suspicious findings to the proper authorities, and clients need to do the same. It is also important not to disturb anything that looks like evidence of a crime,” said Mead.

As it turns out, detectives and home inspectors sometimes end up having a similar job.


Nathaniel HeadshotA Tale Of Stuffed Pet

Nathaniel Hovsepian is the owner of The Expert Home Buyers, he’s also had his Florida real estate license for more than 4 years. Nathaniel reveals the craziest thing he’s ever found during a home inspection. It was unexpected. 

“The craziest thing I have found during an inspection was an owner’s pet that had been stuffed and put into a kitchen cabinet (all of our crazy stories relate to expired animals, in fact). I learned that you should be on your toes and expect anything. Part of doing an inspection is looking through every nook and cranny, and you never know what you might find,” said Nathaniel. 


melanie-johnson headshotA Ghost Story

Do haunted homes exist? We’ve heard hundreds of stories about ghost-ridden houses. But are they true stories or just imaginations running wild?

Melanie Johnson of Fantastic Service Group had a ghost-ridden house experience during a home inspection, and she found something unusual in the crawl space.  

“Once we had an inspection job in Melbourne. The property was old, classical, and pretty much well maintained over the years. However, the owners kept complaining about strange noises coming from beneath the house; they even thought it was ghosts or something,” explained Johnson.  

“The inspection went pretty standard until the inspector got to the crawl space beneath the house. There he found a large colony of rats living uninterrupted. It was so crazy and so difficult to get rid of them, the owners will probably remember this for the rest of their lives. It caused them a lot of losses, and the house was very difficult to sell,” he said.


Luke Smith HeadshotAn Out-Of-Sight Home Defect

Sometimes, homeowners try to play smart by marketing a home without full disclosure. Luke Smith, founder of We Buy Property In Kentucky shares his experience about how he unearthed a hidden home defect before it was too late.

“We tour homes all the time that seem perfectly fine from what the eye can tell. However, one time, we found that the entire septic had backed up and was full,” he said.

“The owners had recently moved in with a family member and reached out to us to purchase that home, but failed to inform us of the septic issues. Had we not gotten the inspection, it would’ve been thousands of dollars to repair that we didn’t budget into the renovation,” said Smith.


Eugene HeadshotA History Lesson In Liquor Dealing

Eugene Romberg owns the company, We Buy Houses In Bay Area, and has had his California real estate license for almost 7 years. He narrated how he found an unusual treasure during a home inspection.

“One time – I had purchased a home that was home to a known prohibition liquor dealer, and as I inspected the house – I was trying to find anything that can recount some of the history of the home before I begin remodeling it. What I found was some great treasure – the home had an unopened bottle of liquor from the prohibition days within the crawl space underneath the house – and they were in near perfect condition!” said Romberg.

“Real estate agents should learn about the history of the build of the home, and they can give advice to their clients who they’re selling for – to research and find out quirky things about their home. Sometimes, it pays to be a history buff – and in this case, the “proof” was in the crawl space,” he said.


Dan-Edmondson headshotHow To Never Miss A Thing

Dan Edmonson, founder and CEO of Dronegenuity revealed how he used technology to uncover what would have been difficult to spot.

“Infrared and thermal inspections can be a huge value-add. After wrapping up a near-perfect inspection, we noticed moisture in the basement walls. We concluded that improper plodding allowed the neighborhood sewer to potentially flood this basement. Real estate agents should always require infrared cameras to inspect for historical water damage that will not otherwise be noticeable,” said Edmonson


Aaron-Zombo HeadshotSpots You Should Never Miss During A Home Inspection

It’s easy to overlook some spots during a home inspection because of the general curb appeal of the home. However, a clean and beautiful home isn’t always an indication that the property is perfect.snake found in inspection

Aaron Zombo of EverDry Toledo reveals what he learned after a “wild” experience he had, when he ran into this massive snake in a crawlspace.   


“It’s important for an agent to keep the basement, crawlspace, and foundation in mind when working on selling a home. It holds so much value to the rest of the home. An area that often goes overlooked, we also inspect the crawlspace or basement to ensure the home is as healthy as possible, especially for those trying to sell their home,” he said.  

“If a homeowner hasn’t been down to their basement or crawlspace in a while, we would encourage them to do so or have us out to check up on any signs of mold, cracking, dampness, and other symptoms of an unhealthy foundation,” explained Zombo.


Expect The Unexpectedkuhn headshot

Kathleen Kuhn,  the CEO of HouseMaster, has seen just about everything under the sun. Her business specializes in home inspections, and she dives into some of their biggest surprises.

“We have found everything from a tiger housed in a garage, to many hidden treasures, including cash,” Kuhn said.

“What is most surprising about home inspections however is how little buyers understand about the home inspection process.  For example when conditions are found as part of an inspection, buyers often ask the home inspector if the seller will fix the concern,” she said.

“Home inspectors are not in the position to identify what if anything a seller fix or pay for. Ideally a buyer should understand that the findings on the inspection will be reviewed with their real estate professional to determine next steps.”

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 12/1/2022



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