Purchasing a home can be a big investment, so a home inspector wants to lessen buyers’ fears by offering to purchase the building from them if he misses anything during the inspection.
Stephen Romanycia launched Above the Rest Property Inspections in May after receiving his certification in March from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the world’s leading association for home inspectors. He worked in construction in Alberta and Saskatchewan for more than 35 years — he was a Red Seal journeyman electrician for 22 years — before health complications forced him to retire in 2018.
“I thought 35-plus years in the construction industry, that’s a lot of experience to flush down the toilet,” he said. “Home inspection? Well, that might be a little less labour intensive and work with my spinal condition through the use of drones for the inspection of roofs … .”
Romanycia, 56, has inspected two homes since he launched his business. His construction experience helped with one analysis, as he determined that the building had structural issues due to several additions. However, he pointed out that since this is the busy season for inspections, most people go with “tried and true” inspectors who are experienced.
The former construction labourer is one of several home inspectors in Moose Jaw who is an InterNACHI member. However, Romanycia is the only one offering the association’s “We’ll buy your home” guarantee, a buy-back deal where the organization will buy the home from the purchaser at full price if the inspector misses anything.
“There’s nine systems in a home. So, I have a set guideline I have to look at for those nine systems,” said Romanycia.
For example, if he misses an issue that affects the foundation, sewer, or roof and that’s a deal-breaker for the homeowner, he will contact InterNACHI. The association will review the situation and determine if he missed something. If he did, the association would pay the purchaser the full price within 15 days.
The organization will then ask a real estate agent to list the home for sale.
“Through my research, I found that a lot of people looked at home inspectors at the weathermen. They can be wrong 98 per cent of the time and there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Romanycia. “And for an added kick in the teeth, you can’t hold us responsible for anything. We’re not liable for nothin’.
“So, when I seen that buy-back guarantee and the warranties, I’m trying to give the realtors’ client a little bit more peace of mind knowing that … there is something there to fall back on if it does turn into a lemon.”
Offering this deal does put some pressure on Romanycia to ensure he analyzes everything correctly, he admitted, especially since InterNACHI will likely reprimand him if, for example, it had to buy back eight of 15 homes he inspected. Moreover, he would make himself look bad with poor inspections.
“For me, it’s just giving a good quality report and doing my best to keep the client happy,” he added.
Another deal Romanycia is offering is that 10 per cent of his net sales will go toward the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
He explained that JDRF was an organization his trades union donated to when working in Alberta, so he was familiar with that charity and wanted to continue that tradition. He also has type 2 diabetes, so he has a personal connection to the cause.
“I’m not in this to get rich,” Romanycia added. “This is about giving back to the community.”