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  1. #1

    Default Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I am a relatively new home inspector and Ive had some clients express an interest in Walk Thru inspections or essentially a very top level brief inspection prior to making an actual offer on a property. My initial thought would be to walk the property with the client for no more than 30 minutes and point any obvious defects / concerns. Id make the expectation very clear that it is not a full blow inspection and I will not be covering some of the more detailed aspects of an inspection such as fully inspecting the attic & crawl space, removing covers from the panel box & heating systems, getting on the roof, and other more time consuming and granular aspects of a home inspection.

    Id like to get some feedback from the group in terms of whether anyone else has any experience with offering this type of a service. Specifically, Id like to understand if you are providing any kind of written report associated with these type of inspections or if you only communicate your general findings verbally. I currently conduct inspections in NY and Im hesitant to provide anything in writing in terms of physical findings as Im concerned it could be misconstrued as a full blown inspection thus carrying the full liability and SOP requirements.

    In addition Im curious as to what would be a reasonable fee to charge a client for an inspection of this type.

    Thanks for the help,

    John

    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I would not offer this to a buyer but I have done them for home owners before they put their home on the market or for those that just want to know what is going on with their home. I call them Walk-n-Talk inspections, I talk and they take the notes. I charge my normal hourly fee of $225 for the first hour or part of it. Then I charge in half-hour increments.

    Offering this for buyers is just throwing business $$ out the window and might not be allowed under many state HI laws, IMVHO.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,247

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I have done it for a number of buyers - make sure that your agreement/contract states what you are doing and not doing (you are not doing anything not listed as doing).

    Pays well, is not a "home inspection" by definition, and has almost no liability.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I do them for investors. 1 hour walk and talk. No photos, no notes.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I've had these calls before and people usually stuff like they just want a quick walk thru and to take basic look a things. I tell them that is what a home inspection is

    I generally shy away from them for the reasons Scott P gives. If it were slow and/or I were new and looking business I suppose I could entertain the idea.

    I know when I've been looking at houses for myself or friends I can often find about 80% of the problems in the first 20% of the time I'm on the property about 90% of the time.

    Problem is it's not a good business model missing big stuff 10% of the time.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I wouldn't do it for a few reasons:

    I'd loose money as it would take time away from doing full priced inspections.
    My insurance wouldn't cover it.
    The seller would have to give permission for the inspection, which most likely wouldn't happen without a purchase agreement.
    The seller's expectations will be too high, no matter what you write in your agreement.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I offer a walk and talk inspection for a discount, it is basically the same as a standard inspection for me except I don't take any pictures or produce a report or checklist because I don't write anything or take any pictures it is generally faster too (about 2 hours for me instead of 3). I would be apprehensive about glossing over things quickly because it may be a disservice but if that's what they want just make sure it's in the contract.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I have done it for a number of buyers - make sure that your agreement/contract states what you are doing and not doing (you are not doing anything not listed as doing).

    Pays well, is not a "home inspection" by definition, and has almost no liability.
    Jerry, (or anyone else)

    Can you share a form of contract that you might use in a situation like this. I can only imagine how long the list of "what I'm not doing" may consist of. But what-ever, I do believe a written contract is in order for any type of work we do and would be interested in seeing one that others may use.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I don't think "a relatively new inspector" (as the OP described himself) should be offering to perform such inspections. For the simple reason that he doesn't have enough experience on the job. Maybe after a few hundred (or thousand?) inspections under his belt he'd be better prepared to breeze through and not miss significant deficiencies.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    Have to agree with Bridgeman, this is not something a new inspector should be doing at all.
    Beyond that:
    For HI, I only do it for customers I have already done a full home inspection for previously and they know what a full HI and report look like. You don't want to do a W & T and have a buyer get the wrong impression about what a full HI is. They do a W & T with you and end up interpreting it as a full HI. Bad news all the way around.
    I usually do these when the full inspection deal falls through for whatever reason and the buyer has found 2-3 new houses they really like but aren't sure which one to make an offer on.
    Quick 1/2 hour walk through of each to look for red flags, major issues and then they can decide which to make an offer on. Once that's done, I go back for a full HI.
    For investors, not for a new client. Only for clients who have paid for a full inspection and report. Once again you do not want to set false expectations about what type of work you do. Once you have an established relationship with a client then its a different story. You can do them a favor.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    S.W. Missouri
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    The clients that want these inspections are the same clients who only read the summery page of a report. It is that reason I generally don't do these inspections and I don't include summery pages in my reports. Because these clients will want to blame someone for their lack of due diligents.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    I have been asked to do these types of inspections in the past and I always turn them down. I can't do the inspection the way I want to and it will take away from my ability to book a full inspection.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Walk Thru Home Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I do them for investors. 1 hour walk and talk. No photos, no notes.
    Me too, except I do a simple punch list of what's wrong. For my regular investors, I offer a substantially discounted fee based on my time and convenience (subjective, but I've never had one complain). I've learned so much from one top notch investor that I'd do his for free, but I've never told him that But if you think you'll be in and out in 30 minutes, you're dreaming.

    Also, I don't advise it for regular house buyers. I've learned that despite your best efforts to set their expectations, they expect a much more inclusive inspection than you've described. I let an agent talk me into a "basic component" inspection for a reduced fee last summer and about the tenth time I told the client that whatever he was pointing at was not included, he decided that he'd pay for a full inspection.....but he grumbled the whole time.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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