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  1. #1
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    Question Pre-Listing Inspections

    I just did my first pre-listing inspection the other day, and I had some questions for those of you who perform them on a regular basis. The client was someone that I had days before performed an inspection for on a home they were purchasing. They didn't want a complete inspection on the house they were selling, but a "what is the inspector our buyer hires gonna find" inspection. How do you perform these and still limit your liability? How can you market a "limited inspection". Is it in compliance with ASHI, NACHI, NAHI, or whoever to perform an inspection that doesn't completely follow their standards of practice? I know it would be ideal to sell a complete home inspection to a seller, but getting someone to cough up cash on a home they are selling can be hard. What do ya'll think?

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    Inspection Referral SOC
    John Thompson
    Shelter Works Home Inspections, LLC
    Missoula, MT

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    ...... They didn't want a complete inspection on the house they were selling, but a "what is the inspector our buyer hires gonna find" inspection. ............ What do ya'll think?
    If you want to Limit the Inspection to certain systems just spell it out in the Pre-Inspecton Agreement.

    But with out a complete Home Inspection I don't know how you would find "what is the inspector gonna find"

    In these times maybe Market a Pre-Inspection combo price with a Standard Home Inspection.(Full Inspection of Both)


    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 12-04-2007 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Full Inspection added
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    I just did my first pre-listing inspection the other day, and I had some questions for those of you who perform them on a regular basis. The client was someone that I had days before performed an inspection for on a home they were purchasing. They didn't want a complete inspection on the house they were selling, but a "what is the inspector our buyer hires gonna find" inspection. How do you perform these and still limit your liability? How can you market a "limited inspection". Is it in compliance with ASHI, NACHI, NAHI, or whoever to perform an inspection that doesn't completely follow their standards of practice? I know it would be ideal to sell a complete home inspection to a seller, but getting someone to cough up cash on a home they are selling can be hard. What do ya'll think?
    Everything in an inspection is important. So when they don't want a complete inspection, what do they want. If they are selling their home they need to know what is wrong so that they can make the needed repairs. All of the standards allow you to alter the inspection to your clients needs. The only problem that might arise is if they use your report to help sell their home and a prospective buyer thinks that the home had a full inspection. I would not try to market a limited inspection.

    Anytime I do a partial inspection I charge by the hour, this includes report writing as well as anything else involved in the inspection. I love charging by the hour as I usually make twice as much.

    I would not worry about how the person is going to pay you just as long as you get paid; heck they are buying a new home! They have to have money to do that so putting them in a bind by paying your fee should not even cross your mind. Whenever you buy a home, everyone has their hand out for a payment of some type. Just put your hand out as well!

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

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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Thanks for the ideas. Aside from laying out what to inspect in the inspection agreement, how do you deal with your particular organization's SOP?-John

    PS-Hey Billy, I actually grew up in Midtown-went to Central High.

    John Thompson
    Shelter Works Home Inspections, LLC
    Missoula, MT

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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    How do you perform these and still limit your liability? How can you market a "limited inspection". Is it in compliance with ASHI, NACHI, NAHI, or whoever to perform an inspection that doesn't completely follow their standards of practice?


    The main reason you are struggling with this issue is because your not seeing it from the point of view of the seller, I don't know what Real Estate contract is used in your state but most contracts are written where the seller warrants certain items, everything else after that is negotiable.

    Generally here in Florida the seller warrants that the structural components, roof, pool & docks are sound, the seller further warrants that the conveyed appliances, electrical & mechanical systems are in working condition and that the structure is free from WDO infestation. Basically what I have termed a sellers five-point inspection.

    What it really comes down to is a an inspection of the major components without any reference to any cosmetic issues, the big thing is how you approach the report.

    Most home inspectors today use a computer-based report which has no problem in spitting out a 50 pages of gobbledygook with 80% comprised of disclaimers, fluff & references for further investigation by licensed contractors.

    In my experience, a sellers report should run about five pages complete with no disclaimer or contractor references, do this and you might be able to sell pre-listing inspections. Folks who think that a pre-listing inspection is the same as a pre-purchase inspection are most likely not performing many pre-listing inspections.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    Thanks for the ideas. Aside from laying out what to inspect in the inspection agreement, how do you deal with your particular organization's SOP?-John

    PS-Hey Billy, I actually grew up in Midtown-went to Central High.
    John

    I work under TN & MS Law neither exclude a Limited Inspection as long as it's SPELLED OUT as such.

    I would include what was and was not Inspected in the Report.

    PS. Fairview jr, Central, East (Cybill Shepard was a Student at East )

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    To me, an inspection is an inspection. I do the same job for a seller as I do for a buyer. To modify Scott's comment: The most important thing in an inspection report is the problem/condition that was not included. If you do not include something in a limited inspection report that you would normally include in a full report, you might be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Even if it is disclaimed.

    Imagine not commenting on a bad stairway if you are doing a limited inspection on the foundation only. Or, commenting on the unsafe stairway during a limited foundation inspection but not commenting on the lack of smoke detectors. Where does it stop?
    To me, it is just too much liability.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Imagine not commenting on a bad stairway if you are doing a limited inspection on the foundation only. Or, commenting on the unsafe stairway during a limited foundation inspection but not commenting on the lack of smoke detectors. Where does it stop?
    To me, it is just too much liability.

    Gunnar,
    It stops at Inspected= A,B,C,

    Not Inspected= D,F,G,H,I,

    But every jurisdiction is different.

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 12-04-2007 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Gunnar
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Billy,

    I understand what you are saying. The problem is that I live in the People's Republic of California. If I don't note a problem, even if I am not inspecting it, have disclaimed it or whatever, I run the risk of being sued for not noting it. It doesn't matter if I am right or win or whatever, I will still be likely to get a black mark on my insurance profile and will either see increased rates or be canceled. I suspect that this is true for most of the U.S., but I really don't know for sure. The downshot is that I don't do limited.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    John, I do pre-listing inspections in the same manner as an inspection I perform for the buyer. As for the inspector the buyer hires, he/she is going to look for every possible issue, as should you. The seller needs to know about everything you can find based upon readily visible and accessible conditions. The seller has no idea what will be a hot button item for prospective buyers as different buyers will likely have varying levels of concern about different issues.

    Cut no corners and do not lower your fee John. Keep in mind that by having the forethought to get a pre-listing inspection done, the sellers increase their chances for a quicker sell of the property which should be every sellers' goal, especially in this market.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    I do the same inspection that I do for anyone buying a home (meets TN and ASHI SOP). If they tell me they only want to know about the big stuff, I tell them that it might be ME inspecting for the new buyers, and "as you know, I will find a lot of stuff...".

    I might not test the appliances (it goes in the report they were not tested), but pretty much everything else is the full monty. No price breaks either, unless I gouged them on the one they were buying (that was a joke).

    I did one recently, it needed a few repairs and my client wanted a "clean" report. Here's what I did... he hired a contractor that has actually done lots of work for me. He did the repairs and e-mailed me photos of them. Since I trust the contractor, and I could see the photos, I just changed my report and re-posted it.

    Now before a bunch of you jump up and down and tell me how stupid I was, blah, blah, blah, hear me out.

    The time between my inspection and repairs was less than 2 weeks.

    The contractor has worked on my house at least 6 times and does ALL of the work on my rental stuff. I have a high level of trust in his workmanship and honesty.

    I had the photos of the repairs (exterior trim - a split flashing boot - flex gas line going thru the air handler cabinet - trim shrubs away from a/c unit).

    My report also has, in a zillion places, a notice that third parties can not hold me liable. If they want, they can hire me to do another inspection, or they can hire someone else.

    I have never had a problem doing pre-listing inspections.
    JF


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Jack,

    I do the same thing on pre-listings; write the report, if the seller wants to make repairs, I return 1 time (no cost) and modify the report.

    Darren

    New Jersey Home Inspection - About the House!


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Jack,

    For the record:

    jump jump jump
    stupid stupid stupid
    blah blah blah

    Just trying to help.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Gunnar,
    Not high enough!!!!!

    I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Yeah, yeah...heard it before, tell me something new.
    JF


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post

    I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JF
    CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Jack,

    *sigh* OK


    .................................................. ......... JUMP!


    ............................. Jump


    jump


    Better?

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pre-Listing Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I did one recently, it needed a few repairs and my client wanted a "clean" report. Here's what I did... he hired a contractor that has actually done lots of work for me. He did the repairs and e-mailed me photos of them. Since I trust the contractor, and I could see the photos, I just changed my report and re-posted it.
    What I would have done, regardless of whether or not I knew the contractor, is to tell my client (in a pre-listing inspection that would be the seller) to attach all repair work order and receipts to the inspection report so the report and work/repair orders are always together.

    If you have a known defect, you must, of course, disclose it, however, if you have a known defect and a known repair of that defect, there is nothing to disclose - there is no known defect anymore ... here is proof (the inspection report and the work order and receipt).

    That saves the inspector from having to change their report for any reason, regardless how well you trust the contractor ... I've been stuck a couple of times by contractors whom I really trusted - and I'm not talking about repairs on inspection, it was either when I was the contractor or when they did work at my home.

    Just food for thought.

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

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