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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Meeting the buyer

    If a buyer wants to meet with you several days after the inspection, do you charge them a return visit fee. I was not informed of the meeting when the inspection was booked.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    It depends on what they want to meet me for. If it's to go over repairs that were made since the inspection or to walk them through the house to show them my findings there would be a re-inspection fee.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    If a buyer wants to meet with you several days after the inspection, do you charge them a return visit fee. I was not informed of the meeting when the inspection was booked.
    Depends how far I have to drive and how much I charged for the inspection! If I have to drive an hour to meet just to talk about what is in the report then I would most likely tell them that the fee I quoted did not cover this extra trip and time. Now if they want to meet at a restaurant and talk over lunch that might be a different issue.

    I tell my clients that once the hire me as their inspector I will be available by phone or email for as long as they own their house. I don't care if they call me 5 years from now to ask how to repair a dripping faucet or whatever.

    I see no reason that this could not be conducted over the phone.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Were the clients in attendance at the inspection?

    I would have asked the client if everything was okay, draw him out. Is it a complaint, or an finding that needs further explanation?


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Like Scott said, if all they want to do is discuss the report and inspection, do it over the phone. If they insist on a face-to-face, I'd tell them there will be a charge because that is a slot on my schedule that now cannot be booked for an inspection.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Same as Scott.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    You know more about your market area and the circumstances that surround this particular inspection appointment and client.

    I'm unclear as to if the client and/or his representative was present at the time of inspection. I'm assuming not, but perhaps was and wants to "meet again"?

    Was the client supposed to be there, and just "blew off" the inspection? Was there some excuse or explanation as to why the client didn't "make it"?

    If perhaps, the client is from out-of-town, was travelling or had travel plans to be there for the inspection appointment, and their travel plans were delayed due to some event outside of their control (such as weather, air travel problems, health emergency, death, etc.) and the notification and request was TIMELY, perhaps a minor accomodation in the interests of your market base, referals, etc. *might* be in order.

    Similarly, if perhaps the client arrived at the property at a *reasonable* time on the day of inspection, anticipating meeting with you and going over your inspection during what the client thought would be the later part of your visit, and within the timeframe you may have suggested (via your website or otherwise) would be a reasonable time following the beginning of your inspection's BOOKED apointment time, and *just* missed you, such as you left when you finished - maybe got an "early start", not knowing the client was enroute; then again, you know your market base and your market; you know how cell signals ebb and flow in the region; and you also know the details and circumstances regarding the arrangement and arangee regarding your services on the appointed date...and what would be in your own best interests - and how far some "good will" can go, and how far perceived opposite can go against you. You also know your client base - and how oftentimes those with higher "budgets" are also "high maintenance" and oftentimes those with the "most" are also the most loathe to spend one more nickle then they think they have to (entitled attitude, etc.). You know, those Hollywood, Hamptons, and imfamous (Kardashian, Tori Spelling, Paris Hilton, Gene Simons, etc.) types always looking for concierge service gratis (without paying for it) because they are overly impressed with their own self-importance, they believe they deserve it or that everyone else is so impressed with "who they are". (IME these type clients don't perceive value to and for services received, unless they actually pay, and pay well, for it, and tend to walk all over underpriced and overprovided service and servicing{professional or not} personnel. Additionally they tend to have an exagerated perception as to the value of their money and time versus those of others, and tend to transform *their* problems into *your* problems.

    Again, you know your client base, your market, and your buisness plan, and much more about your specific client, the communications surrounding the inspection, etc. much better than us.

    It is also rather vague as to why the client wants to "meet" with you and at what venue, and for what purpose.

    Example, meeting at "high noon" for a shoot-out at the O.K. Corral? who else will be present? Seller? Contractor? Agents?

    Some concern about your performance (or non-performance) level?

    Has the client contracted for additional or specialized inspections or consultations with other (third party) professionals, as per recommendations in your report? Are you expected to attend same, or defend your report to these persons, or direct their examination? Value added services, or some attempt at a challenge, or instant gratification of some perceived guarantee or warrantee regarding your observations and recommenations in your report?

    Some questions regarding items identified or described in your report? Something additional photos you took for example, but chose to not include in your report, might address in supplemental communications?

    A second, or post-correction, follow-up inspection? Client looking for additional services for nothing?

    A pre-close walk-through, "walk-n-talk"? additional services - not free either.

    Is there something regarding the client that might make email and/or telephone conferencing difficult? (hearing impairment, language barrier, learning disability, etc.?), and an accomodation might be in your best interests, or not....??

    Any thing regarding the above or something else, that you might not know, that you might be able to glean from one or the other Agents involved in the transaction?

    Could it be that the client's Agent needs to correct an impression or incorect expectation the client has due to the Agent's miscommunication........ or the Agent's incorrect assumption that you work for free?

    We don't know what you know about the situation with this client, and any nuances regarding the situation regarding the particular property, and/or the possiblity of additional work for this client in the near future, may or may not justify an accomodation, gratis, discounted, full-fee, or otherwise.

    Bottom line, doing so would be purely elective on your part. Few HIs do involuntary pro-bono work, consultations, education, management, or hand-holding. Time is money, your time is your time. Value is perceived, and personal. Professional fee-for-service or service contract is not indefinate servitude. Contracted service is limited in scope and duration. You "work to live," according to your site bio, you don't live to work. If you decide for whatever reason to extend a professional courtesy or accomodation, IMO the parties on the receiving end, Agent included, should be made aware that it is just that, and WHY you're extending same, and carefully limiting your liability - and in no way extending the contract or the performance of the actual finite home inspection and reporting which has already had complete performance and concluded; that same is finite and self-limiting; and perhaps doing so in writing, and acquiring a written confirmation and acknowledgment in advance of any such meeting.

    Thoughts pondered, your milage may vary...

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 12-20-2011 at 01:57 PM.

  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    If I get questions about something in the report... I ask that the questions be put in writing so I can respond in writing. Once you speak to someone on the phone they can change what you say to fit their needs. I require a paper trail as to what is said to cut down any confusion that may arise. You would be surprised as to how many questions just disappear if they have to put them in writing. As far as meeting with a buyer after the inspection..whether I charge or not depends on the circumstances.


  9. #9
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    The inspection was an emergency inspection, called Monday morning at 8:30 and I did the inspection at 11. Took and hour to get into the unit because it was rented. It was about 1800 ft, condo. The client was not there. I charged them 85 dollars for the hr delay. The next day the agents assistant calls and asks if I will meet with the son. The dad is buying a 1.2 millon dollar condo as an xmas present and the son wants to go over the report in person. He was not the one paying for the inspection. I said it will be an additional 150 dollars, In addition to the 385. I thought it was fair.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    I don't know which part to be most envious of..... the $85 for waiting an hour, $385 for a condo or the prospective $150 to go talk to him Those all are a bit out of the norm for my market but whatever you can get, more power to you.

    I've had many requests like this over the years and have usually been able to talk on the phone and take care of things. Like some others have said it would depend on a lot of factors (driving distance, my schedule, the fee collected and time spent at the original inspection and just how nice the people were and how much I wanted to help them out).


  11. #11
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    I don't know about Utah, but in Texas you would have needed the father's permission to talk to the son since the father was the client. As far as the charges, I agree you did an enviable job.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    I don't know about Utah, but in Texas you would have needed the father's permission to talk to the son since the father was the client. As far as the charges, I agree you did an enviable job.
    It's California.

    A whole different breed of people out there.The air is different. The water is different. The clouds many float on are made of that finny stuff some smoke.

    385, 85, 150 OK then

    Did you also notice that the Agents assistant called. Not the buyer or the buyers son that the condo was for but the agent and her/his crew handled everything.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    I don't know about Utah, but in Texas you would have needed the father's permission to talk to the son since the father was the client. As far as the charges, I agree you did an enviable job.
    It's California.

    A whole different breed of people out there.The air is different. The water is different. The clouds many float on are made of that finny stuff some smoke.

    385, 85, 150 OK then

    Did you also notice that the Agents assistant called. Not the buyer or the buyers son that the condo was for but the agent and her/his crew handled everything.

    Now ask Mathew just how much that Condo cost and you will see straight away that there is something wrong with many many folks out there.


  14. #14
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Ted,
    I noticed that the agent's assistant called, but I'm not as adamant about the agent relationship as you are.

    Everybody have a great Christmas,


  15. #15
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    It's Utah not CA, I would never live in CA So you don't charge anyone when you are standing around for an hour wainting to get into a unit, after you rescheduled your entire day to do an emergency inspection. Maybe I need to re-evaluate thing, then again no. The condo was 1.1 or 1.2. Nevertheless, agents don't like when I waste their time and I don't like when they waste mine. In this little town all of the big agents have assistants who schedule the inspections. Is that not the norm? The condo inspection was 300, the hr was 85 and they never called back for the meeting. I guest 150 was too much after the million dollar present. lol


  16. #16
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    I would say 70 to 80 percent of the time I never even talk to the client. I know this is not the norm but I must be honest, it's really nice


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I would say 70 to 80 percent of the time I never even talk to the client. I know this is not the norm but I must be honest, it's really nice
    I wish I had more inspections like that around here. Most buyers want to be there for the entire inspection which is understandable because they're paying for the inspection and they're going to be living in the house. But some people want to be in your back pocket the entire time and I keep bumping into them every time I turn around. When 3 other people decide they need to all be in the small powder room with me when I inspect it, I have to speak up and tell them to give me some space. I'm pretty tolerant but at the very least, you need to give me space.

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

  18. #18
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Meeting the buyer

    Nick,
    If you walk backwards throughout the inspection, you won't have to turn around. Problems solved.


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