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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Washington State
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    Thumbs up Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I have been using HomeGauge software for about 9 months now. One of the latest improvements they have made is a click to sign Inspection Agreement. When I email the report to the client they get the inspection agreement first, and have to click to accept the terms of the agreement to get their report. This time stamps and saves the clients internet provider and email address. My E&O provider says that this is acceptable. I was wondering if any other inspectors are using an on-line "click to accept" agreement.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Sounds like a great idea but... I have to wonder how well it would stand up if challenged. My E & O provider requires the contract be signed before the inspection, but they might go for this idea since it give a positive acceptance requirement with a time and date stamp.
    Have you tried the feature to see how it works with different servers?
    I wold think it could be problematic with spam filters, pop-up blockers, etc.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,248

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I would recommend they sign it first, then use that as a back-up when they retrieve the report.

    You should have it signed "before" you inspect, otherwise they could claim that they were forced to sign it "under duress" just to get their report - you already did your inspection "without conditions".

    Good for "back-up", though.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    I have been using HomeGauge software for about 9 months now. One of the latest improvements they have made is a click to sign Inspection Agreement. When I email the report to the client they get the inspection agreement first, and have to click to accept the terms of the agreement to get their report. This time stamps and saves the clients internet provider and email address. My E&O provider says that this is acceptable. I was wondering if any other inspectors are using an on-line "click to accept" agreement.
    You should also check with an attorney in your state that is familiar with contract law to see if this will holdup in a court of law in your state. Also, since Washington is now working on licensing you might want to check with the Home Inspector Licensing Board to see if this will meet their requirement for a signed contract.

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

  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Sounds like a great idea but... I have to wonder how well it would stand up if challenged. My E & O provider requires the contract be signed before the inspection, but they might go for this idea since it give a positive acceptance requirement with a time and date stamp.
    Have you tried the feature to see how it works with different servers?
    I wold think it could be problematic with spam filters, pop-up blockers, etc.

    I have an E&O carrier that did not ask if I had a contract sgned before every inspection. Their reasoning was that contract or not if you screw up they are coming after you anyway and a contract for limited liability is not worth the paper it was on.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alabama
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    77

    Cool Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Ted,
    I am under the impression that your clients are unable to join you for the inspection for a particular reason? If not, why not? I require that the client attend the inspection. I am pretty firm on this, considering that it is one of the largest purchases they will ever make.

    And by the way, if you haven't noticed, if someone wants to take you to court they will. What will always lean in your favor is a signed LEGAL document showing their compliance with your inspection agreement. However, if the case is that there is/was negligence involved........bad times ahead.

    Even paying for the postage for them to sign it and return it by snail mail would be preferable to court.


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. Whitt View Post
    Ted,
    I am under the impression that your clients are unable to join you for the inspection for a particular reason? If not, why not? I require that the client attend the inspection. I am pretty firm on this, considering that it is one of the largest purchases they will ever make.

    And by the way, if you haven't noticed, if someone wants to take you to court they will. What will always lean in your favor is a signed LEGAL document showing their compliance with your inspection agreement. However, if the case is that there is/was negligence involved........bad times ahead.

    Even paying for the postage for them to sign it and return it by snail mail would be preferable to court.
    I think what I said is my insurance company did not care about a signed agreement.

    As far as the client not being able to be there? They can come any time they want. I do howerver suggest to them that it is better to come in the end when I am wrapping it up. One of the worse things you can do is have constant interuptions while you are trying to perform a job for your client.

    To have someone looking over your shoulder and following you around like a puppy dog does one no good at all. I think you are reading one of the sales pitches from all inspection companies and even mine when you are saying "considering that it is one of the largest purchases they will ever make."

    If one is so concerned then they should allow you to do the job you are paid for and look out for their largest purchase they will ever make. You can spend much better quality time with your clients at the end of the inspection when you have completed the inspection and hopefully the report. At that time you can walk and talk and point out the concerns to them. Not to mention. To insist evry one of your clients be there for the whole inspection is taking them from things that they could/should be doing. Taking half a day to a day from work is not convenient for them most of the time.

    Almost everyone that I book an appointment with and I tell them they can be there the entire time, just in the beginning, just at the middle or just at the end. I give them the option but also tell them thatb it is to their benefit that they come in the end and spend quality time with them.

    As far as saying

    "And by the way, if you haven't noticed, if someone wants to take you to court they will. What will always lean in your favor is a signed LEGAL document showing their compliance with your inspection agreement. However, if the case is that there is/was negligence involved........bad times ahead."

    The signed legal document is not going to help you in the slightest if you do in fact just plane ole screw up and miss something altogether. If you miss something and the cost is xxx you are going to pay for it anyway. I live in a licensed stste that has set standards. The TREC has a recovery fund for the protection o you missing something.

    You say if there were "negligence involved". Well if there was your contract is worth as much as the tissue paper you used before you left the house this morning.

    One thing about a licensed state, with an inspection report formatted to the state standards, SOPs laid out by the state that you must follow. There is absolutely no confusion to what an home inspection is There is no scating around it.

    I want you or any home inspector to be taken to court and you did an inspection where you did not right up a foundation that was obviously in bad need of repair and a foundation company comes behind you and says there is 10,000.00 in work needed.

    Then I want you to look at the judge and hold your legal document in one hand and say to the judge.

    "Your honor. I know I missed that write up about the foundation but this here legal document says that all I have to do is give the inspection fee back"

    "What will always lean in your favor is a signed LEGAL document showing their compliance with your inspection agreement."

    That statement means nothing at all. The inspection agreement is that I am licensed by the state of Texas and have to inspect to their guidelines and standards on the accepted formated inspection report. By not doing so I am not performing my job what I am being hired for. An addition signed agreement will do nothing to protect me in the slightest.

    We have to have E&O by state law. If we do not we cannot have an active license until we do.

    "their compliance with your inspection agreement."

    And what exactly does that mean. Their compliance. If you screw up and they can prove it you are going to pay, period. *You* have to comply with the state standards and you make them aware of the Texas Real Estate Commisions.

    As you said. If someone wants to bring you to court, they will. It will not matter if you had them sign an agreement of anykind. If you screw up you will pay if they can prove that you did screw up, period. Agreement is useless, period. Then you state, "If someone wants to take you to court they will" and then you write "Even paying for the postage for them to sign it and return it by snail mail would be preferable to court."

    In case you don't know it you are making the case yourself. They will bring you to court, contract/agreement or not. You screw up, you will pay.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    There are many times my clients do not attend the inspection. The most common reason is they are not in town, and may not even be in the same State. IN more than one case, they were out of the Country.

    I have checked with my attorney. A faxed signature is fine. An electronic signature over e-mail is fine. I don't have a link on my web site, so I don't know about that. The fact that I have a written policy that they will not get the report until I have a signed contract also helps protect me.

    My insurance company is also fine with all of the above. They just want to see that I get my contract signed before the inspection.

    While I do "encourage" my clients to attend, I can not force them to. IN fact there have been many times that if I tried to wait until they could coordinate their schedules, I would end up doing inspections only on Saturdays' or after 5 pm during the week. No thanks!


  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would recommend they sign it first, then use that as a back-up when they retrieve the report.

    You should have it signed "before" you inspect, otherwise they could claim that they were forced to sign it "under duress" just to get their report - you already did your inspection "without conditions".

    Good for "back-up", though.
    As Jerry pointed out. if im going to have a contract with some one lets get all the cards on the table first... Same with the check lets get the check at the same time as the contract...

    then we can start the ball game... Who's on first!

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    I have been using HomeGauge software for about 9 months now. One of the latest improvements they have made is a click to sign Inspection Agreement. When I email the report to the client they get the inspection agreement first, and have to click to accept the terms of the agreement to get their report. This time stamps and saves the clients internet provider and email address. My E&O provider says that this is acceptable. I was wondering if any other inspectors are using an on-line "click to accept" agreement.
    I like the thought but would like to have that option before the home inspection.

    How is the confirmation presented to you? It sounds like you get an email that reads they have accepted the conditions of the contract which the email includes the contract, the internet provider, email address and time stamps it.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I'm old school. Nothing beats a signature. Considering all the electronic means to get a document from A to B, if the client still can't manage to get a signed copy to me then I probably can't manage to drive out to the job and work my butt off for 3 hours. Old farts are funny that way.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I like it but I wish I could do it on my own.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rocky Mountains of Boulder, CO
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    158

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    ...
    While I do "encourage" my clients to attend, I can not force them to. IN fact there have been many times that if I tried to wait until they could coordinate their schedules, I would end up doing inspections only on Saturdays' or after 5 pm during the week. No thanks!
    Here here.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durant, OK
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I'm old school. Nothing beats a signature. Considering all the electronic means to get a document from A to B, if the client still can't manage to get a signed copy to me then I probably can't manage to drive out to the job and work my butt off for 3 hours. Old farts are funny that way.
    Eric,
    I like the way you think.. I will have to agree. Let them read the contract while you are standing there to answer any questions at the outset, eliminate any misunderstandings and explain any misconceptions. Get a clear understanding between you and your client exactly what they are paying for and what you are going to deliver...get the signed contract in hand, then the payment...and away we go! Works for me.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Gromicko View Post
    Here here.
    This reply to a post from two years ago, appears to be another gromickio attempt to get free advertizing and information on how to inspect decks so he can sell a course that he calls his, to unsupecting newby inspectors.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durant, OK
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Gee Dan, until you pointed it out, I had not noticed that the original post was back in 2008. I feel like I just tapped into some past conversation through an old radio...sounds like something straight out of Ray Bradbury

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. Whitt View Post
    Ted,
    I am under the impression that your clients are unable to join you for the inspection for a particular reason? If not, why not? I require that the client attend the inspection. I am pretty firm on this, considering that it is one of the largest purchases they will ever make.

    And by the way, if you haven't noticed, if someone wants to take you to court they will. What will always lean in your favor is a signed LEGAL document showing their compliance with your inspection agreement. However, if the case is that there is/was negligence involved........bad times ahead.

    Even paying for the postage for them to sign it and return it by snail mail would be preferable to court.
    Absentee Clients: In Italy, Belgium, California, Idaho, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Hong Kong, and Florida. That's the ones I can pull of the top of my head. I'm in Virginia. Some are military, some had severe time restrictions, some just didn't want to make another long trip, some could'nt get off to make the trip. Never had a problem (so far, knock on wood). I sent the agreement and had them either fax or scan and email the signature page back to me. I use the electronic signature in Adobe Acrobat which includes an image of my signature along with a time and date stamp.

    Last edited by Stuart Brooks; 11-15-2010 at 07:51 AM. Reason: spelling
    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  18. #18
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I also use Homegauge and I use the electronic force agreement most of the time. My dad is an attorney, and he says it's as good as signed with a pen. My insurance company also appproves of this method.

    As for clients "must be at the inspection," ya'll need to get with the rest of us here in the 21st century...LOL! Most of my clientele are busy making a living during inspection hours. I explain to them that it would be nice to have them stop by at least at the end of the inspection so we can review the findings and make the necessary financial transaction. Really...I explain the agreement to them when booking the job, then they know what to expect. Works great for me!


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    If clients cannot attend I charge more.

    All clients are referred to my website to view my contract. They are instructed to print it and fill it out and bring it to the inspection.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    All conversation are by email, very few by phone. When It is by phone I asked them to repeat what was discussed in an email that way everything is documented. I got tired of "I did not say that" so verbiage in emails can't be disputed. I also send them the contract by email in advance so they have time to read it. If all else fails on-site signing and then force agreement online.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    I use homegauge as well.

    Click to accept is great but call me old fashined. I want a signature on file. If the client can not attend I fax or email the inspection agreement and have them get it back to me before the report is released.

    I treat click to accept as a back-up.


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Click to accept Inspection Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    All conversation are by email, very few by phone. When It is by phone I asked them to repeat what was discussed in an email that way everything is documented. I got tired of "I did not say that" so verbiage in emails can't be disputed. I also send them the contract by email in advance so they have time to read it. If all else fails on-site signing and then force agreement online.

    I had an email back to a client for the home inspection, termite inspection and pool inspection. After she recieved the email she called and asked if I could still set it up for this morning. I arranged it and went and did the inspection as well as the termite and pool..

    After the termite folks left she said she had an issue. She went on to say she did not ask for a termite inspection. I just stired like an idiot and said I confirmed with her with the email (which she did not reply in writing to the email) about the inspections she wanted and she called me to set it up. I never even thought to bring up the termite again as I got a confirmation email to set it up.

    Anyway I just stood there and said it was done and presented to her and they already signed for their copies and the termite folks left so someone has to pay for it and it is not my future home and I did not accept the termite report from the termite inspector or sign for it. She stood there waiting for me to say ...what ever and I just went about my business. In the end she asks me what the total was and I included the cost for all inspections and she wrote the check.

    It had gone differently in the past in a similar situation but over the years I just tell them matter of factly that this is what you are paying me and it always comes off alright with out snapping necks....I mean arguing


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