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Thread: Supra Key

  1. #1
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    Default Supra Key

    I have researched the archives here and read the past threads dealing with the pros and cons of home inspectors having Supra Keys. While I was a home inspector in MN I had one for many years and really liked the fact that I could go to the job site when I wanted and didn't have to wait for an agent to show up to open the door. The agents liked that I had one so they didn't even have to go to the site if they didn't want to or didn't have time.

    Now I find that the Board of Realtors in Las Vegas have over the years prevented HI's from having the keys. There seems to be no logical reason for this but the guys here have been fighting the fact for years. Each time they approach the Board they get stonewalled. It's time once again to approach the Board about the issue and so I am on a fact gathering mission to find out how many states Real Estate Boards allow HI's to have them as well as why the ones who don't, don't.

    I along with several other HI's will be meeting with the local RE Board soon and would like the data to present to them at our negotiations. Any help, comments, insights, ideas are very welcome!

    Post your response here or call or email me if you'd rather.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Thanks A. D. Yeah, the situation defies logic and baffles me too. In fact I believe their Board is doing a disservice to their members by not allowing HI''s to have the key.

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  3. #3
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I've never heard of a local HI having a Supra Key. Most the appraisers do though.

    I wonder if it is due to the lack of licensing, and if that will change in Washington now that the licensing is being toughed up.

    On the other hand, I really don't see the need for it that much since both the agent and the client should be there at the inspection, and obviously the agent will have a supra key.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    In my service area I would need to join 4 boards at $300 each and pay for 4 keys at $45 a month! Just not worth the cost. IMHO, it is the agents JOB to insure that all needed inspections have access to the home they are selling. I might be a little jaded as I once held a used house salesperson license and that is the way it use to be......

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Other than a couple boards in North Central TX the Realtor associations are still "in control" of "their" home inspectors as we have to still call to get a CBS code. I unfortunately did a foolish thing and when I got the bill to re-up with the board I am with I just did the automatic thing and sent in the money. I was going to join a new board where we can just punch in one code, just like the Realtors, to get into any property with a supra key. Of course we still have to call the scheduling agency for an appointment but the Realtors have no control over appointments unless the schedule it themselves. Some die hards still schedule the appointments because they wish to still feel in control over "their" home inspectors. We home inspectors just cannot be trusted. " We cannot have the home inspectors running a muck with keys that they can just get into any supra box with"

    The Realtors still do not realize that every entry is logged into the supra box so everyone knows who was in the property last. Besides. Most of us have more insurance than they do and we still have to schedule an appointment so te sellers will know when we are coming.


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    In my service area I would need to join 4 boards at $300 each and pay for 4 keys at $45 a month! Just not worth the cost. IMHO, it is the agents JOB to insure that all needed inspections have access to the home they are selling. I might be a little jaded as I once held a used house salesperson license and that is the way it use to be......

    Why would you want any Realtor "in charge" of you for anything. And why would you want to schedule with them the best time to get in. We take the Realtor completely out of the equation in the scheduling and getting into a home.

    As far as four boards??????? Why would you think you had to do that. There are a lot of Realtor Associations in the area I inspect. One key and belonging to any board will get you in any property. A supra key is a supra key and Supra is the key word there. It is not the Realtor associations that own the keys it is Supra or GE Security that owns the keys. Get a CBS code from a Realtor to punch in before your inspectors pin number and y0ou get in. If you belong to one mof the associations that you can get a key with out a separate inspectors pin number then you can get into any Supra box in all of North Central Texas. You do not have to belong to all the boards in North Central Texas.

    Around here you would about have a heart attack if the Realtors showed up at every inspection. I personally do not want them around at all when I am doing the inspection and going over the inspection with the client. None of them ever have a problem with that. I almost 100% of the time never get a call from Realtors asking for an explanation. I might get a quick call when they know I am done to get a brief run down of the inspection so they know what to expect because they are not getting the inspection until that night or the next day thru email.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    It's been my past experience that for the first one or two inspections when I did have a Supra Key, a new (to me) agent would show up anyway and hang around for the whole job. I'm sure they were just seeing how I treated "their" clients. After that, as I developed a rapport with them they were MORE than happy to just give me the address and turn me loose! After the inspection I called them with a run down of the events.

    As for the areas allowing HI's to have the keys, it's true GE actually owns the Supra Keys and lock boxes as well as the service but they only market and release them to Real Estate agents or Associate members of the local agents group.

    For our situation the local Boards of Realtors have jurisdiction over who can have them and even how much they charge to become an Associate of their group in order to simply have access to a key. Thus, if allowed to get one, it is common to have to pay a fee to the particular local realtors assoc. for the "privilege". Then the key and sometimes a lock box as well must be leased from GE. You are not able to use your key out of your area(s) so can't, for example, use it to enter a home in a place where you may be vacationing just to see what it looks like!

    Leasing a key adds up to dough right off the top however the time and fuel savings I have realized in the past made it a real deal for me and my regular agents loved it too. I even got jobs because I had a key and my competition did not! The agent couldn't or didn't want to go to the property.

    Last edited by Bob Knauff; 06-23-2010 at 01:05 PM. Reason: .
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  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Most of the lock boxes around here use a combo lock with no key. And frankly I do not care to be in an occupied house alone. That is asking for trouble in my opinion. I always require someone be there as a witness. It works for me...you may not agree!


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Yeah, a lot of guys don't like being at an occupied property alone. Doesn't bother me. To each his own on that point.

    I heard through the grapevine here that real estate leaders are urging agents to open the door for the inspector and then leave immediately. They feel they are incurring a much higher limit of liability if they stick around. I don't see it but it works for me! Yet another reason to have my own access to a property.

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  10. #10
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    I guess that the agents in WA are on different drugs than those here, what with them being on time and all. Here you are lucky if they arrive on the same day, if left to their own devices.

    The same goes for the clients. 60% of the clients here are too busy working to attend an inspection. The 40% that do attend must be starved for entertainment.
    Well you HIs are an odd lot in that you do tend to show up at least 15 minutes early to every appointment. I've just learned to adapt to that. Usually I don't have a problem with the client being on time.

    As to some other issues: If I leave an HI in a home alone for even a few minutes (e.g. to go get a latte), I could be fined a couple of thousand of dollars by the NWMLS.

    As to the Supra keys, around here there only is the NWMLS, but I suspect that in areas that have multiple systems you'd have to join each one, and pay each one. Just because Supra owns the box it doesn't mean that it will let you in.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Well you HIs are an odd lot in that you do tend to show up at least 15 minutes early to every appointment. I've just learned to adapt to that. Usually I don't have a problem with the client being on time.

    As to some other issues: If I leave an HI in a home alone for even a few minutes (e.g. to go get a latte), I could be fined a couple of thousand of dollars by the NWMLS.

    As to the Supra keys, around here there only is the NWMLS, but I suspect that in areas that have multiple systems you'd have to join each one, and pay each one. Just because Supra owns the box it doesn't mean that it will let you in.
    Why would you be fined for leaving a home inspector alone.

    Do you have something that is more trusting about you and other Realtors that puts you above home inspectors. Most home owners here trust home inspectors more than Realtors invading their homes. It is the Realtors that still want to have control over Home Inspectors. There are only a couple boards or Realtor associations that a home inspector can get a key comparable to a Realtors Supra key. You can have a code just as the Realtors and not need a separate or Inspectors pin number to enter after a CBS code.

    I think the joke is on the public when the Realtors are placed in hire more trusting regards than a home inspector.

    By the way. It is not "an HI". No matter which way you use it , it is a home inspector or a home inspection. It is never "an". Just thought you would like to know.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    If I leave an HI in a home alone for even a few minutes (e.g. to go get a latte), I could be fined a couple of thousand of dollars by the NWMLS.
    I have never heard of such a thing Kary! Can you expound on that a bit or direct me to a web site that decrees that, just for information purposes?

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I don't know of a public website that has the NWMLS rules, but here's the applicable rule:

    "50. Electronic Keys and Keyboxes.
    (a) Use of Electronic Key
    Members and key holders shall only use Electronic Keys in connection with the normal and customary activities of a real estate salesperson or real estate appraiser. No member or key holder shall loan an Electronic Key to any person whomsoever, for any period of time, no matter how short. The foregoing includes loans of Electronic Keys to appraisers, mortgage and utility company employees, builders and other brokers and salespersons (including those in the same office), buyers, sellers and anyone else. Furthermore, no Electronic Key holder shall leave any other person who is not also an Electronic Key holder unattended at a listed property without the sellerís permission.

    Technically, I can't even give my key to my wife, who is also an agent and has her own key. The seller is giving permission for agents to go into their homes unaccompanied (subject to the restrictions in the listing), not anyone who the agent decides to let in.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Here's the NWMLS rule on who can get a key:

    (b) Who Can Receive Electronic Keys. Electronic Keys shall be issued only to designated brokers of main or branch offices paying office fees; real estate licensees paying license fees and licensed with and working out of those offices; and state licensed appraisers.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Why would you be fined for leaving a home inspector alone.[sic]

    Do you have something that is more trusting about you and other Realtors that puts you above home inspectors. [sic] Most home owners here trust home inspectors more than Realtors invading their homes.[awk] It is the Realtors that still want to have control over Home Inspectors. There are only a couple boards or Realtor associations that a home inspector can get a key comparable to a Realtors [sic] Supra key. You can have a code just as the Realtors and not need a separate or Inspectors pin number to enter after a CBS code.

    I think the joke is on the public when the Realtors are placed in hire more trusting regards than a home inspector.[awk]

    By the way. It is not "an HI". No matter which way you use it , it is a home inspector or a home inspection. It is never "an". Just thought you would like to know.
    Thank you. By the way, did you know that your first two sentences were questions, and that it's appropriate to put a question mark after a question? Did you know that "Realtors Supra key" is possessive? And I'm not really sure what to say about your phrase "in hire more trusting regards. . .. And finally, did you know that forums on the web don't tend to be places where people do a lot of proof reading and revising to make sure that everything they write is 100% proper? Just thought you would like to know.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Supra Key

    I've never had a Supra key, and know of very few inspectors who do have them. I don't really have any problems with agents not showing up on jobs, or showing up late for that matter. They must be more professional in the NW, over some areas of the country (TX).

    Most agents in my area will open up the house, and hang out during the entire inspection. Seems like a waste of time, but rules are rules...


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    On the access issue, one thing about inspectors is that you spend time in crawl spaces and attics. That means no one is watching the buyer(s). Agents are supposed to watch the people inside the house at all times, although if they're a good client I will let them use the bathroom in private. ;-)

    Also, while in the attic or crawl space, unless the doors are locked a third party could walk in.

    You don't have either of those issues with appraisers.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    In Washington the agents now go through criminal background checks and finger printing, etc. Not the case with the buyers. But in any case, the agent is responsible for the house during the time they have it open. There's no way an inspector could effectively be responsible for the house while in a crawl space or attic, unless maybe they locked their clients outside of made them come with them into the attic and crawl space.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Thank you. By the way, did you know that your first two sentences were questions, and that it's appropriate to put a question mark after a question? Did you know that "Realtors Supra key" is possessive? And I'm not really sure what to say about your phrase "in hire more trusting regards. . .. And finally, did you know that forums on the web don't tend to be places where people do a lot of proof reading and revising to make sure that everything they write is 100% proper? Just thought you would like to know.

    Relax

    I could really not care about spelling or punctuation on here as I am always involved in at least a few other things while looking over and responding to this or any other board. I was just being my annoying self and giving you a hard time. Like I always say....This board is informative, education, privatizing at times and most of all good entertainment.

    As far as that A.D. fella....ignore him. I pay him to be on here so I do not get all the grief from folks. He is a paid for actor.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    O.K. Sorry for the thread drift I created! Back to the subject.

    I see it's not a matter of how many "states" allow HI's to have Supra Keys, it's a matter of how many real estate, how should I say, fiefdoms? allow it. Apparently there can be many within a state and each can have their own rules regarding the subject.

    Kary, is there a master organization that oversees all the smaller organizations around the country? The NAR? Could I contact them and find out how many local organizations allow keys for HI's? Would you have any contact info. for me?

    Thanks.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Hello all,

    In our area (northeast PA), HI's are allowed to join the Association of Realtors for $200/yr. After some pleading that went on for months, I was allowed to purchase use of the Supra Key for an additional annual fee of $182 + $5 for insurance in case the key were lost or damaged. There is reciprocity between the Boards of Realtors, so only one fee is paid for access to all. It's well worth the investment because it's much less hassle to schedule appointments (the agent's schedule is taken out of the equation).

    MLS access is not granted to HI, despite the fact that we pay the same fees that the agents pay.

    If we need a 2nd visit to the home (to take a second look - it happens from time to time, or to retrieve a radon monitor), it's a simple call to the Buyer's agent to request permission to enter.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  22. #22
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    Kary, is there a master organization that oversees all the smaller organizations around the country? The NAR? Could I contact them and find out how many local organizations allow keys for HI's? Would you have any contact info. for me?
    Not that I'm aware of. I think a lot of them are actually owned by NAR, so they probably have similar policies. The NWMLS is not a NAR entity.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Dont mind using the key if the house is vacant, but occupied properties are very different. When homes are occupied I do not use my supra key because of exposure. I would rather have the agent there and liable. After all they make more $ for the sale. Plumbers, bug guys and foundation companies are often scheduled simultaneously and unless your related, you don't want to expose yourself to their risks.

    So all in all, its got pros and cons. Just use the tool carefully


  24. #24
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Being a name on a list of many is a lot better than being a name on a contract!


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    That assumes, of course, that you are an aficionado of the practice of working without a contract, right? Talk to TM. He never uses one, and feels somehow protected. Must be Catholic.

    You must have ESP or maybe I told you that already


  26. #26
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    Post Re: Supra Key

    In my service area, there are a half-dozen different types of key boxes or more in use. On top of that, some real estate associations are charging almost $400 per year for associate memberships. With some of the things that go on, I am not certain that I would want to be an "associate". In fact, I am pretty certain I wouldn't. It would end up costing some where around $1500 a year in dues, plus the continual updating of the card, or other access device. The number of times agents have had problems accessing the key boxes is high. One poor fellow finally cut the key box off with bolt cutters, and went back to the office for a second set of keys. I wouldn't want the responsibility of being able to access properties. If the real estate agent can't unlock the house, then they usually provide a code that will allow access.

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  27. #27
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    In my service area, there are a half-dozen different types of key boxes or more in use. On top of that, some real estate associations are charging almost $400 per year for associate memberships. With some of the things that go on, I am not certain that I would want to be an "associate". In fact, I am pretty certain I wouldn't. It would end up costing some where around $1500 a year in dues, plus the continual updating of the card, or other access device. The number of times agents have had problems accessing the key boxes is high. One poor fellow finally cut the key box off with bolt cutters, and went back to the office for a second set of keys. I wouldn't want the responsibility of being able to access properties. If the real estate agent can't unlock the house, then they usually provide a code that will allow access.
    As in CBS code

    That is what we and most areas have. You call the listing agent and get the CBS code. You put that in and then put your pin number in. Bingo.....door unlocked. I doubt you would have to have a membership in every board in your area. One should suffice. That is what the code you get from the Realtor is all about.

    I just renewed my Supra key....175

    The end of last year I renewed my association fee for a couple hundred.

    Under 400 to not have to deal with anything but getting the code and setting your own schedule and not have to worry about whether or not the Realtor can get there at 8 am Saturday morning, is well worth it.

    Thursday morning...Sorry Mr Menelly but that schedule for this afternoons appointment for a home inspection has to be changed because this afternoon is not good for me. Sorry but I already have myself, the termite folks and the client already scheduled for this afternoon. I have already scheduled it thru CSS and it was accepted by the sellers. Sorry but what ever you had to do I guess you can go ahead and do it but ll of us cannot change our schedule at this late date.

    I could care less if a schedule is not good for an agent...No offense agents. My schedule has absolutely nothing to do with an agent. As a matter of fact my schedule is just that....my schedule. I am not the one buying the home. The buyer is. I may work with them to a point but if I have Thursday morning open but they would rather do it late Saturday afternoon...it is not happening. If Saturday afternoon was open and I had everything booked till (wouldn't that be nice) then I would book it for Saturday afternoon.

    As far as responsibilities for having access to a home???????

    What responsibilities. I will use Texas as an example. I have done hundreds of inspections per year for 5 1/2 years since I moved here. Never a real problem in all those inspections. I noted one or two minor items before but in all seriousness I just don't see any concern at all. It is what you make it. You don't feel comfortable or fell folks can trust you or think everyone thinks you are untrustworthy then I suggest you never go in a home alone.

    If you feel good about yourself, have full faith and trust in yourself and reflect that to others then being in a home by yourself is not a problem.

    I for one want to spread the perception that home inspectors are a professional trustworthy bunch. That will never happen if everyone continuously casts doubt upon it.

    Look at Texas licensing if you wish. I do not believe you will find any complaint about a home inspector being in a sellers home by themselves. Texas is also the first state to have licensed home inspectors (since the 80s). I think those two points alone are far enough to show there is no problems with a home inspector having access to a home.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    In NC the Buyer is responsible for any damage caused by the HI per the Purchase Contract they sign. I feel they have a right to attend if they desire to look after their interest. (See contract excerpt below.)

    Attached Files Attached Files

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    In NC the Buyer is responsible for any damage caused by the HI per the Purchase Contract they sign. I feel they have a right to attend if they desire to look after their interest. (See contract excerpt below.)

    In this happy state most of anything that comes back (which I mentioned earlier there is never a problem....check complaints in Texas on the matter) would come back on the inspector. As far as clients they can be there whenever and however long they wish. In the beginning, middle, end or the entire time. Realtors........I would be about happy if they never came. Nothing against them but what I am doing for my client has nothing to do with them and I do not need looks and remarks when I am going over the inspection....nothing against you wonderful Realtors. There are some Realtors that could spend all day with me and I would not mind. They are great company and never say boo about the inspection.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Here in the Twin Cities we have several association. I'm a member of one @$125/year as an associate member. My other inspectors fall under my membership and pay $25 for their yearly dues. My Supra key cost $155 per year. My key will open any box in the area without an additional CBS code.

    Some inspectors in this area don't have a key. I've had many agents refer me over other companies because I can unlock the home and they don't have to be there at all.

    Six years ago everything was on the electronic key. But since Supra changed the devices a few years back, upped their charges and with the number of REO properties, 80% of the houses I see don't have a Supra box.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Realtors........I would be about happy if they never came. Nothing against them but what I am doing for my client has nothing to do with them and I do not need looks and remarks when I am going over the inspection....nothing against you wonderful Realtors. There are some Realtors that could spend all day with me and I would not mind. They are great company and never say boo about the inspection.
    The agent will be the one negotiating what, if anything, to do with the items found in the inspection. It would obviously be better to have the agent more familiar with the item rather than less, and so it's better for the agent to be present at the time the inspector discovers the item.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    But since Supra changed the devices a few years back, upped their charges and with the number of REO properties, 80% of the houses I see don't have a Supra box.
    Our association pretty much requires a box, unless it's strictly appointment only, which obviously a REO wouldn't be. Somehow though the rental units often have combination boxes rather than Supra boxes. I'm not sure if they're an exception to the rule or what. The Supra boxes only cost just over $100, and they last for years, so it's not like it's a great expense for listing agents.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Our association pretty much requires a box, unless it's strictly appointment only, which obviously a REO wouldn't be. Somehow though the rental units often have combination boxes rather than Supra boxes. I'm not sure if they're an exception to the rule or what. The Supra boxes only cost just over $100, and they last for years, so it's not like it's a great expense for listing agents.
    In the Twin Cities no association requires the Supra box. However, there is one RE agency that does. Also, the REOs are strictly appointment only. The boxes are a little over $100, but most of the REO agents have 20 to 50 listings. It's much cheaper to pay $20 for 20 to 50 combination boxes and own them than to rent 20 to 50 Supra boxes at $100 each per year.

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    The Supra boxes are something you buy, not rent. So it's just over $100 to buy them.

    How could REOs' (bank owned) be appointment only? I know the banks are doing a lot to market their properties as poorly as possible, and thereby bring in as little money as possible, but going to appointment only is absurd.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    While this may be true, Bottom Line Boy, combination boxes are not as secure and do not record usage information like their electronic counterparts. It is sometimes useful to be able to ascertain who has accessed the house and when.
    Like when you want to sue someone for damage to the property.


  36. #36
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I have never seen a Supra box on any house I have inspected . I guess it must be a regional thing. All I see is combination boxes.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Aaron,

    What I find amazing is the logic of these agents that just put a combo box on a vacant home cause there is nothing supposedly to steal.

    They never think about someone passing that code around and someone vandalizing the home or whatever they might want to do.

    The vacant house next door to where I used to live had a combo box on it cause the agent was to lazy to come and open the home up for a prospective buyer, so he'd just give the combo code out to anyone so they could view the home on their own time and not his.

    Well one day, the home got flooded cause someone blocked all the drains and turned on every fixture in the house including the washer faucet and let water run probably for more than 24hrs. before it was turned off. It did over 50K dollars in a vacant home. The sellers have moved off to Phoenix and in the end had sued him for the damages and for the loss of a contract pending on the home.

    rick


  38. #38
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I must be living a blessed life since I have NEVER had an agent who balked at providing access to me for an inspection. Some of the stories you guys share about agents are amazing. I must have fallen into the cream of the crop!


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    The Supra boxes are something you buy, not rent. So it's just over $100 to buy them.

    How could REOs' (bank owned) be appointment only? I know the banks are doing a lot to market their properties as poorly as possible, and thereby bring in as little money as possible, but going to appointment only is absurd.
    Boxes are rented here. Maybe it's different here in Minnesota but every REO property has a notice like this on the home.



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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I trained in Chicago, and the real estate board there won't even let the agents give you the code to a combo box, much less let an H/I (sorry TM) have a Supra. My home inspection business however, is in St. Louis, and I've got a Supra - and the agents have no problem giving up combo box codes. Half the time they don't even show up, or if they do, it's only for a little while.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Bob, if the Realtor board is keeping HI's from having supra keys to protect the clients property, they are locking the gate after the horse has bolted!

    No other profession goes through every built-in cabinet door and drawer like a HI does. No other profession goes into every nook and cranny of attics and closets where the family treasures are hidden.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    You either do few inspections, or you are inspecting in your dreams . . .
    I normally do one inspection a day and I am awake at the time so neither is true. But I do see how some HI's on this board could rub people the wrong way and cause their own problems.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Boxes are rented here. Maybe it's different here in Minnesota but every REO property has a notice like this on the home.

    That looks like a pre-foreclosure notice, since it says the property was found vacant.

    We have a problem out here where the debtor will default, have the house on the market, and the bank will break in and change the locks rather than call the listing agent. I think it's because the companies get paid per house, and if they pass it up by calling to find out it's not abandoned, they don't get paid. One of these days I'm going to have one of them drug in front of a bankruptcy judge for contempt of court.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    [quote=Bob Knauff;134967] (edited for brevity) I have researched the archives here and read the past threads dealing with the pros and cons of home inspectors having Supra Keys. While I was a home inspector in MN I had one for many years and really liked the fact that I could go to the job site when I wanted and didn't have to wait for an agent to show up to open the door.

    Hi Bob!
    We do things differently here in Nevada! I see you want to turn NV into MN. At this time of the year...I'd say 'go for it!' (it was 110-degrees today...whew!) Some of your fellow Nevada Inspectors feel differently...but then again, some will side with you. The 'demarc' will fall along the old-inspector/newer-inspector dividing-line, as it usually does.

    Now I find that the Board of Realtors in Las Vegas have over the years prevented HI's from having the keys. There seems to be no logical reason for this but the guys here have been fighting the fact for years.

    Bob; 'they' have not prevented HI's from having SK's anymore than we've contested within our own HI ranks about the issue, but the majority 'consensus' in the past has been that we don't want the responsibility that goes along with 'the-key'. Prudent risk-management et al. When I say 'we'...I'm speaking about the Southern Nevada Association of Professional Property Inspectors (SNAPPI). I don't think I've seen you at a meeting recently Bob. We've had this discussion many times, in the 'business' portion of our meeting after the 'educational-hour' is done.

    I along with several other HI's will be meeting with the local RE Board soon and would like the data to present to them at our negotiations. Any help, comments, insights, ideas are very welcome!

    Ok...here's an idea or recommendation... I invite you and the 'several-other-HI's' to our next SNAPPI meeting and we will either add-to your numbers or ???...not. We can have this discussion again. SNAPPI has a long-running association with GLVAR. SNAPPI meetings are the first Thursday of each month at 7:00pm, which means our next meeting is Thursday July 1st. Here's a link to the location of the meeting:
    SNAPPI.ORG - Education / Meetings - Southern Nevada

    I personally invite you to attend. I'll introduce you to our current President. We haven't seen you in a while Bob. Welcome back! Be sure to come up and grab me before the meeting starts.

    Glenn R. Curtis CMI
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Inspecting Nevada since 1982

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Hello All
    In Nevada, HI do not have electronic keys. Now I understand that it would be more convenient to go when I want or even may be easier for the agent, but as Glen stated and I support, the risk and responsibility that goes with being in an occupied home with a client while you are focused on your inspection leaves the HI at risk. Damage, theft, etc will fall squarely of the back of the HI. Any damage or theft occuring to the home before or after the inspection will likely tagged to the HI. The HI is the easier target because he or she is the insignificant participant in the real estate transaction. An easy target. Personally, I like the responsibility to be on the agent. I can focus on my work. Having been a HI for at least 9 years in Nevada, I have never had a problem with any security or damage to a home. I also like the Agent and client to be present to get paperwork signed and get paid. I stay very busy and have no complaints about not having a key. It is nice not having to baby sit and be security guard for a home, occupied or not. As inspectors we have enough risk. Stay focused on being a better inspector. Inspectors left alone may tend speed through a job, not be as focused, make mistakes. This may be the responsibility of the HI and a risk he or she may take, but the fall out will damage reputations, increase insurance costs, for all of us.

    To all Nevada Inspectors The SNAPPI meeting for July has been moved to July 8, (this month only), due to the 4th of July Holiday weekend. All Inspectors are welcomed to visit.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    While I can see the logical reason for fear of increased liability, having been a home inspector in Texas for 15 years, I have never once had any issue with theft, damage or any other problem brought to my attention. Even before use of Supra boxes was common, in my area it was standard practice to swing by the listing agents office to pick up the key, do the inspection and drop off the key when finished. Maybe due to licensing lending a degree of respectability to the profession, maybe just a southern thing, who knows.
    As far a liability, I'm more concerned with high risk activities like flooding their house or stepping through the ceiling.

    If common practice in the area was to not have key access, I would not push for it but it is what it is and an inspector pretty much needs to go with the flow on such practices in the area.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    People tend to underestimate the risk on low probability events. Right now our area is switching to a system where agents can optionally use email to transmit critical documents, and the agents are rejoicing and completely ignoring the risks of using email. And that's because in real estate typically both parties want the transaction to go through. It's the transaction where one side changes their mind that problems develop.

    As to this issue, where a MLS does allow HIs to have a keybox, the HI can avoid the risk by simply not having a keybox. I don't think many good agents would complain about that because the agent should be there anyway, IMHO.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Welcome to the board John P! It's a wealth of information and a great on-going knowledge base.

    As you know I have been a professional, full time home inspector for over 10 years myself and not once have had a problem with theft or destruction caused by a client attending "their" home inspection with no agent to chaperon them. Matter of fact, I believe the real "risk" in the business lies in the quality of ones reporting system and ability to clearly communicate with clients and agents!

    As for Supra Keys, it's quite simple. If a person perceives risk from having and using one, don't have or use one! But why hobble those who see the value in it and desire to have one? It's simply just another tool for the job that an inspector can use if they choose as a business decision for their particular needs. I own a gas sniffer but choose not to use it on every job for various liability reasons. Should you not have one then because I perceive the liability to be high? Of course that's absurd.

    Also, I consider my clients adults who happen to have a lot on their plates at the time of the inspection. They are there so we can talk at length about findings. For the periods that I don't need to talk with them I offer them a tape measure and pad and pencil so they can measure for furniture or drapes if they like. Many times I find that they have not spent more than a few minutes in the home before making an offer and so simply turn them loose to familiarize themselves with the place in depth while I work. They appreciate that! Again, I have not had a problem in over 10 years of full time inspecting

    One item of importance that needs to be mentioned here too. Sad to say but in our area the vast majority of home inspections occur in vacant homes. The agents, at least in my experience, do not stay around while the inspector completes the job on a vacant home. A Supra Key would be mighty nice to let myself in my at my own schedule!

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  49. #49
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by John Prodromides View Post
    Hello All
    In Nevada, HI do not have electronic keys. Now I understand that it would be more convenient to go when I want or even may be easier for the agent, but as Glen stated and I support, the risk and responsibility that goes with being in an occupied home with a client while you are focused on your inspection leaves the HI at risk. Damage, theft, etc will fall squarely of the back of the HI. Any damage or theft occuring to the home before or after the inspection will likely tagged to the HI. The HI is the easier target because he or she is the insignificant participant in the real estate transaction. An easy target. Personally, I like the responsibility to be on the agent. I can focus on my work. Having been a HI for at least 9 years in Nevada, I have never had a problem with any security or damage to a home. I also like the Agent and client to be present to get paperwork signed and get paid. I stay very busy and have no complaints about not having a key. It is nice not having to baby sit and be security guard for a home, occupied or not. As inspectors we have enough risk. Stay focused on being a better inspector. Inspectors left alone may tend speed through a job, not be as focused, make mistakes. This may be the responsibility of the HI and a risk he or she may take, but the fall out will damage reputations, increase insurance costs, for all of us.

    To all Nevada Inspectors The SNAPPI meeting for July has been moved to July 8, (this month only), due to the 4th of July Holiday weekend. All Inspectors are welcomed to visit.
    You already highlighted the last two sentences and I felt I needed to highlight everything because everything you stated is a crock.

    Sorry about that but not only is that my opinion but a fact as well.

    You may want to check stats....say in Texas........Everything you think would happen does not. You cannot keep going through life believing everyone is out to get you and no one trusts you and no one thinks of you as a professional etc etc etc

    The fact is....check the facts. You will find you are dead wrong on all accounts of what you think will and is going to happen,

    Oh yeah. Having no one or should I say no Realtor at the inspection....and a home inspector will speed thru the home making mistakes.....Again....check all the facts......they are all wrong and probably implanted in your mind by outside influences like lawyers and Realtors and "learned inspectors" and associations and and and.......and they are all wrong. Many of these thoughts come from people sitting around thinking of how to teach someone a better way of doing things and have nothing to do with the facts. Worrying about liability and running out and asking a lawyer to give his self absorbed speech to a bunch of home inspectors thinking of the best things to tell all them so they will all come to him so he can charge ridiculous fees to the lot of them.

    I am actually being kind here. Did I say that everyone of your factual thoughts are wrong....and that is a fact.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Ted, you've got to learn not to sugar coat your thoughts! Ha! This was poor John's first post to the Forum and he gets blasted. He is still a "virgin" after all! Be gentle...

    However, I do take major exception to John's statement

    Quote Originally Posted by John Prodromides View Post
    The HI is the easier target because he or she is the insignificant participant in the real estate transaction.
    Say what???!!!!!!!

    As already noted I too disagree with his stance and reasoning but once again thread drift has been created. Better to get back to the original question.

    Thanks for all previous ideas and comments but does anybody have a handle on how many local Real Estate groups allow HI's access to a Supra Key. Or, does anybody know of a source where that information can be found.

    Last edited by Bob Knauff; 06-29-2010 at 03:53 PM. Reason: .
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  51. #51
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    Ted, you've got to learn not to sugar coat your thoughts! Ha! This was poor John's first post to the Forum and he gets blasted. He is still a "virgin" after all! Be gentle...

    However, I do take major exception to John's statement



    Say what???!!!!!!!

    As already noted I too disagree with his stance and reasoning but once again thread drift has been created. Better to get back to the original question.

    Thanks for all previous ideas and comments but does anybody have a handle on how many local Real Estate groups allow HI's access to a Supra Key. Or, does anybody know of a source where that information can be found.

    Call GE security...Supra
    . They will be able to tell you instead of calling every local board. Again, in our area, all of North central texas (big place) I can get into any home. I have not checked if they work everywhere in Texas but I am asuming that all the keys no matter where you are all have different key numbers and as long as you have the CBS code from the Realtor or if you are lucky enough to have a key that you can just put in one code like a Realtor does, I would assume you can get in anywhere. There are many different Realtors Boards or Associations i North Central Texas and there is no blocked out area where my key will not work. I can belong to one or all of them in the area.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Yeah, Ted, I have been trying that for the past 3 weeks. GE is about as large and convoluted as the Federal Gov't. I have one lead there I am working on though that finally looks promising.

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  53. #53
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Most of the lock boxes around here use a combo lock with no key. And frankly I do not care to be in an occupied house alone. That is asking for trouble in my opinion. I always require someone be there as a witness. It works for me...you may not agree!
    Smart Advice - learn it, live it, don't get accused for stealing, property damage, etc....


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Bob,

    Start with their website and see if you can track down a good contact number:


    GE Security - GE Security


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    As many of you know I have been inspecting, remodeling, building, rehabbing residential and commercial buildings all my life.

    From the time I was a kid until now....38 years...I have been doing all of those. I have been in homes since my teens alone. Sometimes by myself. Sometimes with people that worked for me whether it be employees or subcontractors.

    Maybe I am a little thick, naive, dumb, lost, confused, ignorant (maybe all of that plus some)....to all the facts of life about being alone in someone elses' home, alone with multiple other construction workers and trademan, and while inspecting, clients roaming freely while I was inspecting........ ........ ........but. ..........in those 38 years (I will not count the times before 18 years old that I was in homes alone doing work for others)...........I have never once had an incident of theft, breakage, accidents of any kind or accusations of any of that.

    Correct me if I am wrong but what I think is happening here is someone or group or association or lawyer is scaring the crap out of most of you. If you walk around with your head up high, looking confident and professional at what you do, address foolish issues like being in homes alone. Don't stutter and shudder and act like....Oh my God...I would never be caught dead in a home alone.....Nope, not me, folks don't trust me....For heavens sake, I would never allow someone in my home alone....No one can be trusted...everyone is out to get you.

    Holly crap. I cannot and will ot allow that kind of reasoning to influence my life in the slightest.

    When sellers are at the home when I arrive and they say they will be leaving in a while....I jokingly tell them to get out now and don't come back for a few hours and when they do I want a piece of pie or sub sandwich or burger or what ever. They see you being comfortable with being in their home alone and their confidence is gained and the look of ....who the heck is this wanting to be alone in my home goes away and ......they leave. They now have faith and trust in you. They no longer think like many of you do that you cannot be trusted and the liability is too high. They gladly leave their jewelry, guns, pornos (did I say that...yes I did, and toys..somethings you just do not want to see) keys to their car in the garage, cameras, televisions etc etc etc.

    Start being confident in yourselves and others will have that confidence in you. Like yourself, trust yourself, think well of yourself. All of this gets reflected to those around you.

    Liability in being in a home alone.......What liability. The facts are just not there.


  56. #56
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I am not a member of any association, don't have a lawyer, and don't associate with other inspectors so I am not influenced by anyone. I look at it like this...The more miles you drive the better the chance you will have an accident. Might be your fault and maybe not. All you can do is be careful and not take unnecessary risk. If you go out and drive like a cowboy and think you are invincible your odds of having that accident increases. I don't take unnecessary risk. The necessary risk are bad enough.


  57. #57
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I am not a member of any association, don't have a lawyer, and don't associate with other inspectors so I am not influenced by anyone. I look at it like this...The more miles you drive the better the chance you will have an accident. Might be your fault and maybe not. All you can do is be careful and not take unnecessary risk. If you go out and drive like a cowboy and think you are invincible your odds of having that accident increases. I don't take unnecessary risk. The necessary risk are bad enough.

    What????????

    I moved to Texas so I COULD drive like a cowboy......You mean I am not suppose to....and.......what do you mean I am not invincible.

    Enough of this anyway.

    Just picked up a 8200 square foot new home for tomorrow. That sure makes up for losing a couple today. Maybe I will see how much I can miss on this one


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Ted, when you go into a crawlspace or attic, do you lock all the doors so that no one can walk in? Do you keep an eye on the buyers when you're in those areas? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you have liability concerns that you are simply dismissing because the probability of a problem is slight. But that doesn't mean they don't exist.


  59. #59
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Ted, when you go into a crawlspace or attic, do you lock all the doors so that no one can walk in? Do you keep an eye on the buyers when you're in those areas? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you have liability concerns that you are simply dismissing because the probability of a problem is slight. But that doesn't mean they don't exist.
    I cannot and will not live on the "oh my God, it might happen" It would not be worth living if I brought myself to that state of mind. Don't breath the air because at any moment in life you could breath in some unseen dust that contains water ever and 3 years later you are dead..

    Don't dive into the water. There may just be something floating below the surface. Do not go 65 in a sixty. Those speed limits are set at such strict limits to protect you an the world from driving at 64 1/2 where the chance just went up by 1/100s of a percent of a worse accident.

    Don't drive those 15 to 20,000 miles a year because your chances of a serious accident increase the more miles you put on. Don't ever, ever go in a crawl because that partially buried unseen live wire may just kill you. My thousands upon thousands of inspections, home remodelling and rehab, commercial office build out and remodel where me and my associates were in a home with out any home owner in it.....seriously, you are getting really deep. If it happens to me somewhere down the road....so freeking what. My chances at this point of it happening are less than getting into a life threatening accident. By the way,. I have been in many life threatening accidents due to my want for enjoyment in life...I am still here on that account as well.

    You just cannot go thru life like that. Oh my, someone thinks I stole something. Gees, they certainly better prove it or they will suffer the wrath of Ted (not kidding, no one is going to screw around with my livelihood. Someone wants to play ruin your life then that gives you the blessing to make theirs a living hell. I know, I know, that is just not nice Ted. You can simply not allow folks to even have the slightest notion that you can be taken for anything. You must constantly have the air about you that says, "I may be trusted"

    If someone has a camera in a home and you just stepped in t the other room and they put something in their pocket...well....guess who is going to be giving it back and paying the piper

    Do you really want to live like that. Thinking that some fool in the other room is stuffing their pockets. Chances are that it is 200,000 to one or double or triple or quadruple that if not ten times that (more likely) that that would happen. Like I said. He said, she said, They would not even get to court unless they could prove it.

    Of course all that is crap anyway because it just is not happening.

    You might want to remember something. The folks you are inspecting for.....They, so far, want to buy this home. Do you really think a 200 dollar watch is going to persuade them into stealing it, going to jail, losing the deal.

    Now really, after reading all that absurdity don't you think your thoughts just a little scewed.

    But agin....to each his own.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    I'm sorry, but personally I consider that attitude unacceptable, because you're not making that decision for yourself. You're making it for every owner of every house you inspect. People that typically are not even your clients.

    How would you feel if someone else hired someone to come into your house while you were gone, and then that person didn't even take basic precautions to protect your possessions?


  61. #61
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    My point is "Don't jump off a cliff just because you can". You would jump ....I would not. I have a better chance of surviving.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Most of my inspections are just me and the client(s), with the agents maybe there for just a little while as a courtesy to the clients, and this is in both occupied and vacant houses. While it's true that I can choose to not have a Supra if I'm afraid to face the risk that goes with the profession, the agents in this area wouldn't consider me a true professional because I'm not properly equipped to do the job, and I wouldn't get as many calls as I do.

    The really funny thing is the only time I ever saw a problem with the things everybody seems to be afraid of. This was in an occupied house where the sellers left for the day. The agent opened the house up with her Supra, and she and the clients spent the whole time going through the furniture drawers and closets, looking and commenting on the owner's personal possessions while I got through the inspection as quickly as I could so I could get the heck out of there.


  63. #63
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supra Key

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    I'm sorry, but personally I consider that attitude unacceptable, because you're not making that decision for yourself. You're making it for every owner of every house you inspect. People that typically are not even your clients.

    How would you feel if someone else hired someone to come into your house while you were gone, and then that person didn't even take basic precautions to protect your possessions?

    Please. Give it up Kary. These are nice home buying folks. The Realtors know they are there. Before I go, the appointment is set and everyone knows who is going to be at the home. The supra box registers me in. The buyers have already given the seller earnest money as in money out of their pockets to put down on the home they wish to and may buy ....why would they steal something. Whatis so difficult in understanding that concept.Why would you even think that there is something wrong with this unless you grew up in such an untrusting world. I grew up poor and not in the greatest neighborhoods where there were very many untrustworthy people. I came out of that alright. Maybe that is the problem. You grew up in a totally protected world where nothing bad happened but were always warned about everybody on the planet was an untrustworthy piece of ****

    You must be a democrat or at least a liberal.

    Life is really not all that bad.

    I find your thoughts on the matter unacceptable to think no one on the planet can be trusted. I prefer and the world should as a whole that most people we deal with can very much be trusted.

    They are making a life changing decision to put money down on and bury themselves in a 30 year mortgage and they want to steal something from the home they want to buy. For God sake man. Can you hear yourself or even listening to your own thoughts.

    I have let countless folks into my home when I was not there. Did I leave five hundred in cash in plain sight....mope. Did I leave my children tied up in the living room when I left...nope.

    Did I think that the people in my home were going to steal something from me while they were there doing work in my home or when they were checking the place out because they were considering buying it...absolutely not. Why would I.

    Making decisions for others. They chose to leave to make it more comfortably for me and the buyers in getting the inspection done. You see. The mentality where we live is obviously far from what it is where you live. The sellers do not want to influence the inspection. The Realtors, either side, do not wish to influence the inspection. Half the time the buyers are there the whole time the other half are there in the end.

    No problems....ever. Do you understand that there are no problems.....ever. As in never. As in everyone has a basic trust for everyone else. As in these are well put together home buyers who have thought out and planned for buying this home and I am a Professional Home Inspector. I have been doing this with building all of my getting closer to 40 years of working life. No problems.......ever.

    Now. If you want to spread that into every neighborhood.....absolutely not.

    I inspected a P O S a couple weeks or so ago where I had to bang on the side of the building and tell whom ever may be in there that is was time to go. I waited in my truck with the door locked while the homeless folks slowly got un naked and wobbled off to where ever. I had to get some one to keep an eye out while I looked the tare down over.

    There are on a rare occasion different rules but almost never. Now I will probably get the prejudice thing because of the nasty, dirty, naked (yes, there was one naked girl) dirty, smelly, drugged out homeless folks that I did not care to be around or trust. This 4 plex was for an investor, not your typical home buyer and it was in the G E T T O

    Your mentality is that absolutely no one including yourself can be trusted with anything.

    I may have stretched this post out way to far and went overboard a smidgen on the other one but it was to try and teach you something about the basics of humanity.

    The career criminals are not out buying homes. They already have invested in the property, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. They are not going to pilfer anyone elses home with the exception of one in millions......or more. Then it comes to a head and like in any other thing in life it will be dealt with.

    When the facts are so, so, so, so, so, far against this happening that it can barely be a consideration at all on anyone's behalf. Besides...if one of my clients did do something I would send Vinny to see them and it would be straightened out in less than a heart beat.


    That is going to happen in every trade, business, walk thru the store....any where

    Your out look on life is totally unacceptable to me. I will not even consider going thru life like that and I certainly hope the world does not start considering following the
    Kary Krismer group. I thought we evolved past that point

    There. How was that for a long winded reply.

    I guess I better bring you to that 8200 square foot house tomorrow so you can keep an eye out for me.

    Seriously. Do you not read any of my sludge on here. Good entertainment and really good advise.


  64. #64
    Dan Kuznitsky's Avatar
    Dan Kuznitsky Guest

    Default Re: Supra Key

    Correct me if I am wrong but what I think is happening here is someone or group or association or lawyer is scaring the crap out of most of you. If you walk around with your head up high, looking confident and professional at what you do, address foolish issues like being in homes alone. Don't stutter and shudder and act like....Oh my God...I would never be caught dead in a home alone.....Nope, not me, folks don't trust me....For heavens sake, I would never allow someone in my home alone....No one can be trusted...everyone is out to get you.

    From where I stand, it's not a matter of anyone trusting me to be in an occupied home alone with all of the sellers goodies, it's me trusting the seller or agent to not say "hey this was working before he got here!" Or "All my jewelry was sitting on the coffee table and now it's gone"

    It's not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you


  65. #65
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: Supra Key

    Correct me if I am wrong but what I think is happening here is someone or group or association or lawyer is scaring the crap out of most of you.


    Mr. Kuznitsky: Very insightful. Just my opinion.


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