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  1. #1
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default When the client calls,

    What are the questions you all ask when the client calls to schedule an inspection?

    Type of foundation?
    Fireplace?
    Outbuilding?
    Squarefootage?
    Any septic?
    Pool?
    Water Well?
    Security system in the house?
    Any pets in the house?

    Anything else you all ask before scheduling an inspection?

    Thank you all

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    • City
    • Year built
    • Type of foundation: slab-on-grade type or pier-and-beam type
    • Square footage
    • Single story, two story or possibly three?
    • What ammenities: pool/spa/sprinkler system/ and what other?
    • Vacant/ occupied
    • Supra/ combo code
    • When was the contract executed and how many days do they have in their option period left?
    • Are there any items on the disclosure they can share, such as; previous water intrusion or roof leaks, flooding, aluminum wiring, etc...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    Size
    Age
    Type of foundation
    Occupied or vacant - if vacant, ARE THE UTILITIES ON?
    Where's the house
    #B&B
    Anything special about the house
    Do they know how old the roof is
    Do they have any specific concerns
    Is there a RE sign in front? Who's?
    Are they working with an agent
    Who is going to let us in
    Are they going to be there
    Who referred them to us
    Have they ever had a home inspection before


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    Looks like most of the information needed from your client has been posted.

    The only other one I suggest is asking, "Is your Father going to show up?"

    If so, add 75. to your bid.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    All of the above are legitimate questions and I ask many of them.

    The importance of this question cannot be overstated though:


    "Is the house vacant?"

    If so...

    "ARE THE UTILITIES ON?"

    "ARE YOU SURE THE UTILITIES ARE ON? ALL OF THEM?THIS INCLUDES GAS, ELECTRICITY, BLAH BLAH..."

    'KEEP IN MIND THE GAS UTILITY SOMETIMES TAKES 2-3 DAYS TO GET TURNED ON IF HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN..."

    "HAS THE AGENT CONFIRMED THAT THE UTILITIES ARE ON AND IS HE OR SHE OR YOU WILLING TO PAY THE RETURN TRIP CHARGE."

    "MY FEE FOR A RETURN TRIP BECAUSE THE ONE OF THE UTILITY SERVICES IS NOT ON IS _____."



    Of course I tend to be more diplomatic than that, but after asking whether the utilities are on on 4 different vacant house inspections in the last couple of weeks, being told yes, and showing up to find out the gas was not on each four houses (all seperate clients and agents) I have begun to grill 'em a bit about the utilities.

    Especially after I was told to come back over to one of the houses because "the gas has finally been turned on..." and showing up to discover the gas compamy came but no one was there to let them in so they left without turning it on. I bill them just the same but it is a big waste of time and is not fair to the client for the agent to just assume that they are on (or hope they are).

    ...and the father showing up like Rick said is a big one to!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    Unless you light pilots, "are the utilities on?" sometimes isn't enough. I've had a ton of jobs where yes, the gas, water and electric were "on", but the heater and water heater pilots weren't lit.
    Sometimes it's pretty clear that the client's English isn't up to snuff, so it can be worth asking if someone is going to be there to translate. I love it when the client doesn't know and can't read a word of English, but I need them to read and sign my inspection agreement.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The only other one I suggest is asking, "Is your Father going to show up?"

    If so, add 75. to your bid.

    Now that's funny!


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

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    I only ask how old and how big to give a price. The other stuff in done by email.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    I know some inspectors don't agree with this but I ask for the sale price of the property as part of my fee structure. Pennsylvania does not require total interior square footage to be included when a property is sold so sale price is sometimes the only thing you can go by when a caller can't tell you anything about the size of the house. And from my experience, sale price is sometimes indicative of the condition of the house but you have to know the area where the house is located as prices around here have wide variances. Anything under $100,000 in our area is more often than not going to have a lot of issues, take more time to inspect, and make for a longer, more time consuming report.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    In all seriouness now. I need to know the location, square footage of living space, and the year built.

    From that, I can typically decern all I need to know and rarely go wrong. (Because I know my market area)!


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    You nailed it Rick, there is nothing worse than big daddy trying to look out for his kiddos. You will spend an extra 30 minutes minimum just letting him try to be a big shot and finding a dozen things that are either not in the scope or don't amount to a hill of beans. Had one the other day that the father was an engineer. He about wore me smooth. After going around and around about a few different things, I was ready to hand him my tool bag and ask what the hell he hired me for. Then when he senses that I have had about all I am going to take, he starts agreeing with me on everything. They can be a real pain.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  12. #12
    Joe Nernberg's Avatar
    Joe Nernberg Guest

    Cool Re: When the client calls,

    I encourage other sets of eyes (including dad). If I miss something, dad will not and when I include dad's observation - I get kudos from the client.

    I add $75.00 when someone says "the seller is a contractor and did the remodeling himself." Uh oh...


  13. #13
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: When the client calls,

    I don't add anything for dad's... but I do add $100.00 for doctors and attorneys.

    RR


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