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  1. #1
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    Question What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    I am selling a rental property. The buyers paid their home inspector and then asked for four repairs. The repairs were correcting the low setting on a gas range burner so the flame would not go out, adding a GFCI kitchen outlet where one was not required, connecting an inoperative attic fan that never has had an electrical connection and, finally, turning on the angle stop to a toilet that needed a new flapper.

    In their repair demand, the buyers asked that I pay for a return visit and report from their inspector. My wife and I fixed the range and toilet and offered to install a GFCI outlet or leave one for the buyers. We refused to do anything about the fan. I'm not willing to pay their inspector, partly because the inspection really isn't necessary.

    Also because of this: Wouldn't it create a conflict of interest for the inspector to be paid by both buyer and seller in a single transaction? I'm sure most inspectors are honest, but I would not want to rely on a report paid for by a party who has an interest in exaggerating or minimizing things in which I should be interested. If you do see a conflict, is there a code of ethics or something that would make that clear?

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    Last edited by Bob Hucker; 04-29-2020 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Can I move this to the Associations, Ethics... subforum? Maybe it fits better there?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    No conflict of interest when all is known and out in the open.

    The key to your decision will be this: do you want to sell ... and ... are you willing to lose the sale over that?

    It's a choice all sellers have to make.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hucker View Post
    I am selling a rental property. The buyers paid their home inspector and then asked for four repairs. The repairs were correcting the low setting on a gas range burner so the flame would not go out, adding a GFCI kitchen outlet where one was not required, connecting an inoperative attic fan that never has had an electrical connection and, finally, turning on the angle stop to a toilet that needed a new flapper.

    In their repair demand, the buyers asked that I pay for a return visit and report from their inspector. My wife and I fixed the range and toilet and offered to install a GFCI outlet or leave one for the buyers. We refused to do anything about the fan. I'm not willing to pay their inspector, partly because the inspection really isn't necessary.

    Also because of this: Wouldn't it create a conflict of interest for the inspector to be paid by both buyer and seller in a single transaction? I'm sure most inspectors are honest, but I would not want to rely on a report paid for by a party who has an interest in exaggerating or minimizing things in which I should be interested. If you do see a conflict, is there a code of ethics or something that would make that clear?
    Bob,

    In California, this is typically something that is negotiated between the buyer and seller through their agents. Personally, I don't like doing reinspections because so often, the repairs were done incorrectly. Then, I become the bad guy and no one likes me. I don't know about the conflict of interest. In Texas, I believe home inspectors are governed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Maybe contact them to find out?

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    the buyers asked that I pay for a return visit and report from their inspector
    Have you discussed this with your agent or whomever is representing your interests?

    People can negotiate whatever they want (including you), so just because a request or demand was made, doesn't mean too much.
    Off the cuff, it seems unreasonable that the seller would pay for a re-inspect on a list of negotiated repairs, but, who knows...


  5. #5
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    Barry - what does the Texas IRC and Existing Building Code state regarding permits in Chapter 1 Administrative?

    I haven't looked at the Texas codes to see what permits are required, and what is specifically exempt from having a permit (and, more specifically, not listed as exempt from permits) - and if it states something to the effect that work exempt from permits is not exempt from the code, that exempt work is still required to meet code.

    Then what does Texas statute say about how reporting/not reporting unlicensed work effect a licensed person?

    If it says what I suspect it may say, that could create a conundrum for a licensed Texas home inspector.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    What I was thinking of was, as Texas licensed people, if a Texas home inspector sees something that is likely/obviously/most likely 'work done without a permit', could (by statute and/or licensing requirements) the home inspector be disciplined by the state for not reporting the unpermitted work.

    Which lead me to: what work requires permits?

    Any Texas changes to Chapter 1 Administrative in the IRC?

    Added with edit: see 105.1 Required and 105.2 Work exempt from permit.

    Not much is exempt from permits.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-30-2020 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Added IRC section numbers
    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hucker View Post
    ... connecting an inoperative attic fan that never has had an electrical connection ...
    Regarding that specific item - did you have that listed on your seller disclosure?

    If not, the common presumption of a buyer looking at your house would be that an installed fan works ... and that whatever is required to get it working is the sellers responsibility.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Regarding that specific item - did you have that listed on your seller disclosure?

    If not, the common presumption of a buyer looking at your house would be that an installed fan works ... and that whatever is required to get it working is the sellers responsibility.
    It wasn't on the disclosure, because we didn't know the fan existed until now. We guess it was installed by a contractor who installed a roof for the previous owner, and the owner didn't want to pay for electrical work to connect it. It's in an attic that no one uses for storage, because there's another attic that is more spacious and easier to access.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hucker View Post
    The repairs were

    correcting the low setting on a gas range burner so the flame would not go out,

    adding a GFCI kitchen outlet where one was not required,

    connecting an inoperative attic fan that never has had an electrical connection and, finally,

    turning on the angle stop to a toilet that needed a new flapper.
    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    none of the items in the op would require permits afaik
    I've separated the items in the original post for easier reference as shown above.

    The first item in the original list, adjusting the gas, should have been done be a gas contractor, but that's another issue: R105.2 Permits not required, 3rd item down, Gas, 2. (under Gas) - questionable for exempt from permit.

    Second item in the original list, adding GFCI, R501.2 Permits not required, 2nd item down, Electrical, not exempt as it is not covered under items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    Third item on original list - same as above, not exempt per R501.2.

    Fourth item in the original list, the angle stop, 5th item, Plumbing, not exempt as it's not within items 1 or 2 exemptions.

    Not me, that's what the code states and why I referred you to those sections.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    ... most know these simple repair permits are a usage tax by the cities for the priveledge of improving your property
    That's what the tax asser does.

    The building department helps stop people from killing themselves (and others).

    And, yes, code inspectors don't look at a lot - if a code inspector were to look at a lot, permit fees would have to skyrocket to pay for it.

    Also, yes, I'm quite dismayed that some code inspectors think it's a 'no brain required' job ... that usually comes from anove (building official), and that usually comes from above (city commissioners), and that usually comes re-election money (contractors who supply campaign funds complaining that inspectors "are to tough").

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    In 14 years of inspecting I have never seen a buyer ask for the seller to pay for a re-inspection for repair items.


  12. #12

    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    In 14 years of inspecting I have never seen a buyer ask for the seller to pay for a re-inspection for repair items.
    There's a Dutch expression that says "You have NO already...". A buyer can ask for anything they want. As Jerry said - It's up to the seller (and sometimes the buyer) to decide if they want to lose the sale over it. Its up to the used house salespeople to negotiate the deal.

    I don't really care who pays for the re-inspection. I do require a new contract to be signed however.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    It?s always a good idea to schedule a home inspection as early on in the sale process as possible so that there is plenty of time to negotiate and take care of requested repairs.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: What if home buyer and seller pay same inspector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    In 14 years of inspecting I have never seen a buyer ask for the seller to pay for a re-inspection for repair items.
    In my inspection career, I had the seller pay for a re-inspection many times. In my 30 year career, I went from doing re-inspections, not doing re-inspections, to going back to doing re-inspections. It all had to do with feedback and requests from my clients.


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