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  1. #1
    Rick Boyer's Avatar
    Rick Boyer Guest

    Default Service after completed inspection

    Hope this is the correct place to post this.

    Need some advice.
    I was hired to do a single-family home inspection. The seller is FSBO. and the buyer who hired me does not have anybody representing them. The house is 60 years old.
    The electrical service entrance is 100A and has what appears to be correctly installed to the breaker box. Inside the house it was a different matter. Rooms with no outlets, rooms with 2 wire outlets, reverse polarity, open grounds.
    So the house had electrical issues. As the buyer could not stay with me for the entire inspection I requested that she be there when I am done so I can taker her around the house to show what I found. The seller also was there and followed us around as i gave her the tour. These were all entered in my report. With instructions that the electrical system needs further evaluation by a professional electrician.
    My report is not my issue however.
    The potential buyer and their financing company want the elec updated. So the buyer contacts the seller and tells him it must be repaired and updated.
    Now my recommendation was to get a professional electrician. The seller has a friend correct problems.
    So the buyer calls me and wants me to come back and see if situation is fixed. Of course I am not a professional electrician and she was told that by me and is in my report. I repeated to her that is as far as I can go for her. But I added that perhaps she might consider getting her own professional to evaluate the electrical service and up to her to decide who pays the electrician’s fees suggesting the seller pay.
    Then the seller calls me and wants to hire me to come back and certify his work. This is a real no no as this would be a major conflict of interest as I am hired by the buyer exclusively. Since I am hired by the buyer I did tell him that but also suggested he needs a professional evaluation by a professional, as I am not, that he can give to the potential buyer if he wants to sell the house to her

    Was this handled by me correctly ???
    Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    If I followed you story correctly, I believe you did the right thing.
    In the future, you might be more explicit in the wording of the report. They should know there is an extreme safety hazard that needs to be corrected by a licensed professional electrician and be sure to obtain receipts for all work performed.
    If the house is a real problem with handy man type repairs, I recommend getting bids for the repairs and ask for money back at closing to cover the cost of repairs, rather than allowing the person who screwed things up in the first place to be responsible for correcting it.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    It sounds like you handled everything properly. What I might have done and do from time to time is to provide the names of 3-5 electricians that I like, so that she does not blindly pick one and that would end up being a poor choice. Let her select from the list of names.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Does anyone ever do reinspect ions after problem resolution? (meant to be a rhetorical question)

    If so, and if you returned to the property and all the issues you reported initially were taken care of in a workman like manner would you care who did the work?

    I think it's appropriate to recommend a professional but it's the seller's choice as to how the issues are resolved. Do we as HIs care as long as the problems are no longer evident?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    I try to stay away from re-inspections.
    I will do some on occasion but I generally try to talk and price myself out of a job.
    I don't want to "own" the repair because I blessed someone else's work.

    I can't see how the job was done since much work is hidden when you can only see the finished product.
    I think recommending only licensed professionals helps protects both my client and me.
    If a licensed professional does the repair then you have a much better chance of getting a proper repair than hoping that uncle Fred the handy man really knows how to correctly repair or replace items that were done wrong the first time.
    BTW, most times when I do re-inspections, it is still wrong and must be redone, again.
    How many inspectors here have verbiage telling them to get required permits?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Rick,

    On the menu bar just below the "Inspection News" logo you will find, on the left "User CP", for User Control Panel. Click it and in the list in the left column you will see "Edit Profile", click it and at "Location" "Where you live" enter your city and state.

    That makes it easier and better for us to respond to questions like this.

    *IF* you are in Florida, and I have no way of knowing whether you are or not, if the sellers friend was not a licensed electrical contractor ... they are not allowed to do that work.

    Besides that, in any state, do as Jim said ' licensed professional electrical contractor', I always added 'licensed and qualified electrical contractor' - some are licensed and not 'qualified' to do anything - we've all see the work from those people.

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

  7. #7
    Rick Boyer's Avatar
    Rick Boyer Guest

    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    I would like to thank you all again for all the intelligent answers. I am in SE Wisconsin by the way.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    One of my excuses for not doing reinspections is that my in$urance doesn't cover them.

    Last edited by John Arnold; 11-12-2007 at 04:31 PM. Reason: don't like linked words
    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
    Curt Raymond's Avatar
    Curt Raymond Guest

    Lightbulb Re: Service after completed inspection

    I am with those of you who don't do re-inspections. I tell my client that the work needs to be done by a qualified licensed professional. I also tell them to ask to see the permit pulled for the work and make sure the final permit inspection has been done before the final walk through.


  10. #10
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
    Shannon Guinn Guest

    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    I'd like to chime in on this one. As a county electrical inspector, I am on salary so it doesn't matter how many times I go out on a job, of course the county sees it a little differently. However I agree with Mr. Peck as to recommending a licensed and qualified EC. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate between the good the bad and the ugly. But I'm sure that most of you have a rolodex or at least a good short list of tradesmen that you can recommend. As a rule I cannot recommend anyone for fear of lawsuits etc. But what I am allowed to do is to recommend a licensed, qualified EC, and usually I suggest the local yellow pages, chamber of commerce or even perhaps a local supply house. None of this is guaranteed success so even the best laid plans... But I will say that having developed a report with a lot of the local EC's and if the changes are minor, I usually accept a phone call and take them at their word. However, that being said, if it involves the main service at all I always go back and check before authorizing power. I have a nasty habit of having to go to sleep each night.


  11. #11
    Jim Hime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    You handled your buyer correctly in my opinion. Inspectors have no power to "certify" (see dictionary definition) however if you wish to write a letter stating that then the liability becomes yours alone.

    As to whether something was repaired correctly would be up to the individual specialist that is trained/licensed in that field.

    If you have a pre-agreement or have made notes within your report that only licensed qualified specialists perform repairs then to rebuke that negates your disclaimer you already set-up to protect yourself.

    Any "repairs" performed by a bubba are not acceptable in my opinion. Bubba has no liability to the buyer if bubba messes up or missed something a qualified specialist would have caught (and you didn't).

    A wise inspector explained to me - "limited visual inspections are considered the start of a due diligence process required by the buyer and are not considered the final or end of due diligence required of the buyer".

    CYA, stick to your gut feeling and be happy you did.

    Your buyer is your friend until they sue you.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    The topic of re-inspections comes up frequently. Often inspectors recommend a licensed professional evaluate work done. Luck for me I'm a licensed professional and I do re-inspections whenever asked. If I'm afraid that I won't be able to figure something out on the second time around then I probably won't figure it out on the first time. That being said, I tend to wonder how some inspectors make it through any inspection if they don't feel qualified to do re-inspections.

    Whether it's my first inspection or a revisit, I'm not "blessing' anything. I don't understand the reluctance for re-inspections. Now whether a qualified contractor did the work or the homeowner I don't care. Right is right, wrong is wrong. And besides, most times during the re-inspections I still find problems present and I write the same stuff all over again. And yes, my insurance carrier covers me in re-inspections, they see no difference between an initial inspection and a follow up visit.

    I wonder what would happen if a buyer called to schedule an inspection and I told him that I didn't feel comfortable, or qualified, to perform re-inspections. Seems to me that I would give that buyer a good reason to look for another inspector. My opinion of course.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  13. #13
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    I do re-inspections. I'm often called to go back and look at something repaired. I feel that if I am confident enough to inspect the house the first time, why not the second time. Take a look at your last report and go for it. Of course, I charge a nominal fee, but I only have my time to sell.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Whether it's my first inspection or a revisit, I'm not "blessing' anything.
    Eric, Brian,

    IF, on your re-inspection, you do not in turn find something wrong with it ... you are indeed "blessing" it.

    On the first inspection, you are point out what is wrong, once you have pointed that out, subsequent inspections (re-inspections) are saying 'it is okay now' if you have not found something wrong with it. You are basically saying 'the repair work was done correctly'.

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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    As far as I know, most of the inspectors up here in Alaska do re-inspections, myself included. I called out a home with no ground wire to the 3 pronged outlets as needing to be updated/repaired by a licensed electrician. On re-inspect, I noticed no GFCI on the outlets in question and wondered how the electrician "fixed" the problem without holes in the drywall. The licensed electrician ran a ground wire from the outlet to the box, this would fool most 3-light testers. Knowing what I knew about the house, I was able to see the inadequate fix and called the electrical contractor personally. He gave me the excuse of a journeyman's apprentice being along who "probably" did the fix, but he personally fixed the problem, refunded some of the money and apologized to the client.
    Not agreeing to do a re-inspect, at least in this situation, would have left my client without the proper protection at the outlets. David


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    "On the first inspection, you are point out what is wrong, once you have pointed that out, subsequent inspections (re-inspections) are saying 'it is okay now' if you have not found something wrong with it. You are basically saying 'the repair work was done correctly'."

    Not basically, I am saying it's done correctly. As a qualified professional inspector I get to say stuff like that. Just like I was qualified to say that it was wrong when I first came out. If an inspector can say that something is wrong, it would seem to me that he understands what is correct and therefore would be able to identify either condition. Yes? Or did I totally miss something?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Eric, can you see whether a roof repair was done correctly... or does it just look good on the surface? Since I can't see how the underlayment, valley material, fasteners, etc. were installed, I am hesitant to say "yep, they fixed it right, I guarantee it" which is what you clients are asking you when you do a re-inspection. I reluctantly do re-inspections on a limited basis, but only after a full explanation verbally and in the report of the limitations. I would much rather have my clients get receipts from a professional repair and any associated warranties than no warranty from me.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Those situations where the repair is hidden need clarification to the client that the contractor is the one "on the hook" should the repair fail, all the repairs hidden or not for that matter. I think it is a service to the client to provide your limited stamp of approval on repairs they do not know anything about.
    Some clients do not want to go up in the attic to see if the bath fan now exits the roof, or the proper joist hangers are installed in the crawl. When the seller hands them a stack of invoices, they don't know if this is protection or not. An inspectors return for a nominal fee is well worth the peace of mind, even with the caveat about the hidden repairs.
    I trust people outside of my own sphere of influence, and rely upon them to help me make important decisions I don't know anything about, such as a divorce lawyer, major car repairs, brain surgery. I would get a follow-up, be charged for it, and they would be only partially on the hook, if at all, from my experience. Each has disclaimers a mile long, but I seem to feel better and am willing to pay a fee for that service. David


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Service after completed inspection

    Jim,

    I completely agree. I would not know if the details under the shingles were correct, but then I would not have known that on my first visit either.
    When someone calls for a re-inspection I ask them if they have any receipts for work done. If so, I ask what's on it. If there's no receipt, or if it sounds hokey, I'll then suggest the benefit of my going back out. But I do remind them that I'm limited to what can be seen, just like on the initial inspection.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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