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  1. #1
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Yes we completed the Contract

    I find buyers handing me back my contract with one or 2 Boxes not filled in.

    They will look me in the eye and hand it to me Like its all good. Then I look over it and one or 2 Boxes are not filled in. So I hand it back to them and say please mark this one and this one.

    Thanks This is like a game to some. Has this happened to you?

    Had one lady did this and i had to inform her its all the boxes or I can't do your inspection. OK. Then she initials the box. So funny...

    Best

    Ron

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I have no boxes so I don't know what you mean.
    I have a two page contract and have them fill out the name, address on the first page and sign the second page. It is all or nothing.
    Of course I never used a contract until last year when mandatory e&o came about.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Contract....what contract ??????


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I find buyers handing me back my contract with one or 2 Boxes not filled in.

    They will look me in the eye and hand it to me Like its all good. Then I look over it and one or 2 Boxes are not filled in. So I hand it back to them and say please mark this one and this one.

    Thanks This is like a game to some. Has this happened to you?

    Had one lady did this and i had to inform her its all the boxes or I can't do your inspection. OK. Then she initials the box. So funny...

    Best

    Ron
    I have the best luck with a high-lighter.... green seems to work pretty well.

    I state the titles of the documents I'm handing out (State SOPs, Pest/Dry Rot SOPs and Inspection Agreement), ask them to read them through and sign where indicated. I then go walk the house and circle back to the kitchen (or wherever we started) and make sure things are all filled out. I'd say about 25% of the time someone missed a spot on the contract or decided measuring the refrigerator alcove was more pressing. In which case we have a little "pow-wow".


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I have a two-sided contracted that has a signature line on both sides. They almost never sign the back without prompting.

    I send the contract out by email, when possible, a couple/few days in advance, and try to get them to reply so I have evidence they got it, so they can't try to claim later that they signed it "under duress" at the inspection.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I find buyers handing me back my contract with one or 2 Boxes not filled in.

    They will look me in the eye and hand it to me Like its all good. Then I look over it and one or 2 Boxes are not filled in. So I hand it back to them and say please mark this one and this one.

    Thanks This is like a game to some. Has this happened to you?

    Had one lady did this and i had to inform her its all the boxes or I can't do your inspection. OK. Then she initials the box. So funny...

    Best

    Ron
    RB: This happens to me occasionally as well. If I don't notice it at the site, they regret it latter when their report is not forthcoming.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I have the best luck with a high-lighter.... green seems to work pretty well.

    I state the titles of the documents I'm handing out (State SOPs, Pest/Dry Rot SOPs and Inspection Agreement), ask them to read them through and sign where indicated. I then go walk the house and circle back to the kitchen (or wherever we started) and make sure things are all filled out. I'd say about 25% of the time someone missed a spot on the contract or decided measuring the refrigerator alcove was more pressing. In which case we have a little "pow-wow".

    Your kidding right. You actually have all your clients read over all of that and sign all of it for a home inspection.

    The contract is...They hired you....You go over your findings...They pay you. TREC SOPs are on line and I point to the address on the first page of the report. I have never understood this entire mentality people have gotten over the years about "I must protect myself"

    Is life really that bad. Folks running around with tubes of hand sanitiser. Whats up with that? Go over things with their attorney every few months if not more. Have an attorney on retainer?????????????

    Just kidding on some of this stuff. But do we hear ourselves? Give them this to read and sign and that to read and sign and this to read and sign and then they don't initial everything and check everything and then beore they shake hands on a job well done they forget to use the hand sanitizer,

    Geesh....What is this world coming to.

    Contract....What Contract


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    i like to throw in a few mazes,crossword puzzles,and word scrambles along with other requirements that have been mentioned. it keeps them busy while i do the inspections


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Your kidding right. You actually have all your clients read over all of that and sign all of it for a home inspection.
    TM: No, no kidding here. They sign it or hit the road.

    I have never understood this entire mentality people have gotten over the years about "I must protect myself
    TM: It is called "self-preservation". Maybe you have heard of it?

    Have an attorney on retainer?????????????
    TM: Two, actually.

    and then beore they shake hands on a job well done they forget to use the hand sanitizer,
    TM: I had not thought of this, but I'll look into it.

    Geesh....What is this world coming to.
    TM: Isn't it your tribe that believes in Armageddon?

    Contract....What Contract
    TM: You will only know when you need one, but then it will be too late.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I understand your point Ted... If I were in a licensed state I would not require buyers to sign a contract. As I do not have contracts for My WDO state reports.

    But it is best in Calif to have a HI Contract as these people have no Idea what they are buying or what a HI report looks like.

    Best

    Ron


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: No, no kidding here. They sign it or hit the road.



    TM: It is called "self-preservation". Maybe you have heard of it?



    TM: Two, actually.



    TM: I had not thought of this, but I'll look into it.



    TM: Isn't it your tribe that believes in Armageddon?



    TM: You will only know when you need one, but then it will be too late.
    The truth of the matter is that a contract in Texas is about as useless as you know what on a bull unless the other bull is a certain persuasion.

    If you don't write up the bad foundation do you truly believe a contract is going to do anything for you.

    You don't write up the half melted electric panel. Do you think your contract is going to protect you against anything.

    Contracts are just a bully put out there to dissuade folks from doing something stupid like trying to get something for nothing.


    Why would you have 2 ... never mind 2, even one attorney on retainer. Why are you walking around so scared in life. Do you truly believe everyone is out to get you??

    Again, just kidding about some of this stuff but as I said above......Do you hear yourself?????


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I have a two-sided contracted that has a signature line on both sides. They almost never sign the back without prompting.

    I send the contract out by email, when possible, a couple/few days in advance, and try to get them to reply so I have evidence they got it, so they can't try to claim later that they signed it "under duress" at the inspection.
    John if you use Outlook or some of the other email programs some of them have a read receipt box that you can click. That way you have a record that at least someone read it. You also minimize contact with them asking so many questions.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    North Carolina requires a written contract signed before inspection.

    (b) Home inspectors shall:
    (1) Provide a written contract, signed by the client, before the home inspection is performed that shall:
    (A) State that the home inspection is in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board;
    (B) Describe what services shall be provided and their cost; and
    (C) State, when an inspection is for only one or a limited number of systems or components, that the inspection is limited to only those systems or components.

    I email contract to client as soon as I get wifi service after scheduling appt. Print two copies and bring to the inspection. They sign both, I sign both, they keep one, and I keep one. Two page, printed double side with a single signature block at the bottom of the last page.

    HI association has law firm on retainer. Had them review it. I don't have a lawyer on retainer but family friend is a lawyer. If I have any legal questions, I can bounce them off her when needed.

    I inspected the commerical building she recently bought and she wrote our wills. She buys the fuel for the motorboat and we buy the PFD's and toys for the boat. Our two families share a vacation house for week-10 days a year.

    Last edited by Bruce Ramsey; 09-23-2009 at 02:38 PM. Reason: added quote from SOPs
    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I did an inspection today for federal judge, he did not read one word of the contract. He filled in the requested information, initialed the various boxes and signed on the dotted line!

    This just shows you that what we think is so important does not mean a hill of beans in the legal world!

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

  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I did an inspection today for federal judge, he did not read one word of the contract. He filled in the requested information, initialed the various boxes and signed on the dotted line!

    This just shows you that what we think is so important does not mean a hill of beans in the legal world!
    Ah Hum

    That is what I was trying to say. He figures if he wants to get you he is going to get you.


  16. #16
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I did an inspection today for federal judge, he did not read one word of the contract. He filled in the requested information, initialed the various boxes and signed on the dotted line!

    This just shows you that what we think is so important does not mean a hill of beans in the legal world!
    So Scott how do you FEEL About this

    Best

    Ron


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    What about lawyers as clients who read your contract which was prepared by a lawyer and the lawyer client raises a fuss about the contractual terms he is signing? That's the best.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I did an inspection today for federal judge, he did not read one word of the contract. He filled in the requested information, initialed the various boxes and signed on the dotted line!

    This just shows you that what we think is so important does not mean a hill of beans in the legal world!
    From all the lawyers my wife has worked with over the years, it is likely he has a big head. It's also likely he is looking at the home inspection contract as he would if he was signing a cell phone contract.

    I've done inspections for some paralegals and they do read every page of a contract.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    From all the lawyers my wife has worked with over the years, it is likely he has a big head. It's also likely he is looking at the home inspection contract as he would if he was signing a cell phone contract.

    I've done inspections for some paralegals and they do read every page of a contract.
    Yep, I agree! My experience is that engineers are the worst when it comes to the contract!

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

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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    So Scott how do you FEEL About this

    Best

    Ron
    Actually it felt pretty good, when I got the check!

    Really was a nice inspection day. New $800K home with a crawlspace that I walked through, clean and neat! Pretty much an all day inspection. The agent and his wife brought me lunch and a brownie! Yum..........

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    What was in the brownie?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Party Boy

    Best

    Ron


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Your kidding right. You actually have all your clients read over all of that and sign all of it for a home inspection.

    The contract is...They hired you....You go over your findings...They pay you. TREC SOPs are on line and I point to the address on the first page of the report. I have never understood this entire mentality people have gotten over the years about "I must protect myself"

    Is life really that bad. Folks running around with tubes of hand sanitiser. Whats up with that? Go over things with their attorney every few months if not more. Have an attorney on retainer?????????????

    Just kidding on some of this stuff. But do we hear ourselves? Give them this to read and sign and that to read and sign and this to read and sign and then they don't initial everything and check everything and then beore they shake hands on a job well done they forget to use the hand sanitizer,

    Geesh....What is this world coming to.

    Contract....What Contract
    I tell them to read it..... do they read it? I have no idea but I would hope so.... I don't witness them reading it or not. I just know they sign it. Why would anyone sign anything without reading it? That would be crazy according to most people.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    John if you use Outlook or some of the other email programs some of them have a read receipt box that you can click. That way you have a record that at least someone read it. You also minimize contact with them asking so many questions.
    I do that, but half, or more, of the time, I get no receipt back.

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

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I think people in general just don't read or don't pay attention. I print my contracts out with the areas for signatures and initials already highlighted and still people miss them.

    I have had the occassional client who has asked "can we take this part out of the contract" when they read the part about indemnification. My response is a flat and short "no".


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    ...
    I have had the occassional client who has asked "can we take this part out of the contract" when they read the part about indemnification. My response is a flat and short "no".
    Nick - I've run into that too. No way, no how. Find another inspector if you need to. There's plenty of them out there!

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

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I have had the occassional client who has asked "can we take this part out of the contract" when they read the part about indemnification. My response is a flat and short "no".
    There's some legal definition out there that says a contract is a "negotiated instrument" between two parties. Your unwillingness to "negotiate" can be used by the other side to try and get out of the contract later. Their argument is that they had to get an inspection and had no choice but to go with you and your terms (only so much time for the inspection, scheduled with you and it was too late to get someone else, etc.). Basically, your unwillingness to negotiate and unreasonable action forced them into the contract that they didn't want to sign.

    I think it's a bunch of BS but there is some case law out there with this general drift (probably in California). When someone wants to change terms of the contract I'm at least willing to listen and talk to them about it.... up to a point.

    On a very few occaisions I've changed a couple minor things. One thing I'd never do is tell them "It's my way or the highway" and then do the inspection. It gives them a way out. Of course it's a longshot but you can spend a lot of money and time defending yourself against someone with a "longshot" chance.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    There's some legal definition out there that says a contract is a "negotiated instrument" between two parties. Your unwillingness to "negotiate" can be used by the other side to try and get out of the contract later. Their argument is that they had to get an inspection and had no choice but to go with you and your terms (only so much time for the inspection, scheduled with you and it was too late to get someone else, etc.). Basically, your unwillingness to negotiate and unreasonable action forced them into the contract that they didn't want to sign.

    I think it's a bunch of BS but there is some case law out there with this general drift (probably in California). When someone wants to change terms of the contract I'm at least willing to listen and talk to them about it.... up to a point.

    On a very few occaisions I've changed a couple minor things. One thing I'd never do is tell them "It's my way or the highway" and then do the inspection. It gives them a way out. Of course it's a longshot but you can spend a lot of money and time defending yourself against someone with a "longshot" chance.

    Fact is, most contracts are not signed until the time of the inspection. It is signed under duress. It is either sign it or go looking for another inspector at the last minute. Even if they have many days before their otion period is up they have already taken time off of work to be there because*****YOU TOLD THEM THEY SHOULD BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION****

    I personally believe contrats for home inspection is a crock of useless crap.

    Do you sign a contract before you have your car worked on or before the HVAC guy fixes your no heat situation etc etc etc/

    All contracts can be blown out of the water if you just flat out miss something right in front of your face. If it was not so obvious....Well..then you won't need one anyway.

    The guys from unlicensed states enjoy your contracts for now. When you finally get licensed your will see that they mean nothing and are just useless bully pieces of paper that will hold up sgsinst nothing.

    Actually I find the mountain of paper work that is required to be read from some home inspectors hilarious.

    More time and effort is spent on hiding behind paper work before and after the inspection than on the inspection itself.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    "There's some legal definition out there that says a contract is a "negotiated instrument" between two parties. Your unwillingness to "negotiate" can be used by the other side to try and get out of the contract later. "

    At least some of the negotiations were about:
    Price
    Address of the inspection
    Date and time
    Method of payment
    Date and time payment is expected
    Who can or cannot be at the inspection
    What or will other services be performed
    When will be report be available to the purchaser
    Who will the report be available to.
    How will the report be delivered.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  30. #30
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Fact is, most contracts are not signed until the time of the inspection. It is signed under duress. It is either sign it or go looking for another inspector at the last minute. Even if they have many days before their otion period is up they have already taken time off of work to be there because*****YOU TOLD THEM THEY SHOULD BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION****

    I personally believe contrats for home inspection is a crock of useless crap.

    Do you sign a contract before you have your car worked on or before the HVAC guy fixes your no heat situation etc etc etc/

    All contracts can be blown out of the water if you just flat out miss something right in front of your face. If it was not so obvious....Well..then you won't need one anyway.

    The guys from unlicensed states enjoy your contracts for now. When you finally get licensed your will see that they mean nothing and are just useless bully pieces of paper that will hold up sgsinst nothing.

    Actually I find the mountain of paper work that is required to be read from some home inspectors hilarious.

    More time and effort is spent on hiding behind paper work before and after the inspection than on the inspection itself.
    TM: You will sorely miss that "paperwork" should you end up in litigation with someone like me on the other side - even on your side.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: You will sorely miss that "paperwork" should you end up in litigation with someone like me on the other side - even on your side.

    Ah but that is what you think. That is your opinion. That is a crock because we were talking about useless contract not the mind bending back and forth at arbitration. Lets go to court and discuss the matter and see wht the expert witness has to combat. I have been at a few with friends over the years with promises from the other side to bury them. Fact of the matter is they did not come forth with the aresonal of the expert witness. An expert witness is just another home inspector. One home inspector to another has to prove that the home inspector was negligent. He has to prove that something was visible at the time. Finding some one guilty in court about foolish technicalities that have nothing to do whether the inspectors opinion at the time of the inspection was correct or not. Pretty tough stuff. As far as it never going to court , I would happily bring it into court. Again, because someone did not follow the SOP to the letter about a water heater has nothing to do with the charge against the home inspector for the bad foundation. People get scared to easy. A court of law is much easier for a home inspector to walk that sitting at an arbitration with some fool Home inspector attacking another home inspector.

    Technicalites are fools gold. The proof is in the pudding. Some say that if a home inspector can be found faulty in one part of his inspection (where there was not a concern with the item in question that he was faulty on his SOPs with) Then it puts doubt on the rest of his inspection. That is because he allows the tide to head in that dirtection. Keeping the courts attention to the item at hand, lets say bad foundation, is the only tbhing that matters in a court of law. For a home inspector to miss a bad foundation, as in not writing it up, then he will be spanked. But when it comes to proving that some obscure point in the inspection that could not be seen with out foundation measurement or an engineers report then nothing at all is going to happen to the inspector. As I say, the proof is in the pudding. An expert witness is nothing short of a bully and should be handled as such as in getting bullied back.

    This whole thing about an inspector has no choice in going to court if the insurance company wants to settle out of court is also crap. Anyone has his right to his day in court. Once in court ist is much harder to debate one inspectors opinion over another home inspectors opinion. The reasomn you feel so good about yourself is because the inspectors have been at fault and it was just not a vague opinion to a vague opinion. They missed something....flat out. Anyone can be the prosecuting EW and attorney if the man is flat out guilty.

    And as far as such I think you know my personal opinion on a home inspector working against a home inspector. Either your are an active inspector or you are not. If you are not then get into the EW business. But don't play prosecutor one day waiting for your day to come to be prosecuted.

    I just don't see the reasoning other than....

    "I will do anything for money"

    Scott says he is not a hired gun....Sorry Scott...that is absolute crap. If you're not a hired gun then you would not be called on to testify against another home inspector where you dig as deep as you can to bury the other home inspector. That my friend is called a hired gun.

    Dig, dig, dig, dig until you can say "ah huh.....I got him"

    "Sorry folks..nothing personal here. Just business." I had friends like that in the north east years ago.

    And nothing personal to you EW folks. Seriously. These are just my personal feelings involving certain aspects of life that I chose many years ago to avoid like the swine flue. I just cannot play both sides of the fence and have extremely strong feelings and that does not and should not reflect toward you.

    It is kinda like....Here you go mister prosecutor. We have a video of this man shooting this guy in the head and when we got there the man with the hole in his head put his brains all over the guy that shot him and the gun was still in the shooters hand and oh yeah we have these fifteen witnesses to throw into the mix.....would you mind prosecuting this case.

    Kinda like finding a sinner. Dig deep enough (and not that deep) into anyones past and they will find a sin.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    You make some great point Ted... I have done a few EW. Jobs in the past. The best part was when to attorney that sent me out want me to show how the lot drainage problem was providing an excessive moisture condition to the foundation and interior walls with ( MOULD ) So I get out to the job. and I find that it was not a lot Drainage problem but a past roof leak. And now we have a new roof installed. No more problem.

    This information just piss of the attorney...

    It was funny how the case was open by an Assumption the other inspector overlook something. Kind of sick if you think about it...

    Best

    Ron


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    An expert witness is nothing short of a bully
    TM: Perhaps, from a simplistic point of view, I can see that. However, a good EW is just the bully you want when your ass is on the line.

    And as far as such I think you know my personal opinion on a home inspector working against a home inspector
    .

    TM: So then, you are telling me that, if one of your neighbors - you know the PC lot that lives on your block in Fort Worth - committed a crime which you personally witness, that you would not testify against them?

    Either your are an active inspector or you are not. If you are not then get into the EW business.
    TM: Only you could cook up a crock like that.

    "I will do anything for money"
    TM: So then, you would have us believe that you do inspections out of the kindness of your heart?


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: Perhaps, from a simplistic point of view, I can see that. However, a good EW is just the bully you want when your ass is on the line.

    Ill never need one

    "TM: So then, you are telling me that, if one of your neighbors - you know the PC lot that lives on your block in Fort Worth - committed a crime which you personally witness, that you would not testify against them?"


    Not in the same realm. Has absolutely nothing to do with a guy trying to do an honest job and earn an honest living. You should be embarrassed for thinking otherwise.

    TM: Only you could cook up a crock like that.

    "I only cook stews in my crackpot"

    TM: So then, you would have us believe that you do inspections out of the kindness of your heart?

    No I do them for a living. If an inspector was screwing up I would help him out not try to get him convicted so he is paying out his ass for years or making it so he cannot get insurance from another carrier.

    A mechanic screws up you get your car towed back and repaired properly. Why should any inspector have to pay anything over what the actiual cost of getting something made right. Like I said if he actually did screw up then he or his insurance should pay for it. There is no reason to get you involved at all. There are small claims courts that handle 99% of claims the size that is needed for repairing or even replacing and HVAC system, 10,000 in foundation repair etc. If it was an honest miss as in not plain to the eye to discover then so be it. We are there to reduce the risk in home buying. Not to eliminate it altogether. Home inspectors are no criminals and should not be treated as such. We have a court system for that. Let the lawyers do there work and there paralegals do there work. Why should you want to put money in the pocket of any attorney.

    OOOps, thats right, It is going in your pocket as well.

    I do not an will never have an attorney on retainer and will never need one. The world is running scared and it has to stop.

    This again is my personal wants and needs and desire in life. This is not meant to or expected to disuade anyone from choosing a particular line of work. If I could do those things I would be a wealthy man but I just cannot make myself do it.

    Shoot. If I could make myself take advantage of old ladys I would have been a wealthy man decades ago. Oh waite. Thats not the same thing

    Besides......I do recall that I said I was kidding about most of this stuff.

    Just not the both sides of the fence thing.


  35. #35
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: Perhaps, from a simplistic point of view, I can see that. However, a good EW is just the bully you want when your ass is on the line.

    . I will never need one

    TM: So then, you are telling me that, if one of your neighbors - you know the PC lot that lives on your block in Fort Worth - committed a crime which you personally witness, that you would not testify against them?

    Not even slightly related to the topic of discussion. We are talking about folks trying to make an honest living and do an honest days work...Not a thug playing gang banger.

    TM: Only you could cook up a crock like that.

    I tried using crock pots but it got old real quick.


    TM: So then, you would have us believe that you do inspections out of the kindness of your heart?

    Just honest inspections for an honest living. I just cannot bring myself, and never have been able to, work both sides of the fence. Just my own little standard I try to keep. If I see someone doing something wrong (home inspectors) I try to help make it right. I do not try to get them to pay out their ass for years to come. Either their own pocket or the insurance companies pocket because the insuranmce company will either raise his rates for years or drop him altogether virtually putting the poor bastard out of work altogether.
    Again nothing personal to anyone. These are just my standards I set for myself.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I was never able to date older woman.... So don't feel bad Ted

    Best

    Ron


  37. #37
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I was never able to date older woman.... So don't feel bad Ted

    Best

    Ron
    Now that is funny.

    I find it difficult to date woman my age, never mind older. I like em still breathing


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Ted,
    I have a feeling you have never been sued, been in a deposition, or done any kind of expert witness stuff.

    Most of my expert witness work is with people suing a builder, or the seller of their house.
    However, I have done several the had to do with a home inspector. Some were trying to defend them, and a few were from the people that were suing one.

    Expert witness work has nothing to do with "trying to get someone". It has to do with doing the best job you can for your client.

    I wonder how you would respond if you were working on a case where a "home inspector" was: 1.unlicensed, 2. lied about belonging to a HI org, 3. did a 1 page report, and 4. offered to do the repairs, and missed the fact that the house was sliding down a hill. Pretty hard to no go after someone like that.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Hey Jack had a question for you or Scott. Do think about the limited amount of time an HI Has to do his inspection. I KNOWN...I KNOWN...He has all day if he needs it. Just something to think about. Of the 3 times I have done EW Work 2 of the times they had no case and the Attorneys were not happy with me... Because I would not make the case look or go the way they wanted it to look like.

    The other case this inspector got lost under a big home and did not notice that there was a room that he never got under. So when the buyer moved in about a month later his piano sank into the floor from fungus and termite damage... That one was easy...

    We have a guy out my way that I have look at some of his EW Work and it looks like he will give support to the attorneys wish list... I don't like to see that kind of stuff...

    Best

    Ron


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Hey Jack had a question for you or Scott. Do think about the limited amount of time an HI Has to do his inspection. I KNOWN...I KNOWN...He has all day if he needs it. Just something to think about. Of the 3 times I have done EW Work 2 of the times they had no case and the Attorneys were not happy with me... Because I would not make the case look or go the way they wanted it to look like.

    The other case this inspector got lost under a big home and did not notice that there was a room that he never got under. So when the buyer moved in about a month later his piano sank into the floor from fungus and termite damage... That one was easy...

    We have a guy out my way that I have look at some of his EW Work and it looks like he will give support to the attorneys wish list... I don't like to see that kind of stuff...

    Best

    Ron
    RB: Unlike what Ted seems to believe in his dream world, I and others like me do not accept every EW case that comes their way. Of course, attorneys must sometimes work for the bad guy - even they deserve legal representation. The same is not true of HIs performing EW work.

    I believe myself capable of arguing rather convincingly nearly any position on any subject, given the time to do the research in advance. I will not however, take on a case working for the bad guys. Yes, I turn away 50% of the EW work I could be doing because of this stance, but I have to live with myself.

    If you really think it through you might realize that, as HIs doing strictly HI work, you are often working for the "bad guys" whether you know it at the time or not. You do not thoroughly research the backgrounds of every respective client, right? You could, and likely are at least sometimes, working for child molesters, wife abusers, murderers, liars and cheats. How does that make you better than someone doing EW work only for the innocent?


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Ted,
    I have a feeling you have never been sued, been in a deposition, or done any kind of expert witness stuff.

    Most of my expert witness work is with people suing a builder, or the seller of their house.
    However, I have done several the had to do with a home inspector. Some were trying to defend them, and a few were from the people that were suing one.

    Expert witness work has nothing to do with "trying to get someone". It has to do with doing the best job you can for your client.

    I wonder how you would respond if you were working on a case where a "home inspector" was: 1.unlicensed, 2. lied about belonging to a HI org, 3. did a 1 page report, and 4. offered to do the repairs, and missed the fact that the house was sliding down a hill. Pretty hard to no go after someone like that.

    Jack

    Again, to each his own but what you are describing is why we have a court system. That guy is an obvious criminal and should be prosecuted in a criminal court. In that particular case there is no need for an EW as in another home inspector finding anything. You say unlicensed so obviously he is from a licensed state. Another fine example of criminal intent that should be prosecuted either by the state or the clients lawyer as everything you said, he is a criminal. We are not bunching the apples together here at all.

    If someone is a criminal....he gets prosecuted in this court system we have here in the US. If he is innocent, which it sounds not, then his lawyer should have an easy time getting him off. Kinda hard to defend an unlicensed individual that is lying abnout everything. No EW needed. Just the fact he is unlicensed and performing inspections makes him instantly guilty and he immediately loses.

    No Jack. I have only worked for others about 10 to 15% of my working life and have been working since the day I left high school and I am pushing 56. I have never been in court in my life for anything (well..divorce). I have no reason to be brought into court. I will never be brought into court. There are certain ways of dealing with life that will keep you from ever having that happen.

    My belief in life is to do a good job no matter what you do in lifes work. No one will ever be able to get you for anything of a serious nature. As far as the rest it is all bull sh*it and that you just pick up with a shovel and throw it over the back fence.

    I am not knocking you, Scott, Aaron or anyone else for that matter. As far as the anything goes to make a buck thing I just cannot pull myself to do it. As far as an inspector ever missing anything if he is extremely diligent about his inspections....They are humans and do not deserve to be destroyed by a home buyer and either pay out through the nose for insurance for years or lose his insurance forever and literally destroy any chances of forwarding his carrier.

    Jack....We are there to REDUCE the risk in home buying for our clients. If in fact an inspector misses something right in front of him...well...so be it...pay for it and be done..No expert witness needed. If in fact some ass just wants someone to pay there way in life and not take responcibility for their own short coming...well... Those people are the easiest to handle. Deal with them ten fold back and it stops right there.

    Yes an expert witness is a hired gun. In most cases they are going to prove fault by nit picking and tearing an inspection report on a bunch of bull crap technicalities. OOOOps did not dot that I and cross that t about all these items inspected (even thought there was nothing wrong with them) so I guess that shows that you are guilty at a bad inspection. Most of which have nothing to do with the crack missed in the side of the slab and when measurements were taken it showed far more movement than anything that was visual. Oh yeah and it is always nice that when you did the inspection the grass had not been weed eated for 3 months and now the arbitration pictures show it nicely cut and the slab edge plainly visible. Oh yeah..no crack in the brick or interior drywall or doors out of square and no obvious rises in the floor or slopes.

    Anyway..expert witnesses are generally hired by a lawyer and are hired to find fault with an inspection report and the way certain things were written or SOPs slightly varied from.

    Again Jack. I have worked for myself in new home building, remodelling, commercial construction, inspecting for 37 years and , no, not once have I ever been sued or an insurance payout ever made. Has there ever been work that I have sent guys back to because it was not quite right..of course..that is the building trade.

    Did I ever pay money to someone just to shut them up cause they call you every week for 3 months about something they think you either did wrong or thought you should have found behind that fressh paint etc. Yes I have and both (as in twice) times I had pictures and report in front of me showing different and paid a few hundred just to keep from being bothered anymore.

    I have had people screaming and cursing trying to pull the bully crap on me because they did not follow thru with the inspection info and get things looked like they should have and the repairs turned out to be seriously significant. Threatening, yelling...you know the call. So what..its not going anywhere. Show them you are not intimidated in the slightest and hand it right back at them ten fold. They go away.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    The point I was trying to make was, in those times when I have been across the table from an atty during a deposition, or giving testimony on court, contracts can play a big role in the outcome of the case. It can protect you, and can limit what someone can get from you.

    I have told attys several times that I can not help defend their client because they did a bad job..
    I have also told attys that they really didn't have a good case against one after reviewing their report and visiting the site.

    I have to say that in all of the cases I have worked on involving other home inspectors, I have never had to resort to the "dotting the i's and crossing the T's nitpicking you are talking about. Your example is really not how it works in the real world, at least in the cases I have worked on.

    Hired gun?? Well, I guess I am since they hired me and I'm getting paid. But I'm also not a bushwhacker. If they go down, its because they lost a fair fight.

    BY the way, the guy in the example I gave, got off pretty much scott free, and its all in the way the court system works.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    NC requires it and I believe they are pushing for 24 hrs before the Inspection date. Might be a myth I don't know. Soon as I speak to a client on the phone I give them my email so they can send me all there information. I send off the agreement right away and tell them to fill it out. sign and bring with them at the inspection date.

    They can't claim duress and saves me printing cost

    If for some reason they forgot to bring with them I give them the form to fill out on sight but I still have email account they received it. Sometimes they forget to sign it and I overlooked it and I have force agreement through HG before they can view the report.

    If I go to court I would feel much better having a signed contact then walking in empty handed.

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

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Mike, check post #13. I posted a quote from the SOPs. There is no 24 advance notice, only the words "before the home inspection is performed".

    There is a 3 day limit that report must be delivered unless other agreements have been made with the client. 3 days is not defined as working days or 3 days. If you perform an inspection on Wednesday, is the report due Saturday or Monday?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    With the realtors and clients I deal with they want it that eveining or next morning. Wish I had three days well maybe not. Would forget half the stuff by then

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  46. #46
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Mike, you have made a business decision to deliver in that time frame. You have set your own standard for delivery time. Most clients have no known reference for delivery time. What you tell them is what they expect.

    Don't let the realtors drive your schedule. If you have realtors who regularly refer you, then explain that as of the 1st of next month, you are making a change to your business and will be delivering reports in X time frame. If they ask why, tell them you want to improve the quality of your reporting and need the extra time to review additional documentation and or consult with experts in the particular fields.

    When clients call, present the time frame you deliver the report as a selling feature. I tell my clients the report will be delivered via email by midnight the following day. If I get the report out sooner, I look good. If life gets in they way, then I have some wiggle room to complete the report.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  47. #47
    John Remark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    I work for an insurance carrier and we require pre-inspection agreements signed before hand. The reasoning is not legal (as these documents in most states are low hurdles to clear), but educational.

    Most homeowners are buying a home once every 7-12 years. Many are not familiar with what a home inspector does and to what standards they inspect to. The pre-inspection contract is there to educate the client and manage their expectations. Many of my clients (the inspectors) actually show a sample report and ask--"Is this what you are expecting". This is especially important if the HI's client is moving from a different state (NJ-TX as an example) where the SOP's and report generations can be dramatically different.

    From the insurance companies perspective, most people are honest (or else the system would not work) so as a result claims/problems come in 3 categories: Legitimate, Fraudulent, Frivolous.

    There is nothing we can do about the first two. If an inspector is good at his job, well trained and makes an honest mistake, that is why we are here. If a HI's client is there to commit fraud, we cannot stop them.

    So all we can really do is affect the frivolous. Most frivolous suits are because the client's do not understand what they are buying from the home inspector. The pre-inspection agreement manages their expectations and reduces these types of cases tremendously.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    The insurers have a lousy track record of managing suits brought on by disgruntled home purchasers who feel their inspector was negligent.. then the insurers turn around and blame the inspectors.

    The insurers are all great at mitigating the issues by paying out - which is economically easier than spending many dollars fighting.

    Manage clients expectations?


  49. #49
    John Remark's Avatar
    John Remark Guest

    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Hmmm-- You are painting with very broad brush- Both for insurance carriers and circumstances. I was just trying to add to the discussion in a thoughtful manner.

    Please remember-- Insurance is shared risk. The better we are able to keep the claims out of the system, the lower our and your costs for insurance are. My company has some of the lowest premiums in the industry-- I am not trying to advertise, just stating facts. I work very hard to make sure that the my guys agree on the best way to protect all of us (one step of which is to go over the Pre-inspection agreement (not Pro-forma)), making it easier to keep premiums down and more affordable.

    And Yes, with my insureds, I spend a great deal of time communicating and talking with them about our insurance and preventatitive philosphy. This time pays off over time, keeping my loss ratio low and my clients premiums low. This is called managing expections.

    My company does not "Blame the Inspector" In fact, we have something called "First Dollar Defense". You deductible is only owed when a resolution is generated. If we win or get you seperated from the case, the deductible is not owed...

    Many of the settlements are because it is more economical, but we do not "Blame the Inspector". Jeez, you think we are not normal people with lives, families and normal concerns. This is not a blame game, but a business where we need to make a profit (just like you) and provide a product that protects you and your assets. That is what we are here for.

    Sorry to go on a rant, but I talk with home inspectors everyday. Most are great guys that I am proud to serve. We all have a perspective and NO ONE is a bad guy, we all just serve different and complimentary agenda's.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Hi John

    Sorry, I am jaded. Bad experience many years ago.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Trust me, I know. Many home inspectors have had very bad experiences where claims handling is concerned. This is why it is important to know what the insurance carrier primarily does. With my carrier, something like 25% of their business is Professional Liability (e and o). As a result, our contacts, defense counsels and claims handlers are vastly experienced in these types of claims. With this experience we can better determine how to proceed, when to settle and when to defend. Our defense counsels are specialists in e and o as well as in HI e and o (amongst others). These guys have gone to court, settled and through discovery have had many cases dismissed.

    The largest settlements I have seen have been with companies that had GL specialists handling an e and o claim, bad news. They do not understand the specific dynamics of e and o and more specifically, the HI business. As a result, not all carriers and policies are the same, even though, they may be worded the same.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    This is how we handle inspection agreements. They are emailed to the buyer prior to the inspection. We meet the client at the home, perform the inspection, discuss our findings with the buyer and show them the report on our computers. We collect the inspection fee and within an hour will upload the report to our server. Our server sends out an automatic email to the client with a link to their inspection report. Before they can access the report they are shown the inspection agreement again and must accept the terms of our inspection agreement. If they don't accept, they won't get a copy of the report.

    This gives our clients ample time to read through the agreement without feeling pressured into signing it while standing in the driveway. We get paid whether they accept the agreement or not, because we've performed our service.

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  53. #53
    Nick J. Alati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    This is how we handle inspection agreements. They are emailed to the buyer prior to the inspection. We meet the client at the home, perform the inspection, discuss our findings with the buyer and show them the report on our computers. We collect the inspection fee and within an hour will upload the report to our server. Our server sends out an automatic email to the client with a link to their inspection report. Before they can access the report they are shown the inspection agreement again and must accept the terms of our inspection agreement. If they don't accept, they won't get a copy of the report.

    This gives our clients ample time to read through the agreement without feeling pressured into signing it while standing in the driveway. We get paid whether they accept the agreement or not, because we've performed our service.
    Who's System are you using?
    Nick
    http//www.azhomeinspectoronline.com


  54. #54

    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    That sounds like the same that I use, which is Homegauge. When you use it this way it is also automatically stored online for 5 years, No paperwork to keep up with!

    Clarksville Home Inspection
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    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  55. #55
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    That would not work in North Carolina. State law says inspection agreement has to be signed prior to the actual inspection.

    Why would you want to wait until after the inspection to get the contract signed? If something goes ary during the inspection, you have no legal protection.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  56. #56
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick J. Alati View Post
    Who's System are you using?
    Nick
    http//www.azhomeinspectoronline.com

    Our own. We're a large company who employ our own computer geeks to make this stuff.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  57. #57
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    That would not work in North Carolina. State law says inspection agreement has to be signed prior to the actual inspection.

    I'm not in North Carolina so I wouldn't know the laws there.

    Why would you want to wait until after the inspection to get the contract signed? If something goes ary during the inspection, you have no legal protection.
    Please give an example of what could go awry during an inspection that your inspection agreement, signed by the buyer, would protect you against.

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  58. #58
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Ken
    "Please give an example of what could go awry during an inspection that your inspection agreement, signed by the buyer, would protect you against."

    An example as in;
    Most contracts say something like:
    Inspection of accessible areas.
    The access door to the crawlspace was locked, therefore an inspection of the crawlspace was not performed.
    Inspection of functioning utilities and related systems
    The xxxx was not turned on, therefore no inspection or an abbreviated inspection of the xxxx system was performed.
    Inspection of the roof.
    The roof was covered with 12" of snow, therefore no inspection of the roof surface was performed.
    The inspection does not include test to verify the accuracy or performance of:
    Timers, clocks, devices that measure or display temperature or pressure, indicators, programmable equipment or controls, electronic or digital circuit boards ...

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  59. #59
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Please give an example of what could go awry during an inspection that your inspection agreement, signed by the buyer, would protect you against.
    The contract states what you will and will not do, which help clarify any expectations from the client.

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

  60. #60
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Ken
    "Please give an example of what could go awry during an inspection that your inspection agreement, signed by the buyer, would protect you against."

    An example as in;
    Most contracts say something like:
    Inspection of accessible areas.
    The access door to the crawlspace was locked, therefore an inspection of the crawlspace was not performed.
    Inspection of functioning utilities and related systems
    The xxxx was not turned on, therefore no inspection or an abbreviated inspection of the xxxx system was performed.
    Inspection of the roof.
    The roof was covered with 12" of snow, therefore no inspection of the roof surface was performed.
    The inspection does not include test to verify the accuracy or performance of:
    Timers, clocks, devices that measure or display temperature or pressure, indicators, programmable equipment or controls, electronic or digital circuit boards ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    The contract states what you will and will not do, which help clarify any expectations from the client.

    These are examples of situations dealt with every day by inspectors. Not something that I would define as "going awry during the inspection". "Going awry during the inspection", in my opinion, would be falling through a rotten roof or an electric baseboard heater bursting into flames when turned on (which has happened to me). We've found that as long as we have the inspection agreement signed before releasing the report we're covered.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 02-14-2010 at 02:19 PM.
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  61. #61
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    Default Re: Yes we completed the Contract

    Ken
    I'm not following you. You asked for an example:
    " of what could go awry during an inspection that your inspection agreement, signed by the buyer, would protect you against."

    Why do you need protection from the buyer for:
    "falling through a rotten roof or an electric baseboard heater bursting into flames when turned on "

    Looks to me as though the seller may get a little miffed, but not the buyer.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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