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Thread: Expert present

  1. #1
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Expert present

    Two of my last three inspections the Realtor has brought along a bystander who just watches and throws out a comment once in a while. Both houses are high end homes. I finally ask who are you? The Realtor says he is a contractor. I say Hi give him friendly tap on the shoulder and do my thing.
    Both times no problems as I do not say anything I can not back up.
    If I was my client I would have said something to the Realtor like why is he here? I hired a Home Inspector. What is this an intimidation thing?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Expert present

    It does sound like an intimidation issue and also does not sound very ethical in my opinion since it sounds like the agent brought the "expert" along.

    Did the client request this "expert"? If so I wouldn't be as concerned about ethics, however, if the agent brought this expert along without the client's approval or informing the client about it then I would say that it is unethical if the "expert" is offering rebuttal or comments on your findings during the inspection. Without client being informed etc., it would appear that the "expert" is representing the agent's interests and not necessarily the buyer.

    Besides, what are this "expert's" credentials? As we all know, being a contractor does not always make someone an expert, even in the field they work in (including HIs sometimes).

    Was it the same agent each time that had the "expert" there?

    Curious to say the least,

    Eric


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Did you consider asking him for a card to help ID him?


  4. #4
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Eric. Different agents. Sellers agents. The client did not know they were coming. I definitely had the feeling they were there for rebuttal.
    They had a few weak comments which I did my own rebuttal. They mostly were praising the good things about the house. It was weird. One of them was following me like a puppy. Each time I went to turn I almost tripped over him. I came real close to saying get the F.... out of my way.
    I guess if they became a real nuisance I would have stopped the Inspection and had a pow wow with my client and recommend he tell the Realtor to send him away as he is interfering with the inspection.
    Both agents I have never met before.
    Never asked for a card. One kept telling me he was a builder.
    Wondering if this is new Realtor tactic? Never had it happen in 4 years, now twice in one Month.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Dave,

    How annoying and definitely strange. I have had the client's father who was an engineer or the brother who was a roofer, etc., show up to the inspection before but never a contractor brought by the agent.

    What was the client's reaction or comments, if any?

    Eric


  6. #6
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Client did not seem to care at all. Yesterday I had the father of the daughter buying the house. He was actually pretty knowledgeable. We became Buddy's by the end. At the end they gave me a tip!


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Expert present

    David,

    Was it the same guy both times?

    Maybe it was a realtors relative who wants to become a home inspector.


    Darren

    New Jersey Home Inspection - About the House!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Expert present

    If the client did not hire the person, as has happened to me before. I ask who he is and who he is here for. If he is there for my clients broker I ask my client if they want him there. If they say OK. OK with me. I constantly ask them what they think about everything to keep them thinking.
    If client does not care I tell the person that my inspection is for them and them alone and they cannot follow us.
    If the listing broker tries to floow as they often do. The same.
    PLease excuse me but I will have to ask you not to follow us, as this inspection is for my client alone. If they want you to know about findings in the report they will tell you in the future.


  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Anyone connected to the seller has no input on my inspection for the buyer. If they get in the way they need to move. I can not talk to my client if they are following us around. The few times I have had it happen, after I said a few times I wish the seller would leave so I can talk to YOU....they left! I had one seller ask if I could be quiet because the baby was asleep. I said I would try but since the attic hatch was in the babies room, the baby woke up when the fiberglass insulation fell in the crib. These folks left too.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Personally I would never have permitted the seller or their agent's "expert" to attend my inspection. All of my findings where ALWAYS privy to my client and hiring some “expert” to follow me around to dispute my opinion and/or worse, have me defend my evaluations would have me walking away, pronto!

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Expert present

    There's not even a chance that anyone other than my Client can be near me when I'm inspecting. I approach it from a safety perspective, as well as from the propriety issue.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  12. #12
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expert present

    You guys do not allow agents to be at the Inspection? Around here very common for sellers and buyer agent to be present and follow you around.
    Sellers are very rarely present. Agents do not want them to say anything
    stupid


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Expert present

    I agree with Jerry M. on the supposedly "expert" being present.

    If he was not your client I would not have discussed anything with him and told him to back off so I could do my job.

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 05-21-2007 at 04:53 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Expert present

    Not allow the seller to be there during the inspection? Sorry, it IS their house, and I AM THE GUEST.

    Now, if there are "others" there, I take my clients aside and ask them who these people are, and if they are comfortable with me discussing my findings in front of them. Many times they are just fine with it. They WANT the sellers to hear what I have to say.

    If they are not, then I tell them that I will only talk to them when we are alone, or go to a McDonalds after and discuss the whole thing. If engaged by the seller, or agent, or other party, I will NOT argue and will leave if asked or it gets heated.

    Over the years I have been asked to leave a house by the seller a few times. I've had the seller forbid the buyer from being in the house during the inspection a couple times.

    If there is someone at the inspection I can't place, then I ask who they are and why are they there (I usually ask my clients if they know that person first). One time it was the agents brother from out of town, and he was thinking of getting into inspections and just wanted to hang around (but she told everyone up front and he kept his mouth shut and stayed out of the way).

    I think the first time the "other" opened his mouth and made a comment on something I said, I would have found out who he was, why he was there, and told him to keep his thoughts to himself as nice as I could.

    JF


  15. #15
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expert present

    The more, the merrier. Only thing that bothers me is some loud, screaming, out of control kids. That was the only reason I have ever even threatened to quit an inspection. If others don't introduce themselves, so be it. I don't care who they are. Whoever hired me can also direct the traffic. If I am telling client something they don't want others to hear, I guess they will let me know. Many of the inspections here also involve other inspectors..I show up early to get a parking place.


  16. #16
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
    Kevin VanderWarf Guest

    Default Re: Expert present

    Did you say this was the sellers agent bringing this guy along?

    Around here, any kind of intimidation on the realtors part is a big no,no.
    Especially the sellers agent.

    Anyway, I would have told how much I appreciate what his industry has done for ours.

    Getting back to intimidation, I love it when they do that. I've had HVAC guys on a couple recently. They have no freakin clue (not all, the two I have encountered) as to what the scope of the inspection is all about.

    I'm starting to think they is something going on with these asisted inspection. Have you guys seen any publication in the realty news columns that suggest we need some sort of guidance?
    They is certainly some sort of buzz going around about this sort of thing here.


  17. #17
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    Cool Re: Expert present

    A point of clarification per Jack’s post; I never took the position that the property owner (seller) could not be at home as that would be ridiculous, but rather “attend” the inspection process, that is follow me around to hear what I had to say to my clients. I learned early on that the vast majority of clients preferred to be alone with their inspector during the investigative process and I sure as hell didn’t want to go over my “hit list” in front of the couple who had resided in their “perfectly maintained” home for the last 25 years. Its like how would you feel about having your doctor discuss his/her findings in their waiting room in front of all the other patients? Our reports are for the benefit of our clients only and the remark “the more the merrier” only indicates someone who doesn’t grasp the meaning of confidentiality, besides being rather naïve.

    As I stated in my original post on this thread there are many ways of conducting one’s business and I found through the years that avoiding arguments with defensive home owners and their agents to be far more productive and less stressful for all concerned during my t.o.g. Anyhow, that’s my opinion fwiw.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  18. #18
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
    Kevin VanderWarf Guest

    Default Re: Expert present

    Here's a thought;

    If there is an "expert" present. You go over all of your findings with him, then note in your report that an expert was present and has verified everything. Would that shift the liabilty just a bit?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Expert present

    What JM said.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Expert present

    I think the inspection goes a little faster without the seller or their agents present, but it makes little difference to me if they are present.
    My inspection and report is the same unless I can get reasonable explanation concerning something that I have a legitimate question about.
    If I feel the owner / agent is getting too intrusive, I will pull my client aside and explain things privately.
    Just Friday, I had buyer and wife present and trying to explain about the sellers hatchet job on the electrical in the attic. I let the seller explain about what he had done and how he would restore it if the buyer wanted, I just nodded and smiled.
    Then out in the back yard out of earshot from the seller, I explain that he needs a licensed electrician to fix what the seller had done, even if he had already "restored" it.
    This seller also had installed a vent hood, propane hot plate, and cabinets in the garage. It looked pretty good until I found the vent hood choked down to a 3" w/h vent in the attic and the propane bottle connected and stored in the cabinet below the hot plate.
    I get paid to inspect and inform my client, confrontation with the seller is not included in the price.
    Some people (inspectors) enjoy the "banging head against wall" scenario, but I don't. I don't have time nor the energy to waste trying to teach the seller (unless they are my client) how to fix what they screwed up in the first place.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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