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  1. #1
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    Default Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I'm really starting to get annoyed when I hear this......"We work all week. Can you do the inspection on Saturday or Sunday".....or....."These buyers work all week and need a weekend inspection".

    Hmmmmm.....they work all week. What the %$#& do they think I do all week? They must think this is a hobby for us or we're in public service.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    In my alarm business I have people that want me to meet them at their house after work.
    Sure no problem, after 4:30 + 25%
    after 6:00 50%
    after 7:00 100%
    Sat after 12:00 50%
    Sat after 3:00 and all day Sunday 100%

    If they don't mind, I don't.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    So charge more for the service if you feel it is an imposition.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    It's been a funny transition over the last few weeks..... we're finally getting busy and can't always rush right out to a job. And/or can't do one at 5pm like we would when there was literally nothing else to do.

    I've had a couple funny calls this week where people just assume we'll jump in our truck and be right over. When I tell them we're booked up until next Thursday the silence is pretty funny.... "but we only have a 3 day inspection period"

    Also, my willingness to play the "price game" is fading. It's nice to finally be busy though..... last year at this time we were just finishing up buyer's credit, heading for a year of disappointment... hopefully, things stay a bit more steady throughout the summer.


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Coming to someones home after they get out of work is an imposition. I do not understand the mentality of folks in the position of "I work Monday thru Friday and do not get home until about 5:30 so we will have to do the inspection after that". What is even better than that is when they tell you that they cannot do the inspection on the weekend because that is when they spend time with family, or some lame excuse.

    Those folks I have not dealt with in the past and usually do not accommodate them now. I will finish up by that time and they can come for a short walk thru of a half hour max. Even those folks look at you funny when you are heading out the door after the half hour and they still want to hang out and chit chat about the home and inspection findings.

    I had some folks say that they would meet me after work around 5:30 and it was right down the street from my house. I agreed and at about 6 o"clock I finally called them and they informed me that they were in the middle of dinner and would be over after they finished up. They finally showed up around 6:45 When they arrived I told them that we can get the payment out of the way so 'they' could check the home out. I already had everything in the truck long, long ago. They paid me and I shook the guys hand and when I turned to head out the door they asked me "Well, what about the walk thru and going over the report?" I told them I was sorry but my dinner was getting cold and I would email the report sometime tomorrow. They were not happy to say the least and then said that they thought I was going to get the report off to them that night. I told them that I told them that before I new I was not getting home until 7:30 and that they were going to be almost an hour and a half late. Realtor and clients stood there with their jaws open watching me walk away and still could not figure out what the problem was. They actually thought that that was the way of life and how it would be and I would have just put up with that crap.

    Sorry for the rant folks but that is one of the worse stories I have to say about rude clients that thought they could get away with anything they want because they were paying me for an inspection. Speaking of which the comment was made that if they new I was leaving they would not have paid me until after I gave them the report.

    My answer to that was .... EXACTLY!

    Funny how I did not get any referrals from those folks and the Realtor sent me a nasty letter. Go figure


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    So charge more for the service if you feel it is an imposition.
    I'm not interested in a couple extra bucks. I'm interested in having a weekend with my family. And I'm not interested in modifying or giving up more time with my family for people who won't modify their schedule to buy a house. My wife teaches M-F. Our son is in school M-F. I'm not interested in spending my weekend working. Some Saturday mornings with a 9am start time? OK. You want me to work Saturday afternoon or Sunday? No thank you.

    Ted, that's a friggin' riot. I would have probably silently seethed and just dealt with it all the while cursing them under my breath. But I salute you for not letting them have their way with your time.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    One of the guys I work with gave me a great line once.... "What's that? You get off at 5? That's funny..... so do I"


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Who said anything about a couple of extra bucks. Charge them $50 or more. You are in a service business.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    It's not about money. It's about time you don't get back. $50 will be gone in the blink of an eye at the pump.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I work M-F and I will perform a morning and an afternoon inspection. I will not inspect after 3PM. I will pick a radon machine up on Saturday if needed.
    I have a son who plays school sports and AAU basketball so any free time is very precious to the family.

    I set the tone with the caller by telling them I have X day and time open or X day and time open, then I ask them what works best. I give them two choices at first and if those do not work I give them another option or two.

    This is how I have done it for 15+ years and it is still working well for me. Sure I have had folks not book with me because I will not inspect on a weekend, but that is life. I have even helped callers by giving them the name of a few inspectors who I know work on the weekends.

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

  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    One of the guys I work with gave me a great line once.... "What's that? You get off at 5? That's funny..... so do I"
    I have said that more often to remember how often.

    I very recently agreed to a 5:30 start right in the neighborhood behind me. I am not sure why but hey, I must be getting old and soft. They turned out to just be price shoppers and saved 20 bucks even after I allowed her to talk me into it. I called back to confirm the appointment and time and that is when those wonderful words came out "I am sorry. I meant to call you back. We went with someone else that saved us a few dollars." So not only should I have not been nice and booked one for early evening but I was reminded why I try my darnedest to keep it strictly business and to the letter of my rule book.

    I won't be caught with the pants down again.


  12. #12
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Ditto what Scott P. noted.

    I'm M-F and my start time is 9AM or 1PM. And, I seldom will book "two a day" and that is my business decision and due to some 'aging' of the body and the fact I don't care for being up late a night doing reports.


    "Some" clients I will do a Saturday AM inspection for, but that has only been for repeat clients who are now having me inspect their 2nd or 3rd home in the past month or two as the first ones fell out for some reason or another.


  13. #13
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Don't know about the rest of you but times are a little slow around here so a Saturday morning inspection is fine for me a long as I don't have a previous commitment with my family. I also stay with my son one weekday a week because of my childcare provider's schedule so I sometimes need to make that day up for work.

    I don't inspect on Sundays, never have. I don't start a weekday inspection after 2pm unless for some weird reason it's really worth it.

    If you are willing to inspect after 5pm I say charge at least $75.00 extra. Tell your client if they think that's too much then call a plumber or electrician and ask waht their extra fee for an after hours service call is!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Monday-Friday here too.

    Appointments start at 7am.-9am. and I'll book the afternoon no latter than 2pm. (maybe 3pm. if its a vacant home)

    rick


  15. #15
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    Houston, Texas
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I do not do any inspections after 3 P.M.. I did an inspection at 5 P.M. once years ago and the seller was mad because I was there when they got home from work and wanted me out of their house. I made it my policy never again. I do my inspection M-F.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    When business was really great I used to take Friday's off. But pretty much it has been M-F at 9AM and 1:30PM. In the past three years, I have extended my work week to Saturdays if needed.

    This past week was the first week in over a year and a half that I had 10 inspections. I had to work Sat. morning to get 10, but its still 10.
    I will not give Sat as an option unless there are extenuating circumstances.
    This past week, I had clients call me on Monday. They were flying to Knoxville on Wednesday, and wanted to schedule an inspection on Friday or Sat. I told them that I could not give them my last Friday appointment because there was always a chance they would not find a house, but I would hold Sat open "for them". I made it clear that I did not usually work on Saturday, but I understood their situation, and I would do my best to accommodate them.

    As it turned out, they bought a 5,000 SF house and also wanted a radon test. My Saturday was very profitable.

    I do not do late inspections, because while the buyers may be OK doing it after work, the sellers of the house may not be all that OK with waiting to get into their house after THEY get off work.

    When someone wants to come at the very end and go over every single step I took, I just tell them I have another appointment I have to get to. We make it pretty clear when we are setting up the job, that we are not going to hang around much after we are finished.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Nick there are lots of people who work weekends too. have you ever been to home depot on the weekend or got a ticket for speeding on the weekend? been to a nice resturant? the majority of posts are complaining about working the weekend on here. but we all know people go buy stuff at stores and go do stuff while others are working. But what if you have a slow week and don't work mon tues wed? It is nice to take weekends off and work mon -fri. but that is not for everyone. If you choose not to work weekends fine but don't expect everyone else in the world to be the same as you. what if no resturants or movies or home depot wasn't open or the rest of the world as you know it didn't work weekends. hospital's were closed etc what would you do then?? it is nice when you decide not to work weekends but that does not mean the rest of the world stops cause you do. Open your eyes and be glad you can afford not to have to work weekends!! not everyone in the real world can. celibrate the fact you have it so good!!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Kids are grown and gone, one day is just like the next. I'd just as soon have a monday / tuesday off instead of saturday and sunday, everyone else is off on the weekends and I hate to wait in line for anything. While others work the monday through friday grind, I'm out camping, fishing, shopping, whatever and there are usually no crowds......JMO


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Hetner View Post
    Nick there are lots of people who work weekends too. have you ever been to home depot on the weekend or got a ticket for speeding on the weekend? been to a nice resturant? the majority of posts are complaining about working the weekend on here. but we all know people go buy stuff at stores and go do stuff while others are working. But what if you have a slow week and don't work mon tues wed? It is nice to take weekends off and work mon -fri. but that is not for everyone. If you choose not to work weekends fine but don't expect everyone else in the world to be the same as you. what if no resturants or movies or home depot wasn't open or the rest of the world as you know it didn't work weekends. hospital's were closed etc what would you do then?? it is nice when you decide not to work weekends but that does not mean the rest of the world stops cause you do. Open your eyes and be glad you can afford not to have to work weekends!! not everyone in the real world can. celibrate the fact you have it so good!!
    If other people didn't work on the weekend, I would adjust my schedule accordingly and work around it. My grouse is that other people expect me to alter my schedule to meet their needs and they need everything to fit into a nice little box for them. If somebody is buying a house, I don't think it's too much to expect that they should be able to make themselves available for a 3+ hour slot of time somewhere during the week.

    If somebody wants to work Saturdays or Sundays, that's their choice. I do Saturdays sometimes but it is not the norm.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Chic Fil A is closed on Sundays. While I would really like to go there on Sundays, I respect their business policy.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Saturday is just another workday for me. I do start a little later, say 9:00 to accommodate residents and only one on Saturday. But to each his own, I have no kids still at home.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Chic Fil A is closed on Sundays. While I would really like to go there on Sundays, I respect their business policy.
    Now that is a major factor. No chicken, no Bacon.

    I work any day as i see fit at the moment of booking. Nights are a different story. I am not going to work until I go to bed only to do it all over the next day. Life is already to dam short.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    No kids at home. I'll work a Saturday and get a day off during the week. I get the hard part done and the clients get a one hour walkthrough. If the clients want a late inspection, I let them know that if the home owners want their house back, we'll just have to rush the walkthrough part.
    I'll work Sunday for an out of town client that's got to fly home, happens maybe 5 times a year. It's still better than not meeting with them at all and having to do the walk and talk over the phone.

    Usually the weekends are crappy times to inspect, because the sellers can be annoying with their little dogs yapping away and them in no rush to leave.
    But the good side is this - I'm meeting people who are selling a home. I hand them a package of my info, and get quite a few jobs that way.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I'm really starting to get annoyed when I hear this......"We work all week. Can you do the inspection on Saturday or Sunday".....or....."These buyers work all week and need a weekend inspection".

    Hmmmmm.....they work all week. What the %$#& do they think I do all week? They must think this is a hobby for us or we're in public service.
    Wow,...so funny. I say that every time I get a call for a weekend. Or, after 5pm, or before 7am, or a discount, or... I loose so many inspections due to having a full weekend.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I encourage them to attend their inspection and ask when they're available to attend. I then offer them the "first available" that meets their criteria. Can't remember the last time we couldn't easily agree on a date/time. I tell them that "we can be available late afternoon & weekends so you don't need to miss work to attend".

    For example, I offer Saturday noon IF I'm not "booked" at that time.

    "Booked" could mean that I'm planning a nap, family time, or scheduled for a HI. I deliver reports by email "in most cases approximately 3 business days following the inspection" and tell them so. This allows me to gather data on Saturday and deliver the best report possible by Wednesday. Based on my level of experience, I feel I still need time to research issues that arise (many times by posting here) and properly respond. I'm taking steps to expedite the report writing process because I'd like to get my "report delivery time" in the 1-2 day range, possibly on site in some cases. I'm impressed that many of you routinely deliver high quality reports at the inspection - as for me, I'm not there yet.

    Nick, you can "work weekends", but be "booked solid for the next three weekends" - get it? You have can maintain full control of your schedule, yet remain "full service".

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Regarding Sellers being present at the HI - I love it.

    It's a great opportunity to ask them questions (in front of the Client when possible), then document important answers in the report. For example, "seller advised that the clothes washer discharges to a separate dry well that not part of the septic system".

    Sometimes a seller can provide information that allows me to "make sense" of an item that appears to be unusual and can provide other useful information.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Peake View Post
    I deliver reports by email "in most cases approximately 3 business days following the inspection" and tell them so.
    This amazes me..... not that it's wrong as long as you tell them up front. I just couldn't imagine people waiting that long. Especially recently with all the bank owned houses with very short inspection periods.

    I'm curious.... do you ever lose work after you tell them that or do people "forget" you said that and get upset?


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This amazes me..... not that it's wrong as long as you tell them up front. I just couldn't imagine people waiting that long. Especially recently with all the bank owned houses with very short inspection periods.

    I'm curious.... do you ever lose work after you tell them that or do people "forget" you said that and get upset?
    Me too. Why wouldn't you deliver what you have, and then update if you are looking for an answer to something? I do that occasionally. 3 days seems like a long time. I'd forget what house I was working on by that point.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This amazes me..... not that it's wrong as long as you tell them up front. I just couldn't imagine people waiting that long. Especially recently with all the bank owned houses with very short inspection periods.

    I'm curious.... do you ever lose work after you tell them that or do people "forget" you said that and get upset?
    We do 48 hrs unless its a condo or longer for a POS. Then again, we just did 7200sq ft + guest house + pool and that report took 7 days.
    We do run into cases where the agent forgets our time frame and yes...they do get a little sideways, but they still call back. Who else they going to call....

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Peake View Post
    Regarding Sellers being present at the HI - I love it.

    It's a great opportunity to ask them questions (in front of the Client when possible), then document important answers in the report. For example, "seller advised that the clothes washer discharges to a separate dry well that not part of the septic system".

    Sometimes a seller can provide information that allows me to "make sense" of an item that appears to be unusual and can provide other useful information.
    Sellers are annoying.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  31. #31
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I must agree that you have the power to work when you want to work. You can be "off" weekends, holidays, birthdays, ball games, and just about any time you are "booked that day" (or what ever you call it).

    So what's the problem? Well, it dosen't always work. In my area, home inspectors are dropping like flies and are always short of appointments. Some guys claim to be doing one or two a week and three or four are the norm for most of the guys that have been around for a while. Of course, these guys don't work weekends or evenings. Heaven forbid!

    I have worked weekend and evenings for the last 40+ years and can't understand why it is so important to be off on Saturday and Sunday.
    I look at Saturday and Sunday as the "Gravy Days." I'm usually good for 3 or 4 inspections every weekend, and perhaps one evening inspection a week as well. Then there are the 3 or 4 during the week.

    If you guys are getting enough work during the week, good for you.

    Now I'm ranting. But I've told more than one guy that if you are willing to work, the work is out there.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    I did two inspections yesterday (Saturday). I'm already booked for 7 inspections this coming week. Two of them were ordered this morning. (Easter Sunday). If you want to make money in this line of work you need to be available.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This amazes me..... not that it's wrong as long as you tell them up front. I just couldn't imagine people waiting that long. Especially recently with all the bank owned houses with very short inspection periods.

    I'm curious.... do you ever lose work after you tell them that or do people "forget" you said that and get upset?
    Have not spoken w/a Client who booked elsewhere due to report delivery time. However, it is possible or even likely that Clients have bypassed us completely due to this. We lose work rountinely due to fee - many competitors charge less.

    "Under promise; over deliver". I tell them on the phone "typically 3 business days following the inspection; depends what we run in to", then deliver many within 2 days. Managing Client expectations is important.

    Currently using an msword template - narrative format with lots of pics. Nice report, but it takes much longer than I'd like - lots of unnecessary time expended inserting pics, adding language, deleting language. Have made great strides toward setting up 3D for reporting, but it's not yet ready for use. I expect 3D will greatly speed things up. In the future, I'd like to be able to routinely deliver the report "evening same day", but delivery at the home isn't in my immediate plans because, frankly, I feel I still need to take time to "think things over" before making recommendations.

    I am considering developing a "short version with few pics, but still compliant w/Standards" for delivery at the home. This would be at a lower fee so we could improve our closing rate. Would be great to depart a home with $ in hand, a satisfied Client, and no report to write.

    I agree w/Phil - Sat/Sun are gravy days for me as well. "We work when you need us".

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Joe is right, long narritive reports do take a lot of extra time. However, realtors and clients are impressed with them. I've had more that one Broker or Manager ask me to come to a meeting and show off my reports. (what could be better for referrals). They sure look better than some of the computerized check list reports that I've seen. (I Don't know what 3D looks like)

    I do 95% referral work and price is usually the last thing I talk about to someone who is "calling for an appointment."


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Sellers are annoying.
    This is another thing I could do without....sellers at the inspection. If they want to do their own thing, fine. But when they follow you around, stand in the doorway of every room you go into, and watch every move you make, it makes for a long 3 hours. Some want to jump in with an explanation or story about a condition you point out to the buyer and end up distracting the buyers away from what you are doing. I had one of these inspections last week. And the seller didn't want me to bring my ladder in to get into the attic hatch...."oh no, too dirty" she said. She set up a wooden a-frame step ladder for me that had the stability of 4 toothpicks held together with gum.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Requests That Get Under My Skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    This is another thing I could do without....sellers at the inspection. If they want to do their own thing, fine. But when they follow you around, stand in the doorway of every room you go into, and watch every move you make, it makes for a long 3 hours. Some want to jump in with an explanation or story about a condition you point out to the buyer and end up distracting the buyers away from what you are doing. I had one of these inspections last week. And the seller didn't want me to bring my ladder in to get into the attic hatch...."oh no, too dirty" she said. She set up a wooden a-frame step ladder for me that had the stability of 4 toothpicks held together with gum.
    LOL...amen, you nailed it. "dont turn on the lights", "dont run the water".
    I had a seller (contractor) threaten to throw me off his roof one time. I had another the other day want money for running his water and electricity.
    whatever...

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

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