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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Running from a good question

    I picked up a job yesterday from a buyer who called another inspector and asked, among other questions, how did he handle conditions he misses in inspections. His response was he didn't want the job. Apparently he does not have any policy for handling oversights. Kinda nice for the buyer to know that little tidbit of info up front.

    So, who ever you are, thank you for giving me an opportunity for more work. Your willingness to pass on a $500.00 Port Barrington job is appreciated.

    Similar Threads:
    AHIT InspectIt Home Report
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    While I don't agree with the other insepctor's response I can at least see his point. A buyer that asks that question is already 90% of the way to blaming the inspector for something. When I was newer I would also shy away from people with questions like that.

    I would probably have answered by educating the buyer that most of the time people think we 'missed' something it was actually not visible at the time of the inspection. But, that when things are missed, it's a case by case basis and we will make things right if we truely 'missed' it.


  3. #3
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Without knowing exactly how that initial conversation went down, it's a bit hard to criticize the first inspector's judgement.

    It's only happened once to me, but I found myself suddenly "fully booked" when a caller seemed way too interested in how much E&O insurance I had. Maybe I was being paranoid, but I'm just not desperate enough for money to take on clients when I have a good reason to suspect they might be a problem.

    I hope that's not the case, Eric.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    The inflection and tone of the caller would have to be taken into consideration. Sometimes the very nature of the question(s) may be an indication you should turn it down. Further would this same type of inquiry prompt the caller to have conditions of the contract altered to more favourable conditions by deleting or adding clauses to the contract?

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    If that was the first question asked I would have answered, "never happened and I also walk on water and turn it into wine when the occasion calls for it, have a nice day." That question is akin to the dreaded, “do you carry E&O insurance?” During a full length Q & A conversation with a prospective client I wouldn’t mind it then as the client is just being diligent, which is their right and I’d ask the same things before retaining a professional property inspector.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Trust your gut, some clients are not worth the money you make, others that ask the identical questions are great.
    If in doubt, ask your wife. I readily admitt my wife has better intuition, people skills, or whatever you want to call it.
    Sometimes she is scary the way she can read the unspoken part of a conversation. (I just hate it when she is reading ME!)

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    During a full length Q & A conversation with a prospective client I wouldn’t mind it then as the client is just being diligent, which is their right and I’d ask the same things before retaining a professional property inspector.

    Exactly. I appreciate such clients. As intimidating as these questions can be for some inspectors they are legitimate. Most people can recognize when an inspector busts butt to do a good job and I think that that is what keeps people from later going after an inspector. I'd bet serious money that I have missed things that clients have accepted just because they knew that I did the best that I could for them.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    I agree, trust your gut. I would shy away from an inspection for a lawyer if I didn't know them personally.


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    One inspector can work with some one like that and another can't.

    If you have been around for a time them little hairs on the back of your head start talking to you.

    Do you want this? Do you need this?

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Barnicle View Post
    I agree, trust your gut. I would shy away from an inspection for a lawyer if I didn't know them personally.
    I have done many lawyers without a problem. They usually contact me by email with their letterhead, as if to let me know.
    One time I asked a client what he did for a living and he said I am a lawyer. In front of everyone I said If I knew that I would not have taken the Inspection. It did lighten things up.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    I recall doing an inspection of a home located on a very steep lot (2/1 slope) that had me in overdrive. Halfway through I asked the husband who was explaining much of what I said to his wife in more sophisticated terminology then normal clients employed so I asked him what he did for a living and he looked at me with a sly smile and replied, "I'm a state licensed PE and my wife is a trial lawyer, but so far you're doing great." Jerry went into mock 20 warp-drive after digesting that info. Guess I did OK as later they both recommended me to a couple of their friends.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    That a good story jerry.

    Ron


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I'd bet serious money that I have missed things that clients have accepted just because they knew that I did the best that I could for them.
    I agree with you on that Eric. I can count on one hand the number clients who have taken umbrage with my work in 5+ years. I think I do a good job and did as good a job as I could when I first started inspecting. But I shudder to think about things I may have missed in the early stage of my career.

    If that question was the first one out of the caller's mouth, I'd probably be leery too. If it was just one of multiple questions, I'd just chalk it up as a buyer who is doing their homework.


  14. #14
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Kind of like when the first question out of a callers mouth is "Do pay for problems that arise after we buy the house?" or the other one I like is
    " does your insurance pay for a new roof if it only lasts 3 years after we buy it?"
    That's when I tell them I'm not available.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Over the years I have fired many clients, both before the job and during the job.

    I have also worked for many attorney types without problems. I always ask my clients what they do for a living. If they say atty, I then ask them what kind.

    I think there are people out there that have in mind they are going to try to sue someone after the fact and get something for nothing. Last year I gave back fees to a couple, that I'm sure had it planned all along. Of course, I didn't have any warning signs before hand.

    The wife was at the inspection, was nice as can be, even gave me a hug. I probably saved them a few thousand dollars in the stuff I found. They move in, and I get a call from the husband (never met him).

    Seems he found signs of past water in the crawlspace (noted and had two photos in the report). I came back with a copy of my report in hand and showed him where I had called out the stains. He then told me I didn't catch the exposed electrical wires in the yard. I told him that when I was there for the inspection, there was an above ground pool installed, and that conduit was attached to the pump, and someone had removed the pool and pump.
    He then took me back to the crawlspace and showed me a 3" section of sill plate that had a little rot or damage to the top 1/2".

    Yep, I missed that part. One, because it was it was hidden by the floor insulation, and two, it was in a part that I hadn't moved the insulation to inspect. Now I had moved the insulation away in a dozen or more places, and hadn't found any problems. He must have gone in there and probed every inch of every board until he found a spot.

    I told him first off that the board had very little damage and was not likely going to cause any problems (the house was 40 years old). He wanted no part of that. So then I told him that I would have a contractor come over and replace that short section of sill plate. He then said he wanted the entire sill plate to be replaced, and almost in the same breath, he mentioned the part in my contract where he gets his money back. I then knew what was really going on.

    I went to my truck and got my already prepared release form and check and gave it to him. I always have it ready when I go to a call back. I have no doubt he had planned it from the start. Of course, I didn't have a clue before hand, I had never met him.

    We all live an learn.
    JF


  16. #16
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Running from a good question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    If that was the first question asked I would have answered, "never happened and I also walk on water and turn it into wine when the occasion calls for it, have a nice day." That question is akin to the dreaded, “do you carry E&O insurance?” During a full length Q & A conversation with a prospective client I wouldn't mind it then as the client is just being diligent, which is their right and I’d ask the same things before retaining a professional property inspector.
    LCJ:

    Agreed. Just had one yesterday. First thing out of his mouth was "do you carry E&O insurance". Though our new phones come equipped with cameras and computers and such, they will still not allow you to reach out and touch someone like this. You know, the way he needs to be touched - RIGHT UPSIDE HIS HEAD!

    So I, as usual, explain to the guy that E&O is only there for my protection and provides me with an attorney should he decide to do something so profoundly stupid as to sue me, and oh, by the way, are you planning to sue me? "Well, no, I'm just trying to protect myself." So, I said that the best way to do that is to find the most qualified inspector in town, which would be me. However, since we started off on the wrong foot would you mind calling XYZ Inspection Company (the actual name changes as I receive $150 inspection offers in my email or read their 8-page reports) instead? They are really hurting for business.

    And yes, I keep a list of these morons and check them off each time I refer them, just to be fair . . .

    Aaron


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