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  1. #1
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Client at Inspection

    I know this has probably been beet to death but I could not find it/

    Questions

    More liability with client at inspection or not ?

    Does your time increase when client is at inspection ? (average increase)

    Better for client if at entire inspection ?

    Client better served if time devoted at end of inspection ?

    Do you request buyer be present for entire inspection ?

    I know my opinions but I can be a little hard headed at times (No way) and I would truly like to hear your opinions. I am sure there are more questions but I will leave it at that. Of course throw your own in if you please

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    Liability, pretty much the same unless the inspector has a hard time focusing on the task. (A. D. D.)

    Time, increases depending on the sophistication of the client. 30 min. to 1 hour for me.

    I think the client gets more out of the inspection if they are there for the inspection, but as long as they show up for the end it is pretty much the same as if they are there for the whole thing. ( I do a show and tell walk at the end)

    I request that they be present and present the options, leaning to (give me xxx head start.

    Most of the time inexperienced buyers tend to be there the earliest and ask more questions, which is better for them but it takes me longer.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ...
    More liability with client at inspection or not ?

    Does your time increase when client is at inspection ? (average increase)

    Better for client if at entire inspection ?

    Client better served if time devoted at end of inspection ?

    Do you request buyer be present for entire inspection ?

    ...
    1) Not.
    2) Yes.
    3) Yes.
    4) Me not understand what Ted getting at. Devoted to what? Instead of what?
    5) Advise client to be present, not request.

    However, this is not to say that I don't privately say "yippee" when it turns out the client isn't going to attend, because, let's face it, they can be tiring, especially when they bring along the screaming kiddies.


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    4. This was meant to ask if you thought it best for the client if you devoted a walk around period or show and tell in the end instead of looking over your shoulder the entire time. (that is what I do)


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    More liability with client at inspection or not ?
    Don't know. I don't let them get on the roof with me. Generally, most people get bored after a few minutes (I am not exactly entertaining). I keep a tape measure handy so they can measure for furniture, fridge, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Does your time increase when client is at inspection ? (average increase)
    Definite increase in time at the inspection. However, I firmly believe that it saves time later on without having to answer phone calls, emails etc. to further explain something that I would have gone over at the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Better for client if at entire inspection ?
    Yes. I encourage people to show up so they can ask questions and get more detailed information on a specific subject/item. It is much easier to wave my hands at something, describe what is wrong and answer specific questions right there rather than a few days or weeks later when they call. Also, part of it is allowing them to voice their concerns. Particularly disclosures from the seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Client better served if time devoted at end of inspection ?
    It depends on the client. Some follow, most do not. Once a year I get a buyer that really slows me down. But, that is so rare that it is not a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Do you request buyer be present for entire inspection ?
    Yes. Part of it is the "show". I want them to know that I did not just stand in the street and make notes. I want them to see me all dirty from the crawl, operating the furnace, opening the electrical panel, walking the roof, etc. This helps them understand what they are paying for. In addition, I will on occasion have a client point out something that I did not see. I would rather that, than have to come back or pay out for something missed.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    1. This was intended to mean. Do you think your overall liability increases or decreases if they spend the whole time with you. In other words if they become your best friend over the 3 hours they may not be so eager to come after you or something. Also, their constant interruptions and you talking with them as you go, do you think you are more or less likely to miss something.

    Gees, that was a lot to try to squeeze into the first sentence.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    I used to think they should follow. Now I know most don't listen anyway and are only interested in their own agenda, Which distracts me. So what to do. try to work alone if you can. If they want they can come but according to your rules and program.
    Yapping brokers are politely asked to SHUT UP!!

    Filling them in at the end is good because you've had 2 hours( Average) alone to do your best work, which is what you want to do. Your best work.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    More liability with client at inspection or not? Do you think your overall liability increases or decreases if they spend the whole time with you. If they become your best friend over the 3 hours they may not be so eager to come after you or something. Also, their constant interruptions and you talking with them as you go, do you think you are more or less likely to miss something.

    Decreases liability. I get very few interruptions. The only calls I get are from spouses that did not attend inspections wanting clarification.

    Exception: Buyer's Mom was visiting from Germany. She was like white on rice the entire time. Took 5 pages of notes. Asked every question she could and three more for each question to clairify hypothetical situations. Buyer left after 4 hours. Mom stayed and drug the inspection on for another hour. Got a great testimonial from buyer.

    Does your time increase when client is at inspection ? (average increase) Not sure, only had 2 or 3 ever not attend.

    Better for client if at entire inspection ? Yes, I spend a lot of time explaining how the house works, likely reasons why the defect occurred, and possible solutions.

    Client better served if time devoted at end of inspection ? I do a quick recap hitting big items. I am not in the habit of doing a full run through of all items at the end. It would take me a while to develop a quick method to do that.

    Do you request buyer be present for entire inspection? Yes.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    I personally think that your liability is more at risk when the client is with you the whole time of the inspection. They tend to get you sidetracked on what I call smaller issues, such as cosmetic type issues. I hate using that word "cosmetics" but that is what they have become to be known as.

    I want to be able to get there and do my job. That is what I'm being paid to do.

    If the client can wait to show up towards the end of the inspection that is when I am ready to go over things with them verbally. I hit all the main issues and explain that they need to read the report in its entirety.

    What other job do you know of where you can just tag along with your tradesperson? Heck your mechanic has a sign on the door telling you can't even come in the garage because of liability.

    I think this come to the inspection and hang out with the inspector was actually come up with by the real estate people to make us try to make the client feel better about the home purchase or it has become a practice due to the incompetence of other inspectors screwing up. Many buyers think they are to show up and police us to make sure we do our jobs. Thats when they send out dear ole dad to hang with us for hours.

    JMHO

    rick


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    Bruce

    That must be a NC thing. You have only had 2 or 3 not show up in how many years and inspections.

    Most of my clients can't or don't show up till the end. I start my first inspection at 8 and my second at 1. They show up a few hours later whether it be their lunch or they get off work early.

    Rick and Jim and Wayne hit it about the closest to what I do.

    I am not saying it is best or not. I strayed to another site and it was a realtor/inspector site. Every single Real Estate agent kept saying

    "after all they (the inspector) are working for the client and should oblige them to what they want. After all that is what an inspection is. It is not just finding the concerns for the client."

    Every inspector on that site say that it is an absolute must that the client be there. I was thinking maybe I was thinking backwards.

    If I am going to spend between the inspection and the report 6 or 7 hours at a 200 square foot house then I need to be finding another trade.

    I have my clients come at the end of the inspection a few hours into it. I am finishing the report and inspection at that time (depending on the home) I chat a bit while I am adding pictures and then printing going over the inspection with them. When I get it printed out I do a walk around with them. So 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours max.

    As far as calls Gunner, I might get a call from an inspection in 1 out of 40 inspections, seriously.

    Inspection and report and then walk around. I mentioned this before. The only complaints, that turn out to not be complaints are when Realtors refer me and insist on the client being there.

    I get almost all my work from the Internet. Well, 75% and up anyway.

    I feel the liability is some what greater when they are there all the time do to conversation when I should be inspecting. My time increases ridiculously when they are there the whole time. I find it better to be winding down the inspection and report when they show up. and then go over the home with them. They leave informed, inspection in hand (most of the time) inspection mailed to the Realtor early evening. My clients are happy, content, I never hear from them until I call a couple days later for polite follow up and when they send referrals.

    I think giving them an informative review of the home, general chit chat while I am printing and a walk around makes a happy client and they did not have to change their schedule for the inspection (how convenient for them)

    As Rick said "does the break man let them sit next to the job being done? They are better in the waiting area. They don't get dirty but still get a great break job. The results stick with them and the break man did not forget a spring.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    [QUOTE=Ted Menelly;50968]

    I am not saying it is best or not. I strayed to another site and it was a realtor/inspector site. Every single Real Estate agent kept saying

    "after all they (the inspector) are working for the client and should oblige them to what they want. After all that is what an inspection is. It is not just finding the concerns for the client."QUOTE]

    An inspection is to let the home buyer know the condition of the home. I'm not there to oblige their needs. I don't mind being upfront with the client on the phone when booking their call that I have a job to do and I don't mind them coming out towards the end of the inspection so I can go over things with them at that time. I am inspecting for their best interest.

    Think about this:

    Can they sit with the mortgage broker and crunch their own numbers?

    Do you see them out there surveying their own property?

    Are they at the title company typing up or researching their documents?

    If they need to be nursed, let the realtor as they are the ones making the biggest bucks. And for as obliging the cleint, why does the agent say everything's not a big deal when they read our reports with the client. Where is the obligation then? Who are they really looking out for?


    Rick


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Client at Inspection

    IMO, as a practical matter liability is lower if the client attends.

    For example they are less likely feel you are responsible for the blown seal that is only apparent when it turns cold next winter if they have been there for your disclaimer about inspection of thermal windows that summer, and have watched how diligently your are checking for other defects.

    For the same reasons they are less likely to complain about water in the basement next fall, or a dead AC next spring, if they personally hear your explanation of why you can't predict if the water level indicated by a flood line will reoccur, or why you can't test the AC when it's -5 F, and you are pointing at the item at the time.

    Heck, IMO just the "insurance" purchased by getting everyone present to verbally agree that the heating and AC were working when you left is well worth the aggravations of having clients or Realtors present.

    And then, there is this dirty little secret about inspections: your client is an extra set of eyes on the property.

    I always tell clients "I may not comment on everything I see because I know it will be going into the report. But if you have any questions or concerns about anything you see, do not hesitate to ask" - because experience has taught me that at the complicated old houses I'm often inspecting, at almost every inspection the client will point out something I would have missed.

    Of course, it's almost always "minor" - for example the slightly popped finish nail that someone had used to quiet the squeak in the corner of the bedroom and is going to slice someone's foot open.

    But on occasion a client's question has saved me real embarrassment - for example the powder room hidden behind a door cut in the wall paneling off a basement staircase... that I would have moved right past writing up the stair defects.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 07-22-2008 at 07:15 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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