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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    What the hell...? In the past two days, three of my last four inspections were rescheduled due to the utilities not being on. This sucks..I lost 2 inspections last week because i didnt have any available slots.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Marc, might be time to change your approach. I inspect what I can inspect for full fee when I arrive even if the utilities are off. I then charge one half of the original fee to come back out for a re-inspection. I may make an adjustment to the fee depending on where, the circumstances, how I feel, etc. but the normal answer 1/2 the original fee. I do send out a "preparations for inspection" check list as soon as the inspection is booked along with the inspection agreement.
    If you don't value your time, neither will anyone else.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Marc, might be time to change your approach. I inspect what I can inspect for full fee when I arrive even if the utilities are off. I then charge one half of the original fee to come back out for a re-inspection. I may make an adjustment to the fee depending on where, the circumstances, how I feel, etc. but the normal answer 1/2 the original fee. I do send out a "preparations for inspection" check list as soon as the inspection is booked along with the inspection agreement.
    If you don't value your time, neither will anyone else.
    JL,
    We do send out a pre inspection reminder to all involved and it does include a reminder to make sure the utilities are on. I have/do charged a reinspection fee much like you described, but the problem I find is other inspectors arent as busy so they "dont" charge. And because the agents dont do their job, the client ends up getting stuck with that fee. Which BTW makes the agent look like an ass.
    After i explain the costs associated with the lack of utilities, some people will pay, others will choose not to inspect and then later schedule with someone else.


  4. #4
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Marc,
    I had two inspections today and the both were winterized. Did the inspections sent out the report. Of course the agent calls me right away and asked why I didn't tell him the water was off. I then asked him why didn't he tell me the water was off. Now I will return when the bank de-winterizes it and will finish the job, for a small fee. Oh yeah, plus the cops showed up when the neighbor noticed my ladder resting on the side of the house. strange day.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Marc,
    I had two inspections today and the both were winterized. Did the inspections sent out the report. Of course the agent calls me right away and asked why I didn't tell him the water was off. I then asked him why didn't he tell me the water was off. Now I will return when the bank de-winterizes it and will finish the job, for a small fee. Oh yeah, plus the cops showed up when the neighbor noticed my ladder resting on the side of the house. strange day.

    Matt, that must some real crime infested neighborhood your working in. Don't you just love nosey neighbors. I like it when the neighbors come over and ask what your up to or can they help you like they have been assigned as the neighborhood patrol.
    I usually try then to look suspicious.

    rick


  6. #6
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    That is the funny thing, there is virtually no crime around here. Plus the guy took my ladder an put it in his garage. The cop was a total dick also. He told me I should inform the neighbors i am doing an inspection. I told him it is common sense, grabbed my ladder and walked away. I swear peoply are just not that smart or have trouble making decisions for themselves.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    I have been getting lots of return trips due to utilities being off and always ask to make sure they are on soon as i find out it is a foreclosure.
    Still show up and find them off all the time.
    To make it worse I do free final walkthroughs.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Matt,

    In Dallas, you could set off the alarm and be dragging all the possessions out a home and the police here would drive by and see a real estate sign in the front yard and just drive right on by without stopping to ask a single question.

    rick


  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    When my schedule is busy I'll often take Jim's approach and just do the inspection without mentioning much about something being off until I'm pretty far into it. Also, I'm similar about how much I charge to come back. It just depends on the circumstances.

    When it's slow and if it's a farily short drive and I don't think I'll lose the inspection all together I'll just reschedule the whole thing since I would much rather just do the house with everything on.

    One thing I have learned is that setting policies on stone never works. You have to just take each incident as it comes and do the best you can. Also, whenever something happens three times in a week it probably won't happen again for several months. Crap like that just always comes in groups.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Water was off on Mondays inspection. I had asked the client ahead of time if all utilities were on, 'of course they are'.
    Utilities off doesn't bother me one bit. I do the insp anyway. If they want me to come back for a fee I'll do that.
    Obviously it's nice to have the water on but when it is off, I don't find it to be a big deal. Plumbing pipes are very informative. If there's an active leak, I can usually spot it pretty easy. Pipes look like it, stains on floor or ceiling etc. I can't recall ever not doing an insp because utilities were off.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  11. #11
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    That is the funny thing, there is virtually no crime around here. Plus the guy took my ladder an put it in his garage. The cop was a total dick also. He told me I should inform the neighbors i am doing an inspection. I told him it is common sense, grabbed my ladder and walked away. I swear peoply are just not that smart or have trouble making decisions for themselves.
    I have a sign, similar to a real estate sign, I stick in the yard during inspections. Company Name, logo, phone number. Place it along the street so it is easy to see. I have had people stop the car and ask for business cards while I was doing the exterior portion.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Matt,

    In Dallas, you could set off the alarm and be dragging all the possessions out a home and the police here would drive by and see a real estate sign in the front yard and just drive right on by without stopping to ask a single question.

    rick
    I was LMAO when i read this one. Hey, I almost got attacked by neighbors when I was looking at my (inspection) house with my binoculars. BTW, that was a neighborhood similar to Compton. Not familiar with Compton? It's most likely compairable to any city you dont want to go into after dark, in your area.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    I had a call a little while ago from my clients agent. The agent went by the home I'm inspecting on Monday to make sure the power, water and gas was on. He said everything was on, so we are good to go!

    I love it when the agents get involved and actually earn their commission!

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

  14. #14
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Bruce,
    I like that sign idea.


  15. #15
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    I just put down the phone after refusing a job where the buyer claims the gas company said it was OK for me to turn the gas on to inspect and off afterwards.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    "I just put down the phone after refusing a job where the buyer claims the gas company said it was OK for me to turn the gas on to inspect and off afterwards."

    Try:
    "My insurance does not allow me to ...., but I can hand you the tool and you turn it on. How about Monday at 2:00?"

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

  17. #17
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "I just put down the phone after refusing a job where the buyer claims the gas company said it was OK for me to turn the gas on to inspect and off afterwards."

    Try:
    "My insurance does not allow me to ...., but I can hand you the tool and you turn it on. How about Monday at 2:00?"
    RC: I do not want the liability. I also do not want clients that are not savvy enough to have someone turn on the utilities. There are clients for every inspector and inspectors for every client. I prefer to pass this kind on to the next (sucker) inspector.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    I once did an inspection which the agent set up for a winterized property. He said he had a plumber friend coming during the inspectione to dewinterize. It got toward the end of the inspection, the client left, and the agent said he was coming back with his friend to do the dewininterizing. His "friend" turned out to be a pipe wrench and a roll of teflon tape. I tried lecturing on the unknown hazards he might unleash but he ignored my sage advice. I told him if anything went kablooey, I wasn't there for it (like that would clear me). Anyway, he reattached the water meter and turned the water on. Water starting blowing out of a pipe in the basement and I told him to cease and desist.

    Another time, an agent said he was going to turn the water on at the meter in the basement of a house where the water had been off December, January, and February (it was March). A pipe to a radiator in the 3rd floor attic had burst during the winter due to improper winterization and water rained down from the 3rd floor, bubbled the wall paper in the 2nd floor bathroom, came through the 1st floor ceiling, and soaked the hardwood floor in the living room. The floor warped up a couple weeks later.

    If it's off, don't touch it.


  19. #19
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    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    I turned the water on in a house once; after I completed the outside i went inside to find the master bedroom/bathroom under water from a broken shower pipe.
    Wont do that again.

    Another time, I turned the gas meter on a vacant house. I tried to turn on the heat but It wasnt working so I peeked in the attic to find the gas line disconnected and filling the attic...with the igniter going tick tick tick...
    Wont do that again.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I love it when the agents get involved and actually earn their commission!
    That's a first.


  21. #21
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    If it's off, don't touch it.
    NO: Agreed, in spades.


  22. #22

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    If the door is closed when I get there I refuse to open it, just too much liabilty

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

  23. #23
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Utilities off at my last 3 inspecitons.

    Update on the client I ditched due to the gas not being on. I sent him to several other inspectors who also would not turn on the gas. He called back just now to tell me he had it turned on and was ready to book.

    Never tell me that standing your ground is not good training for your clients.

    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 12-05-2009 at 02:58 PM.

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