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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Unrealistic Client Expectations

    We've all been there. You do a home inspection for a client who later thinks that $300 inspection fee bought them an unlimited home warranty. They think that you - the home inspector - should pay to repair that defect that was hidden inside a wall. They think that you - the home inspector - should have forseen the water heater or the A/C condensing unit would go out a month or two after the inspection and you should pay to replace it.

    I cringed when I read the following paragraphs in this WSJ article about how many sellers are not being 100% truthful when selling their house:

    What Home Sellers Don't Tell Buyers

    JANUARY 14, 2010

    . . .

    "This place never floods." Even arid states such as Arizona and New Mexico have occasional flash floods, and water and drainage problems aren't always obvious. June Walbert, 52, a certified financial planner at USAA, a financial-services company, says her San Antonio house received a clean bill of health from a home inspector before she bought it six years ago. But 10 days after she moved in, the sewer backed up, flooding the house, and she had to fork over $2,800 for repairs. "It was a rude surprise," says Ms. Walbert, who adds she asked her home inspector and the seller for compensation, but didn't get it.

    Bill Richardson, outgoing president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, says a general home inspection wouldn't catch that unless the sewer line was visible from the basement or water backed up into sinks and tubs or toilets.

    . . .


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  2. #2
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    That just happened to me. The guy sent me an email X-mas night asking me what am I going to do about the fact his kitchen sink and dishwasher backed up. He said the plumber was surprised the home inspector didin't mention this.


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    That just happened to me. The guy sent me an email X-mas night asking me what am I going to do about the fact his kitchen sink and dishwasher backed up. He said the plumber was surprised the home inspector didin't mention this.
    MS: I begin by asking them what they would like me to do about it. Then I suggest that they wish in one hand and take a dump in the other to see which one fills up first.


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

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    But A.D. the plumber said they found TWO MAJOR blockages. How did I miss this


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    But A.D. the plumber said they found TWO MAJOR blockages. How did I miss this
    MS: "The Plumber" says it all . . .


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    So Matt, how did you crawl down into those drain pipes and miss those blockages?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    Luckily, not all of our clients who have things go wrong want to pin the blame on us. I received this follow-up e-mail from a client I did three inspections for before they finally bought a house. Their realtor told me they were having problems with flooding in their basement so I gave them a call to see if I could be of any help. Here's the e-mail I received back from my client:

    Hi Nick! How are you?? Thank you so, so much for your call and for speaking with Linda about our property. I've been juggling the house and the holiday season, so I'm so sorry I did not get back to you sooner. Eric and I were so impressed that you followed up like that!


    We have been experiencing flooding in the basement with any substantial rain storms, and it is getting pretty frustrating, as you can imagine. If you recall, your report revealed that there was evidence of wall moisture—you caught the efflorescence, etc.—and evidence of seeping on the front wall. Those were great catches, and those issues are completely manageable, as we suspected.


    What none of us saw was behind one of their huge, white cabinet units (strategically placed?), and would only have surfaced if on the day of the inspection it had been raining. There is a hole in the floor that acts like a spring, relieving hydrostatic pressure and pouring water onto the floor. What a nightmare! The first time it happened, we filled an 8-gallon shopvac 7 times.


    We've had a basement professional out to the house, and it is looking like a full-perimeter french drain is the way to fix the issue we're having. We also spoke to the attached neighbor, who said that he and the seller have talked about the water before, and that they usually get water with a rain. So we've asked Linda to have a conversation with the seller's agent about their disclosure statement (said nothing about the problem), and what they're willing to do.


    I want you to know that we are 100% satisfied with the report you gave us; none of us had any reason to believe that there was an issue under the steps, and it was well-concealed with a large, immovable piece of furniture. But we do appreciate your call and follow-up; I continue to tell all of my friends about you.

    I hope you are doing well, and again, thank you so much for contacting us. You're a class act. Have a wonderful holiday season and take good care!


    Laura and Eric



  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Unrealistic Client Expectations

    NO: Yes, there are still a few real people out there. Thanks for the reminder.


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