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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    I'm done with this. I try to be helpful and I get screwed because of it. Today's client for the 9am inspection calls at 7:20am to say the seller got another offer on the house that they just can't compete with so the inspection is off. I said "You do have a signed agreement of sale for the house, correct?". "No". I'll have to take the hit for that because I should be confirming that every time. No executed agreement means no inspection. Yesterday, I get to the inspection on a rehab house and this inspection has already been moved a couple times because the house wasn't complete. The house is still no where close to being done or ready for an inspection. No furnace, no AC condenser, no water heater, appliances not installed. And the whole thing with "pencil me for this date and I'll confirm with you" or "let's tentatively schedule the inspection for......", that crap is over. I really only have myself to blame for being so flexible with people and trying to help them out but in the end I'm the one getting screwed.

    If you're not ready to book right now, I can't guarantee the same date and time will be available when you call back.

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Mine got postponed but at least I had a day's warning. 2nd postponement, deal's off.
    Mortgage cash is tight, as it should have been.

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

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

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    The one from yesterday, the buyer tried to reschedule it a 3rd time for a day next week. I told him if we do that, I would not put it on my schedule and that he should call me when they were done before I would commit to a date. I might be available, I might not. The two postponements had already been blocking up my schedule for over a week and I wasn't about to do it anymore. Instead, he agreed to keep our appointment for yesterday but did not give me any indication the builders would be as far behind as they were. As soon as I go to the house, I thought "being here is a waste".

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

  4. #4
    David McGuire's Avatar
    David McGuire Guest

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    I do hope you have it in the contract a fee to be charged if you show up and the inspection can not be completed for circumstances beyond your control.


  5. #5
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    My latest pet peeve is that Realtors are trying to anticipate when a bank-owned/short-sale contract will be returned and try to schedule an inspection in advance of having a signed contract because the seller is accepting their offer and giving them only 7 days to resolve contingencies..... but yet, the seller took weeks to accept an offer(while they likely played other offers against each other). The returned offer isn't received(probably no fault of the Realtor) and we have a last-minute postponement.

    This will get worse as desperate buyers and Realtors continue to be pushed around by sellers.

    Yes, I have a cancellation fee, but I am sure reluctant to enforce it!


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

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Nick, do away with that pencil and save yourself the grief.

    rick


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

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Some buyers will have no problem using you as a safety net to make sure they have somebody locked in to perform an inspection that suits their needs. And, they'll also have no problem pulling the rug out from under you and canceling the same day and leaving you in the lerch after you've already turned away other buyers who want the same date.

    Rick, I've burned all my pencils. I now only take appointments on stone tablets.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Cancellation fees are useless, unless you are willing to go to court to enforce them and even then the courts do not like them and may not enforce it.

    Take the good with the bad and go on with life.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Client called yesterday and wanted to schedule an inspection for Wednesday. While speaking with him I found it was a winterized foreclosed home which they had not even submitted an offer to the bank on, but planned to do it by email that evening. I told him to wait until the offer was accepted and the home was de-winterized to place the inspection order.

    He called again today to try to schedule the inspection appointment. I asked if the offer was accepted and the home de-winterized. He stated that they had only submitted the offer via email to the bank yesterday but his agent told him that the bank would accept his offer by Tuesday and they would get the home de-winterized by the inspection on Wednesday.

    I again told him to wait to schedule the inspection after getting the acceptance by the bank and verification of de-winterization. He insisted on scheduling the inspection on Wednesday. I told him I would put him on the schedule, but once he's on the schedule he was going to be obligated to pay me, even if the bank doesn't accept his offer

    Magically he agreed to wait until the offer was accepted and the home de-winterized.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,247

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    If you take credit cards or PayPal (PayPal is probably better for this), then take a deposit of 50% of the fee for "holding the slot open". If the inspection is done at the arranged date and time, they only need to pay the remaining 50% of the fee - but, if the inspection is not done then, the 50% fee is for "holding the slot open", which you did.

    Send them a special agreement for them to sign which agrees to the above.

    My guess is that most will not pay 50% to "hold the slot open" for them when they are not absolutely, 100%, positively, sure, no doubt, that the house will be available for inspection at that date and time.

    When they reschedule the inspection, you can give them a 25% credit toward the rescheduled inspection if you think it would help with your marketing, but remind them that they need to pay a 50% deposit to "hold that new slot" for them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Jerry,

    Your suggestion is a good one...do you have a prepared agreement for those brave enough to try your technique?

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    We don't pencil in anything; its first come first serve. In todays market it is unreasonable for a prospective client to expect you to schedule a maybe. We do try to accommodate clients who come into town specifically for an inspection their time is usually limited. Don't fall for the Realtors telling you its got to be done on a certain day either they tend to lie for their own convenience.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,247

    Default Re: Pencil Me In Your Schedule.....Let's Tentatively....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    Jerry,

    Your suggestion is a good one...do you have a prepared agreement for those brave enough to try your technique?
    Nope. But it should be easy to draft one to cover what you want.

    I never took credit cards, just cash and checks.

    I had a rather unique clientèle base - I typically did not use signed contracts (each page of my report contained a footer which stated that anyone using or relying on the report in anyway agrees to abide by the contract simply by their use or reliance on the report), and I billed the clients when I sent the reports as I did not know how much the inspection was going to cost until I was done ... I charged by the hour ...

    I believe that I was stiffed one time, probably around $2500, for one inspection (believe it or not, that was for an electrical inspection on a 20,000 sf $20 million dollar house as I recall), but I figured that was not a big deal based on what I was earning from my inspections. Overall, not bad for 17 years in the business.

    I wish I had thought about Rick's idea of calling the dead beat out, but then, this was a gated community which was a bit difficult to get into (except that I was there all the time, so I went right in, but that would not have lasted had I done Rick's trick).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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