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  1. #1
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    Default Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Hi:
    Arrived at house early, buyer was set to be there, and was to bring fee. Realtor arranged the meet, all set to go. No buyer. Contacted the Realtor. He was upset, contacted buyer, asled me for a reschedule. I reminded him I charge a go-back fee. Buyer agreed. Depending on the circumstance, I charge $35 to $50 extra added to the original fee. Question: Do you guys charge? If so, how much?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    Hi:
    Arrived at house early, buyer was set to be there, and was to bring fee. Realtor arranged the meet, all set to go. No buyer. Contacted the Realtor. He was upset, contacted buyer, asled me for a reschedule. I reminded him I charge a go-back fee. Buyer agreed. Depending on the circumstance, I charge $35 to $50 extra added to the original fee. Question: Do you guys charge? If so, how much?
    I don't charge, but I probably should. It rarely happens. I do confirm by email a few days prior to the inspection and make sure everyone whom I expect to show is included in the thread.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    First of all, you should have had the appointment confirmed, and the contracts signed before you got there. If you showed up, and Realtor showed up, and you had a signed contract, I would have done the inspection anyway, and sent out the report after you were paid.
    This is not a $35 - 50 fee. You not only lost the fee for that inspection, but for the time slot you could have filled for the second appointment.

    Not having all the information, its hard to say how I would have handled it.

    If the client just blew you off because he didn't feel like coming at the scheduled time, I would tell him to find someone else. Unless, you did have a contract, and you did the inspection anyway, and just waiting to get paid. If an emergency came up, someone died, or a house burned down, I might give them a do over and charge a nominal fee. At the very least, I would think about 1/3 to 1/2 of the fee.

    If you didn't have a signed contract before the inspection, this is a lesson for you. ALWAYS have the contract signed before you show up to the house. ALWAYS confirm the inspection the day before with clients and realtors alike. NEVER release the report without getting paid.

    Its up to you to determine what you think your time is worth. It appears that you are using two time slots to do one inspection, so, in effect, you are working for half price.
    There is a lesson here.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    I would do the inspection and email the report once I received payment.
    If they insisted on meeting me at the property later, then the fee is $150 which is my minimum to leave the house, on top of the regular fee.

    My method of scheduling and inspecting is to ask my client to show up toward the end of the inspection which I communicate in writing.
    By the time I realize they will be a no show, I'm usually finished with the inspection and writing the report on my iPad.
    So I have not lost anything, just means I will likely be spending a bit of time on the phone once they get the report if there is anything they don't understand.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I would do the inspection and email the report once I received payment.

    If they insisted on meeting me at the property later, then the fee is $150 which is my minimum to leave the house, on top of the regular fee.

    My method of scheduling and inspecting is to ask my client to show up toward the end of the inspection which I communicate in writing.
    By the time I realize they will be a no show, I'm usually finished with the inspection and writing the report on my iPad.

    So I have not lost anything, just means I will likely be spending a bit of time on the phone once they get the report if there is anything they don't understand.
    Thanks, Jim, for your input. This Realtor calls me constantly, and most of my inspections are ASAP (within two to three days). Meaning, there is often no time for getting a signed contract in advance. The buyer is informed by the Realtor of my rules. (Be on time with the money.) I show up with my contract, the buyer already knows the fee and has it with them. They sign the contract, get a copy and I begin the inspection. No signature, no inspection. Inspection is finished in a couple of hours (or so), we do a walk through, they give me the money and we all leave happy. They get the emailed copy usually the following day. A no-show is rare. This buyer will have to pay more to have me back. And, has agreed to pay it.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    Thanks, Jim, for your input. This Realtor calls me constantly, and most of my inspections are ASAP (within two to three days). Meaning, there is often no time for getting a signed contract in advance. The buyer is informed by the Realtor of my rules. (Be on time with the money.) I show up with my contract, the buyer already knows the fee and has it with them. They sign the contract, get a copy and I begin the inspection. No signature, no inspection. Inspection is finished in a couple of hours (or so), we do a walk through, they give me the money and we all leave happy. They get the emailed copy usually the following day. A no-show is rare. This buyer will have to pay more to have me back. And, has agreed to pay it.
    Donald
    Dont be fooled by the urgency for the inspection, as inferred by the Realtor (2-3 days notice). The vast majority of Ca real estate contracts have a window, typically 17-21 days after the agreement is accepted to complete inspections and remove contingencies. Most contracts have a 45 day open/ close period to get everything done, including financing, inspections, pest and home inspection and repairs, so there is some urgency but is frequently extended.

    If the realtor is only giving you short notice you are working on their time-frame. When they, or whomever calls to to set an inspection time, ask when escrow was opened and when the contingency removal expires. It will give you a better picture for scheduling. The agent can always request an extension of the contingency window, which is rarely denied. If escrow was opened two weeks earlier, ask why you weren't called before. Tell them you just need more time if need be and your insurance requires it - which in all probability it does.

    Its so easy to get a client's email address and shoot them a copy of the contract, have them sign it and send it back. I just did that today and it took less than five minutes to get a signature back in my email in-box. I often do inspections on short notice but that's not an excuse not to have a signed contract before start time unless you make alternative arrangements. It's all about communication.
    On your cancellation issue...when you send the contract, include a 'subject to cancellation fee if less than 24 hours notice' of say 50% of your agreed upon price. Of course you can always waive or adjust than and look like a good guy if you actually perform the inspection later.

    BTW...If the inspection is persuant to a r.e. transaction I will not accept an inspection if a contracts have not been signed by both parties and escrow opened.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 07-05-2016 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Donald,
    I would highly suggest you look at ISN. As soon as the inspection is booked, the client is sent a contract by email and they can electronically sign. They can even pay on line. You can set up a variety of email templates to suit your needs.

    It doesn't matter if the time frame is even 1 day, the contract can be sent out and returned.

    You did not mention if you did the inspection anyway. If you did, there is a potential risk by doing it without a signed contract before you started.

    The cost of ISN is paltry compared to what you get.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    I agree with what Jim and Jack have both posted… I would've done the inspection without the client, and held the report until I had payment and an agreement. If they wanted a face to face I would have added a travel or trip charge fee. Other than that, I would not charge a missed inspection fee… Plus, I would never have even considered doing an inspection on the 4th of July…

    As Jack noted, you should look at ISN… It will save you time and will make you more money even though you pay a small $4 fee per inspection. When I went to ISN I raised my average fee around $50 per inspection across the board. Yes, it decreased some of the smaller POS homes but I'm still booked 2 weeks out! I'm thinking about another price increase this fall!

    The beautiful thing about ISN is that it is all automated. Reports are not released until payment is made and the agreement is signed. Reminders go out 24 hours ahead of the inspection or as you set them.
    The reminders have saved me a few times, clients or agents get the reminder and call or email that the home is not ready(new construction) or that they can't make it but since everything is signed and most of the time paid in advance it is not an issue…

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Stauffer View Post
    Thanks, Jim, for your input. This Realtor calls me constantly, and most of my inspections are ASAP (within two to three days). Meaning, there is often no time for getting a signed contract in advance. The buyer is informed by the Realtor of my rules. (Be on time with the money.) I show up with my contract, the buyer already knows the fee and has it with them. They sign the contract, get a copy and I begin the inspection. No signature, no inspection. Inspection is finished in a couple of hours (or so), we do a walk through, they give me the money and we all leave happy. They get the emailed copy usually the following day. A no-show is rare. This buyer will have to pay more to have me back. And, has agreed to pay it.


    Another Idea for you.

    Since you work a lot with this Realtor why not have them obtain the signed contract and money for them to bring to the inspection. Client no show, you have the contract and fee in hand delivered by the Realtor.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I agree with what Jim and Jack have both posted… I would've done the inspection without the client, and held the report until I had payment and an agreement. If they wanted a face to face I would have added a travel or trip charge fee. Other than that, I would not charge a missed inspection fee… Plus, I would never have even considered doing an inspection on the 4th of July…

    As Jack noted, you should look at ISN… It will save you time and will make you more money even though you pay a small $4 fee per inspection. When I went to ISN I raised my average fee around $50 per inspection across the board. Yes, it decreased some of the smaller POS homes but I'm still booked 2 weeks out! I'm thinking about another price increase this fall!

    The beautiful thing about ISN is that it is all automated. Reports are not released until payment is made and the agreement is signed. Reminders go out 24 hours ahead of the inspection or as you set them.
    The reminders have saved me a few times, clients or agents get the reminder and call or email that the home is not ready(new construction) or that they can't make it but since everything is signed and most of the time paid in advance it is not an issue…
    My thanks to Jim, Jack, Ian and you Scott. I was not aware of ISN, and will look to using it right away. And also, I'm pleased with your ideas of controlling my schedule more, relating to escrow timing. The beauty of this board is we're all connected in trying to provide the most professional service to our clients, and at the same time, make a decent living doing it. Thanks again, guys.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Donald
    Dont be fooled by the urgency for the inspection, as inferred by the Realtor (2-3 days notice). The vast majority of Ca real estate contracts have a window, typically 17-21 days after the agreement is accepted to complete inspections and remove contingencies.
    Ian,

    Not true in my area. Offers are being written with 5-7 day inspection contingencies. With needing to read the report and order any additional inspections, it is common to get a request for an inspection in the time frame that Donald has stated. I mention to agents that 5-7 days is asking for trouble and they understand, but the response is that it is a very competitive market up here. I have not seen 17-21 day inspection periods (except for several months during the market downturn) in a lot of years.

    It would be helpful if Donald was a bit more specific as to where in CA he is. Some parts are much less hectic; although I would have expected San Diego to be similar to up here.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Ian,

    Not true in my area. Offers are being written with 5-7 day inspection contingencies. With needing to read the report and order any additional inspections, it is common to get a request for an inspection in the time frame that Donald has stated. I mention to agents that 5-7 days is asking for trouble and they understand, but the response is that it is a very competitive market up here. I have not seen 17-21 day inspection periods (except for several months during the market downturn) in a lot of years.

    It would be helpful if Donald was a bit more specific as to where in CA he is. Some parts are much less hectic; although I would have expected San Diego to be similar to up here.
    Gunnar
    When an offer is made there are several 'Windows' of required action written into the contract. The standard CA purchase contract which all realtors use allows those timelines to be adjusted. I have made dozens of offers to purchase so am familiar with the process. The default window for removing contingencies, except loan approval and appraisal is defaulted to 17 days. However the time to have all inspections processed can be specifically stipulated on the contract to whatever date the offering realtor writes in, to get everything done prior to close of escrow, (typically 30, 45. or 60 days depending upon circumstances).
    I have closed escrow on purchases in as little as 10 days and as long as 3 mos. usually removing all contingencies is 17 days after opening escrow. I'm sure my area is similar to yours. As I said, that's the boilerplate time shown on a CA purchase offer contract.
    Donald is in Riverside County/Inland Empire - east of L.A.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 07-05-2016 at 12:05 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    First of all, you should have had the appointment confirmed, and the contracts signed before you got there.
    Jack, great point.

    Insure your SOP is also included. It can be electronically delivered with the client agreeing online. Good in a court of law.
    Many a home inspector has lost in court due to this contract oversight. Even with the inspector following SOP the the client must be made aware of what the inspector is inspecting including limitations and agree to terms in writing.

    I am no legal eagle trust me.

    A Meeting of the minds is a phrase in contract law used to describe the intentions of the parties. Once signed both parties must fulfil their terms.
    The reasoning, a party should not be held to a contract that they were not even aware existed.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    10 days for inspection and attorney review used to be the norm around here for residential. Then the agents pushed it down to 7. The last couple years they've managed to push it down to 5. Since last year I've seen a few deals, including this year, with 3 day inspection and attorney review periods.
    I won't go into the rant I tell potential clients about all of that.
    If a client pulls some scummy no show move, I tend to be busy next time they call.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    10 days for inspection and attorney review used to be the norm around here for residential. Then the agents pushed it down to 7. The last couple years they've managed to push it down to 5. Since last year I've seen a few deals, including this year, with 3 day inspection and attorney review periods.
    I won't go into the rant I tell potential clients about all of that.
    If a client pulls some scummy no show move, I tend to be busy next time they call.
    When real estate agents started reducing inspection times years ago, we began telling clients that they needed to dump their agents and find an agent who would do what the client wanted ... as I recall, only took 2-3 agents being dumped and that crap of shortening inspection times stopped.

    All that needs to be done is educate the clients that they (the clients) are in charge ... the one who has the gold makes the rules.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    When real estate agents started reducing inspection times years ago, we began telling clients that they needed to dump their agents and find an agent who would do what the client wanted ... as I recall, only took 2-3 agents being dumped and that crap of shortening inspection times stopped.

    All that needs to be done is educate the clients that they (the clients) are in charge ... the one who has the gold makes the rules.
    The problem around here is the other way around. Inventory is really low. I regularly meet buyers who have put offers on 10+ houses and been beat out for various reasons. One is that the sellers will reject offers that have 17-21 day inspection periods because it ties up the house in escrow. If the buyers drop out because of something found in the inspection, then they have lost 2-3 weeks and it ends up looking bad on the MLS information. They want short inspection periods, so the agents capitulate.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    When real estate agents started reducing inspection times years ago, we began telling clients that they needed to dump their agents and find an agent who would do what the client wanted ... as I recall, only took 2-3 agents being dumped and that crap of shortening inspection times stopped.

    All that needs to be done is educate the clients that they (the clients) are in charge ... the one who has the gold makes the rules.
    Great post.
    Sorry for the edits.
    It appears I am being groomed by by REA on MB's.

    You think they would take the time to get more involved, become At Arms Length and learn to understand to act professional.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 10-01-2016 at 02:22 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Go-back charge for buyer no-show?

    Go backs = $250

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