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  1. #1
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    Default Too picky says buyers agent

    Got a call from client and buyer's agent from last week's inspection.

    I called out several things, most of them pretty small. Here's a portion of what the seller is refusing to do:
    1. Two j-boxes missing covers in the attic, as well as an exposed wire end (with wire nuts)
    2. PVC waste pipes that have supports approx 12' apart
    3. A condensate drain that was broken off and sitting on top of mulch (likely the association lawn guys broke it off, and set it aside)
    4. attic pull down that had a total of 4 drywall screws holding it in.
    5. WH vent in contact with roof sheathing. (House was re-roofed 4 years ago)

    The seller, who is out of the State responded by fax by saying:
    1. Wires are not connected to anything so they do not need a j-box. Covers are not needed because they were not required when the house was built 17 years ago. This is the common response - "The codes have changed since this house was built. It passed code inspection then. I had an inspection when I bought it 4 years ago, and he didn't say anthing about it then".
    2. Passed code then, so we are not going to fix it. And my inspector didn't say anthing about it 4 years ago.
    3. Condensate pipes are supposed to drip. He didn't seem to understand the pipe was BROKEN.
    4. He would put two more screws in the ladder. I had inclued a photo of the label where it states how many and what type of fasteners are required.
    5. It was like that when the house was built. We have never had any problems.

    The buyers agent came at me with the same logic. I finally asked him if he wasn't supposed to work for his client instead of just trying to collect a check. He then told me that the house was well inspected before, so it must be OK.
    I told him the roofers were likely at fault for making the vent touch the sheathing when they re-roofed 4 years ago. he said that wasn't possible since the County inspected it befoe they roofed it, and after they roofed it. I told him that may be the way they do it in Florida (he moved here last year and kept telling me how they did things in FL).

    I told him that it was quite possible they didn't even take out a permit to re-roof, and it was highly unlikely the inspector even went into the attic to see the vent touching the OSB. He then told me I didn't know what I was talking about, and I was too nit picky.

    Sucha jerk

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Jack,

    I all to well know exactly what your talking of. I just want to slap these fools when they say things like "It was like that when we bought it and it has never caused us problems."

    Friday I was finishing up a inspection and only like doing the sprinkler system.

    I mentioned to my client that I was going to be outside awhile checking the sprinkler system operation. The seller popped up and said it was a waste of time cause they use it everyday and it has always worked fine.

    After moving crap out of the way in the garage to access the control box, I found that the electrical cord to the control box was not even attached. The buyer and seller walked out into the garage about this time and I asked the seller if she could turn it on for me. She said she didn't know how, but her husband could if we wanted to wait till he got home.

    I wished I had been able to stayed to watch that.

    rick


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Jack
    I think any inspector with some TOT would agree this is so very common and downright annoying. Yep, the city passed it so it has to be OK and/or, the last inspector never mentioned yada, yada, yada. However, after a few years of putting up with this nonsense I just interrupted those little “bitch-sermons” by telling them to “deal with it” and move on. If I had more time I night add, “It appears that you are representing the seller and I’m sure your client (buyer) would not be very happy if I repeated this conversation? And by the way, I really don’t care if the seller doesn’t fix anything, gives your client a credit on the purchase price, or even if your client buys the house or walks because they got a professional inspection along with a written report listing all of the accessible defects discovered and disclosed including occupant safety issues.…….. bye.

    Needless to say the “bitch sermons” slowed to a crawl after several years and I just loved the look on some of the listing agent’s faces when I showed up for my inspection. Naturally guess who they called when either they or their relatives where buying a home? Happens to all of us after establishing our reputation.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Jack, you should have told that agent to stick with the things he knows like dandruff shampoo and monkey turds.

    I had a seller call me after I picked apart his crappy "flip-this-house" type work. He started the conversation by saying "Let me ask you a question. Did I kick your dog or something?" You know how the coversation will go after hearing that. He told me I said nothing positive in my report and that I wouldn't be in business long putting out reports like this. When I retorted with specifcs about the things wrong with the house, he said "sure, yeah, I know". When he kept agreeing with me, I asked what the point was of making this call. He kept harping about how "unpositive" my report was so I told him if he wants somebody to help him sell the house, he should go talk to a realtor.

    Blah blah blah.......SHAAADDDUUPPP!!!!!

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 05-26-2008 at 08:23 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    My response is CYA and I can care less what the city and previous inspector did or did not include in their report. B vent has the clearance requirements right on the vent. Just say the previous inviduals must have been on a pre K reading level. It is like Jerry said, be blunt and weed out the bitchy agents. They always come back!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Last year I had an buyer agent pull my client to the side and told him that I was too picky and made mountains out of mole hills.

    My client told her "Good, that what I want." My client had got my name from a co-worker that I had done 2 inspections for


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Got a call from client and buyer's agent ...

    Jack,

    That's what the buyer's agent said, what about the client?

    You can also tell them that is not the way they do it in Florida when they do it correctly.

    Oh, by the way ... (you already know this) ... those agents are not called "buyer's agents", they are called the "selling agent", not to be confused with the "seller's agent", although I don't know why the two cannot be confused with one to the other, they are both representing the same party ... the seller ... one agent just happened to list the home and the other agent just happened to sell the home.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    EC Jerry, I hope you're not inferring that the buyer (selling agent's client) is not being fairly represented?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Jack F, sounds like you are in control of the situation.

    For all of the other readers here who may be in parts of the country where the agents seem to rule, ask yourself the following: Who am I working for if not the buyer? If you were moving to East Virginia and didn't know local conditions, would you really want the agent and the seller manipulating your inspector??

    If you're going to cave into sellers and agents, take a good look at them, because your name could end up on a little piece of paper (usually called the Original Petition) together with theirs, in the form of co-defendants. And they will point the finger at you because you are the expert. All those verbal opinions they offered, they are lost to the wind. Your written report is what the lawyers will scrutinize.

    With the attic stairs, will the seller and agent pony up for the $5+ million in lifetime care for the now-wheelchair-bound buyer who collapsed the stairs? Just imagine the plaintiff lawyer, holding a half dozen 16p nails up to the jury, telling them because these were missing, my client is severely disabled.

    If a seller calls me to complain I just listen politely and then read him my comments verbatim from the report. If he cuts me off, I just say nothing until he hangs up. You never know, they may be recording. If the agent gives me a hard time, I just say I'm working for the buyer and not the deal, sorry. Funny how those agents will call you for Their House.

    Its pretty clear from some of the posts here, that there are markets where there are too many inspectors chasing too few deals, and quality and income are compromised. Thats too bad.

    I know if I were to move to another part of the country, and buy a place, I would ask around for who the SOB inspector is, the guy or gal with the 60 page report, and that is who I would hire. Peckerize (peckerate?) the place. I don't want to find out later.

    JMHO-JB


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    In the states in which I have had real estate dealings, both the listing agent and the selling agent are "working" for the seller, as he/she is the one paying the commission.

    That being said, there are some agents who strictly represent buyers and their best interests, but I believe that has to be disclosed to the seller.

    I guess the reasoning being that if you are representing the buyer, and not the sellers interest, should the seller pay you a commission, or the buyer pay you for your services???

    The ONLY component of a house sale that does not have a dog in the fight is the home inspector, as he is hired and paid by the buyer.
    It is the only unbiased opinion the buyer will get.

    Kinda puts you in the drivers seat in the real estate transaction.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    The ONLY component of a house sale that does not have a dog in the fight is the home inspector, as he is hired and paid by the buyer.
    It is the only unbiased opinion the buyer will get.

    Kinda puts you in the drivers seat in the real estate transaction.
    Steve, I agree with you, and this is one area which we as inspectors should guard our ethics and our reputations fervently. Unfortunately, we all know there are soft, drive by inspectors that are out there and undermine ALL inspectors with guilt by association.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Steve, I agree with you, and this is one area which we as inspectors should guard our ethics and our reputations fervently. Unfortunately, we all know there are soft, drive by inspectors that are out there and undermine ALL inspectors with guilt by association.
    That is the unfortunate part is that the hard working, honest HI is tarnished by the soft/drive by inspectors, owned and operated by the real estate agents.

    That is a big reason to not court agents for business, as that puts them into the mix as to loyality. Gives me more pleasure to be a deal breaker, as I represent the buyers best interest, not the realtors commission.

    It is up to the realtor to try and hammer out a solution, satisfactory to both sides. I am just the messinger.

    I sleep better at night, knowing I did a good job, and not worring about being sued due to a lax (agent friendly) report.



  13. #13
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Amen!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Why would anyone take pleasure in being a deal breaker? I take pleasure in doing a fair and through inspection.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Why would anyone take pleasure in being a deal breaker? I take pleasure in doing a fair and through inspection.
    That is the unfortunate part is that the hard working, honest HI is tarnished by the soft/drive by inspectors, owned and operated by the real estate agents.

    That is a big reason to not court agents for business, as that puts them into the mix as to loyalty. Gives me more pleasure to be a deal breaker, as I represent the buyers best interest, not the realtors commission.

    It is up to the realtor to try and hammer out a solution, satisfactory to both sides. I am just the messenger.

    I sleep better at night, knowing I did a good job, and not worrying about being sued due to a lax (agent friendly) report.
    James, I think you need to read the entire context of Stevens post.
    Pleasure is relative to being in the realtors pocket.

    I too would rather be known as a deal breaker rather than a "fair to the house/deal" inspector.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Why would anyone take pleasure in being a deal breaker?
    If the deal falls through, it's an indication that you did your job (good inspecting) and the real estate agents did NOT do their job (managing expectations for a given house).

    I take pleasure in doing a fair and through inspection.

    "Fair" to whom? The buyer, who is your client?

    Or the seller, who is not your client?

    Of, heaven forbid, "fair to the house"? If you chose this, please explain what "fair to the house" means - it has always stumped me, I am there for my client, the house was simply the object of my inspection.

    Wait ... I just got it ...

    Me (talking to client): You do know this house is a POS house right?

    Client: Huh?

    Me: Well, being fair to this POS house, it is an excellent example of POS houses.

    Client: Huh?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Just the facts. I dont work for the buyer or the seller or the agents.

    They ask me to inspect the building not go to work for them.

    Just the facts.

    Best

    Ron


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Ron, I think you work for the one who hires and pays you to do the inspection. You may be "self-employeed" but you won't stay that way unless someone pays the bills.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Sorry i never have look at it that way. My SOP Is set up by the state of California (Structural Pest Control Act) Our reports a open to the general public. they are not the property of the person that pays the inspection fee.

    Some do think like that. (im working for them) but that is easy to fix.

    I dont work for the buyer or the seller or the agents.
    Never have never will.

    Best

    Ron


  20. #20
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    Post Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    I love to get those telephone calls and e-mails. After receiving them, I pass the information along to my client. It usually gets quite interesting. Buyers tend to react a certain way when they learn that some one that they thought was representing them - wasn't.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    The seller, who is out of the State responded by fax by saying:
    1. Wires are not connected to anything so they do not need a j-box. Covers are not needed because they were not required when the house was built 17 years ago. This is the common response - "The codes have changed since this house was built. It passed code inspection then. I had an inspection when I bought it 4 years ago, and he didn't say anthing about it then".
    2. Passed code then, so we are not going to fix it. And my inspector didn't say anthing about it 4 years ago.
    3. Condensate pipes are supposed to drip. He didn't seem to understand the pipe was BROKEN.
    4. He would put two more screws in the ladder. I had inclued a photo of the label where it states how many and what type of fasteners are required.
    5. It was like that when the house was built. We have never had any problems.
    Like everyone else I have heard the same logic from sellers and agents.

    The Texas Real Estate Commission has a form on their site concerning some of this stuff. Although our SOP does not address all safety issues (or potential ones) this form does address some issues although it probably won't make a difference in the mind of the seller, . See link below:

    http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/OP-I.PDF

    Eric


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Why would anyone take pleasure in being a deal breaker? I take pleasure in doing a fair and through inspection.
    My "pleasure" is the fact that I did a good and complete job of insepction, especially finding items the seller has tried to hide, and the agent glossed over.
    Thus, saving the buyer from making a bad decission, and making the buyer aware of conditions to address with seller.

    If, for what ever reason it becomes a deal breaker, so be it,at least the buyer had an independent opinion of the condition of the house to guide him/her in their decission to buy or not to buy.

    I owe no "loyality" to the agent, it becomes their responsibility to work out the buy/sell with the parties involved and work out a solution to any problems on the report.

    So, to me, it is really the agent that is the deal killer, in their inability to bring the two parties together and close the deal.



  23. #23
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    James, I think you need to read the entire context of Stevens post.
    Pleasure is relative to being in the realtors pocket.

    I too would rather be known as a deal breaker rather than a "fair to the house/deal" inspector.
    At least you got it right!!!! To many take things out of contex!!!

    I am there to "protect" the buyer, not to help the agent with their sale. Have had some agents (and sellers) flat out lie, tell half truths, not reveal what they should on their disclosure statements, so yes, I do get some pleasure in catching them for what they are. Dishonest.



  24. #24
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    [quote=Ron Bibler;45495]Just the facts. I dont work for the buyer or the seller or the agents.

    They ask me to inspect the building not go to work for them.

    Just the facts.

    Best

    Ron[/quot


    Then just who do you work for?????

    Then, I guess, none of the above would owe you any money for the inspection????



  25. #25
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    In order to get paid, you either have to work for somebody or watch Oprah and collect gaverment checks.

    I may not work for the same person day in and day out, but I do get paid by somebody. The person that the inspection is being performed for, regardless of who pays, is who I am working for at that particular time. Being self employeed, I can choose who I don't want to work for, where I don't want to work and how much I want to make for a given job, but at the end of the day, I still work for someone else.

    My job is to do everything in my power to ensure that the person I am working for knows everything that they possibly can about the condition of the home that I am inspecting.

    Do I want to ensure that the deal closes? I could care less. I want my employer for that day to be satisfied with the job that I have done for them.

    Do I want to find so many things that the buyer is scared away form the home and be labeled a deal killer? Of course not. I want everyone to be satisfied going into the transaction, but I will not overlook something for fear of killing the deal. I am being paid to find things wrong with the home, not to help sell it. I tell my clients that up front. I point out very few positive aspects about the home, that is the realtors job.

    Am I proud to be labeled a deal killer? NO!!!!! Too many realtors blame the better inspectors for finding things wrong with the home. They almost think that we are reaponsible for the items needing repair. I AM proud to be able to say that I provide the best inspection that I possibly can I take great pride in my work and can't help it if I find things wrong with the home, that is what I am hired for after all.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Steve and Jon. you over look my point. Can you make the one with the check mad? yes. Can you make without the check mad? yes. So then you dont just work for the one with the check. I just dont look at it that way. but thats me. Im just there to inspect the building

    Not make any one happy or mad.

    Best

    Ron


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    [quote=Ron Bibler;45567]Steve and Jon. you over look my point. Can you make the one with the check mad? yes. Can you make without the check mad? yes. So then you dont just work for the one with the check. I just dont look at it that way. but thats me. Im just there to inspect the building



    Guess it's just a matter of how one looks at it.


    Unless it is a perfect (if there is one) house, then neither will be mad. But the reality is, most houses have some problems, some small, some large.


    So, one or the other is going to be mad. The realtor for losing the sale, the buyer if you mislead them or miss something.


    Yes, you are just inspecting a house, so try not to piss it off either, wouldn't want to hurt its feelings.


    My point is that the buyer is paying you for a service, and it becomes your duty to be as honest and forthright in your assement of the condition of the house. NOT, to find a middle ground between buyer and selling agent so they are both happy. Impossible job. Let the chips fall where they may.


    I have had too many realtors "advise" me "that's not a problem", or "suggest" it's just a minor issue".


    The report is what it is, and if I have to make a choice on how to describe/importance of, a defect, I will error on the side of the client/buyer, never on the side of the realtor.


    If you hire a plumber, you pay him, shouldn't his best interest be to you to do a competent job????



  28. #28
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Steve I think we are on the same page.

    Its just how i look at it. If Im working for the buyer I may say what I think he wants to hear. Or if Im working for the seller I may say what I think he wants to hear.

    So if in my mind im not working for one or the other. then I will just report the facts. and not over state or under state any facts.

    Your a good man Steve. Im just to old to think any other way...

    Just the facts.

    Best

    Ron


  29. #29
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Steve I think we are on the same page.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post


    Its just how i look at it. If Im working for the buyer I may say what I think he wants to hear. Or if Im working for the seller I may say what I think he wants to hear.
    So if in my mind im not working for one or the other. then I will just report the facts. and not over state or under state any facts.

    Your a good man Steve. Im just to old to think any other way...
    Just the facts.
    Best
    Ron

    I agree, just the facts, What ever they may be, no matter who writes the check, so we are on the same page.

    I'm not admiting I am old, but when I started out, was much easier inspecting caves.


    Last edited by Steven Meyer; 06-03-2008 at 04:41 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    I'm not admiting I am old, but when I started out, was much easier inspecting caves.
    Good chuckle Steven

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Meyer View Post
    I'm not admiting I am old, but when I started out, was much easier inspecting caves.


    You got to start out with interiors? Wow!

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

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Too picky says buyers agent

    If a person does not understand what "fair and through" is then there is no way I can explain it to you. It has to come natural. It is not a learned trait.


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