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  1. #1
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    My sister in law is selling her house and the inspector found a few issues with grading around the house. Thats ok. But the problem was that he called her up on the phone while she was at a doctors appt and kept on harrassing her about it.

    He kept asking "are you sure this house wasnt in foreclosure before you bought it? Are you sure the builder didnt go bankrupt after building it(not sure what that question had anything to do with)? Are you sure there hasnt been water pouring in the basement? Are you sure are you sure?" etc on and on this went for a few minutes.

    He was certain that because the grade was sloped towards the house slightly that water just had to be pouring in the basement. The basement is partially finished, drywall, carpet etc now if it had ever gotten wet, the evidence would certainly be on the carpets and drywall but there isnt any there.

    Anyways the guy also mentioned that he never does work in their area and it was pretty far for him to travel to get there so Im thinking that he may be a friend of the buyers and thats why he did this. But my question to all of you is, do you ever call up the seller about any issues and harass them or do you just report the issues and let the buyer and seller work out the details? I do realize that if the seller is home at the inspection you may bounce some questions off of them about the house but thats not what I mean. Im talking about calling up the seller and harassing them about any issues. Now this is all hearsay for me but it seems to me that the guy went over the line from what was described to me.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Why would we call the seller ... unless we were returning their phone call, and ... why would we do that (on most occasions, anyway) as we are working for the buyer, our client, they as us questions we give them the answer - it is not our responsibility to to call the seller (even if our clients asks us to, it is still not our place, nor our responsibility to do so)???

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Nope never call the vendor, and let the purchaser and their agent do the post inspection details/issues.

    If that is what the inspector did, he is skating on thin ice in my opinion.


  4. #4
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Exactly guys, thats what im getting at. I really had no idea why this inspector, who was hired by the buyer, would bother to contact the seller. Not only contact her, but harass her in trying to get her to admit something that was not a problem in the first place. Im a brand new inspector and I knew that!

    Just report the condition and let the relavent parties handle all the post inspection issues.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    That inspector was outside his bounds calling the seller.

    This aside, sometimes things manage to work despite themselves. It's possible the grading may have needed correcting but it wasn't reslting in water penetration. I've seen flue pipes that ran downhill before entering a chimney and didn't have any backdrafting at the vent hoods.

    Back to the inspector, he needs to know his role and stick to it.


  6. #6
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Im definitely not suggesting that because it wasnt leaking now that it wasnt something that needed correcting. My issue was with how the guy handled it. He should have just informed his client(who very well could have been his buddy) and reported it very well in his report and moved on.


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Thomas View Post
    Im definitely not suggesting that because it wasnt leaking now that it wasnt something that needed correcting. My issue was with how the guy handled it. He should have just informed his client(who very well could have been his buddy) and reported it very well in his report and moved on.
    I contact listing agents all the time if I see a leak in the roof or in the open electric safety or gas safety concerns, flue pipes dumping monoxide into the home. If the seller is at the home I will point out safety or property damaging items all the time. Not the whole report. Just things like water running on the ceiling, wires hanging out of a box, a roof leak etc.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Why would we call the seller ... unless we were returning their phone call, and ... why would we do that (on most occasions, anyway) ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I contact listing agents all the time if I see a leak in the roof or in the open electric safety or gas safety concerns, flue pipes dumping monoxide into the home. If the seller is at the home I will point out safety or property damaging items all the time. Not the whole report. Just things like water running on the ceiling, wires hanging out of a box, a roof leak etc.

    You've listed some of the times which fit the exception "(on most occasions, anyway)".

    If there is something life-safety, I suspect that most HIs will make sure that *someone* is aware of them and can pass that information on, to do otherwise could result in the HI being held partially responsible. Bob Harper had a good term for it, but I forget what it was (dang, and I told myself to make a mental note of it, I really wanted to remember that for future use).

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

  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    [quote=Jerry Peck;

    Bob Harper had a good term for it, but I forget what it was (dang, and I told myself to make a mental note of it, I really wanted to remember that for future use).[/quote]

    Jerry it will be in the last place you think of. Alway back up your stuff.

    Brian
    The dude did not do a very good job on that inspection. I bet he thinks he over look something and was fishing for something to hang his hat on.

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    I would have to go with contacting the sellers/owners only in a Life-Safety issue. Or if I screw-up and overflow a tub on the second floor and the ceiling over the dining room table falls due to all of the water that collected on it! Yep, I think I would call the seller on that one!

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

  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would have to go with contacting the sellers/owners only in a Life-Safety issue. Or if I screw-up and overflow a tub on the second floor and the ceiling over the dining room table falls due to all of the water that collected on it! Yep, I think I would call the seller on that one!
    Run like hell and call the buyer and say you could not make it


  12. #12
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    Similar to what some others in the thread have mentioned, I contact the seller/owner if I find something that I believe is an imminent threat to the occupant's life or safety, or if something happens during the inspection that causes damage to the home.


  13. #13
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    At my client's request I've spoken with a seller on the phone one time to establish the seller's version of a repair that had been made. I included the essence of the conversation in the report to document that the conversation had taken place.

    Other than that though, I contact the seller every time they're there during the inspection. I engage them in conversation and ask them a thousand questions. They either lie or they tell the truth. Either way it provides a service to my client by either memorializing the lie or, through the seller's words, by identifying problems with appliances, their effort to eradicate bees, or a finicky door that's only finicky in the fall. "the current owner stated that the dishwasher makes a funny noise about every third time it's used"

    I'll also engage the nosy neighbor to ask about their basement and if it gets wet...stuff like that. "The neighbor to the north stated that every fourth or fifth year there is standing water in most yards on the street during the spring thaw"

    Usually the client has purchased a day or two of my life. I'm there anyway, I might as well do the best job possible. Why wouldn't I ask the people that know the most about house, questions about the house?

    Last edited by Chad Fabry; 08-24-2008 at 06:39 PM. Reason: comma

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    hey
    see my new thread on toxic smoke coming from heat register posted today----i instantly called listing agent and said she had a major safety hazard at house-DONT TURN ON FURNACE

    would do the same if i found gas leaks at furnace,,major plumbing leaks,nasty animals living rent free in attic or basement etc, BELIEVE THATS OUR JOB,,SAFETY AND HEALTH CONDITIONS

    need to protect the next innocent person entering home
    charlie


  15. #15
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    In a safety situation it makes sense to contact the seller immediately, however in my example, my sister in law was called by the inspector andwas harrassing her trying to get her to admit to a water problem that hadnt existed. This was a situation that just had to do with negative grade, certainly not a major safety issue! He was out of line. Now if it was an issue with k&t wiring sparking in an attic, then i would understand


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do you ever contact sellers directly about issues?

    harrassment should not be accepted in any relm of life,this inspector should be reported to his credited association if he has one,hopefully your sister got his business card,,
    charlie


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