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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default Would you tell your client to run?

    A little decay maybe??

    This crawlspace has been subjected to moisture and no ventilation for over 30 years. You can't tell from the photo but all the joists are also decayed.

    Major stuctural issues. I've seen some bad ones, but never like this.

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    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,777

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Run - NO.

    Would tell/show them what was wrong and the cost to repair.
    If not competent to assess cost at least just show/tell them what was wrong and recommend that a competent professional be brought in for costs to repair.

    If the damage is repairable/correctable and the client wants to invest the time and money, that is their decision. Unless you know the purchase parameters of the client you can not make that decision for them. Especially since you are there not to make a buying decision but to provide facts so the cllient can make an informed decision.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 02-10-2013 at 08:44 AM. Reason: additional thought

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    The photo above illustrates why I interview my clients. Inspectors should be asking before the start of inspection (usually when they book) what the intent of the client is.

    Such as:
    1. What do you intend to do with the house?
    2. Move in and do nothing?
    3. Undertake major renovations? Is it going to be flipped?
    4. Are you handy?
    5. Do you have the resources to undertake major repairs.
    6. Do you have a budget? Do any of you suffer from allergies?
    7. Do you have any special concerns?

    Personally speaking as with the issue raised by Ken if my clients asked me if they should by the house I would again ask them if they have the wherewithal to undertake the repairs. Dependent on the answers I might tell them to keep looking. But would not directly say don't buy it.

    I am not suggesting that should be the standard for everyone, but thats how I do it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Would you tell your client to run?
    "Swim" might be more appropriate. Look at the water line on the back wall!

    END GLOBAL WHINING

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Greenville, N.C.
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Maybe not. If there's plenty of room to work and make the repairs, the house would theoretically be stronger than most. Adjust for cost, fix the repairs, address the cause, and move on.
    I have actually told 4 clients in 17 years to run. None did. But they stayed with theirs eyes open and that's all we can do.

    JLMathis


  6. #6
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    I agree with those who say that it depends on the client. I try to get an idea of what my clients want to do with the house. I'll start with:

    1. How long do you want to keep this house?
    2. What is a comfortable level of risk for you?
    3. Do YOU want to live here?
    etc....

    I've only done a few 'run, don't walk' suggestions. The one that is most vivid was for an investor that I have now inspected a total of 6-8 houses, and this was the 4 or 5th, so I knew them fairly well.

    They ran without regrets. I now see that the house has been bulldozed. I have little doubt that I was right, and they have no doubt that I was right.


  7. #7
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    NO. Under no conditions do I tell a client to run, not buy or keep looking. That is not my role and if I do it, I believe the seller should successfully sue me. My role is to give the client good information so they will make an informed decision.

    Every house is right for somebody and I don't have enough time with the client to fully understand their needs and wants. That is the role of the realtor, not the home inspector.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The photo above illustrates why I interview my clients. Inspectors should be asking before the start of inspection (usually when they book) what the intent of the client is.
    I agree. There's a big difference between a client who plans major renovation and one who's putting every dollar just into the purchase. This kind of info tweaks my approach.

    Only twice have I told a client that the home was not worth salvaging and both times I terminated the inspection. By state law I am not allowed to do this but it also says I can report based upon opinion and conviction and I take full advantage of that allowance.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Eric

    Yup I have stopped mid inspection and asked my clients if they wanted me to continue with the inspection because of the number of issues being uncovered.

    Going back to my original post about interviewing the client. Doing so puts one in much better position to read the client. Expressions they show when issues are being pointed out tell a lot about their expectations and reality.

    Some clients just don't have the funds or knowledge or interest to tackle a disaster and if I can assist in guiding them they are most appreciative. I know how they feel because of the feedback from them via questionnaire or their agents feedback.

    As I tell my clients from time to time when things don't pan out; "sometimes a disappointment is a blessing!"


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Tell them to run? No. I've never told anybody that. I've told clients we can stop at any time if they feel they've had enough and I can just charge them for the time I've been inspecting.

    Some buyers have no means to take on any large scale issues and are scared as soon as the dollars start rolling up. Other buyers are in the construction or trade fields or know somebody and just say "I can handle that".

    I just give them the info.

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    That's a great picture for the scrap book, Ken. I will echo what the rest have said.

    I inspected a house that had been moved to the property 50 years ago. For a floor beam, they propped a log up on blocks, bark left on, and set the house on that. Termites and carpenter ants were having their way with the log and a large section of the subfloor above.
    The roof was shot and there was an abandoned well, galvanized pipe, rotted service conductors, antique fuse panel, and more.
    My clients bought it. They have fixed the place up so you wouldn't recognize it today. You never know.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    I agree with what most have said, all you can do is tell them what is there and a rough idea of what it will take to make it safe. The only time I told a client to run away was when I went into a bedroom closet and noticed the distribution panel was red hot and arcing. Didn't even stay long enough to take a picture (I did pull the main breaker outside). Of course the client didn't care about that, she was too upset by a big stain in the living room carpet.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    With almost every inspection I do I keep side notes for my own records - did the client follow along and show interest, was it a first time buyer etc. I also make notes about whether a very significant issue was present and the discussion I had with the client over it. If some sort of claim or complaint comes up later I want such documented information because it may be likely that my memory isn't what saves the day.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Would you tell your client to run?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    With almost every inspection I do I keep side notes for my own records - did the client follow along and show interest, was it a first time buyer etc. I also make notes about whether a very significant issue was present and the discussion I had with the client over it. If some sort of claim or complaint comes up later I want such documented information because it may be likely that my memory isn't what saves the day.
    Wow! I have never made notes like that. I think that's good, but how often have you needed to pull up those notes? I can't say that I've never needed to refer to notes like that.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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