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Marc    9

Just wondering if anyone here actually recommends to a client that they 'run away' from the house.

To me, it's far outside our turf to make such a recommendation.  We don't know how much the client likes the house, why they like it, how much they're prepared to spend on it, etc.

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inspector57    2

I rarely use those words but I have on occasion, maybe a half dozen times over 22 years, when the house was obviously is such bad condition as to be economically unsalvageable. Of course all of the defects are documented in detail in more precise language. At least half of those clients that have received such words have bought the house anyway. 

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I don't t remember every literally telling a client not to buy the house but I have told them that if it was me, I would not buy the house unless I was willing to do a tremendous amount of work and if the cost and effort was worth the end result.

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Erby    4

One time years ago.  Really beat up house that needed a lot of money invested. like 70 or 80 thousand.  The young first time home buyers had been watching to much HGTV.  She fell through the floor during the inspection.  They told me how much money they had to fix it, $5 thousand..  Less than one tenth of what the house needed.  I'm sure somebody bought it and made a profit but it shouldn't be them.

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Mark P    0

3 times in 12 years and with good cause. The most recent was a guy who had bought a property via an online auction and had never seen the home. It was an otherwise nice duplex at a nice price and would have made a good rental property, That is until I went into the crawlspace and discovered the true meaning of street creep. It was truly amazing.  I came up out of the crawl, and said call your lawyer and do whatever you have to get out of this deal. He was not able to get out of the deal and it is still sitting vacant, that was a year ago.   

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Chad Fabry    15

Occasionally, I'll say, "if you're backing out of this deal, we can stop now and I'll give you a discount on your next inspection".

 

 

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Jim Baird    2

I've been called off like a dog off a scent by buyers, agreeing to give them a letter and charge by the hour.  I also have told them they should call me off but told to proceed, and once I arrived at a site and called the buyer to tell him I quit, no charge.

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John Kogel    3

I have been surprised a few times where the people went ahead and bought and then restored the place. Even a rotten floor is no problem to some people. The key then is to list the major defects so that they can negotiate a better price, often less than their original offer.

Usually, a talk with the client gives you an idea of their competency and that helps in the writing of the report. First time home buyers, sometimes they need to be persuaded, but I don't recall telling anyone to run. I recommend having a builder look at the repairs and getting an estimate from them.

I remember a 1930's stucco palace with a buried oil tank and leaking roof, rotten stairs, rats etc. My client seemed to be a single mom, so I was phrasing my descriptions in that direction, but then her husband, father and brother arrived for a brief walk through. They'd already been thru the place, so my inspection was just confirming what they already knew for the most part. They did a beautiful job of restoring that place.

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Marc    9

The way I see it, neither the inspection nor the report should be influenced by who the client is.  Also, we should not be making comments about which direction the client should go.  Just report precisely the condition of the house and let the client take it from there.

Edited by Marc

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I once had a client who was an investment banker.  Nice guy, but when I explained to him that he wasn't good that the deck was built with nails (and ONLY nails), he looked at me with confusion.  As I pointed to a nail, he looked at me and said, "so that's a nail? ...... how am I going to explain what you just said to my wife."

I knew right there that this report was going to have to be extra descriptive and simplified.  They didn't buy the house, but loved the report and hired me a year later to inspect the next house, which they did end up buying.

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Marc    9
2 hours ago, Tom Breslawski said:

I once had a client who was an investment banker.  Nice guy, but when I explained to him that he wasn't good that the deck was built with nails (and ONLY nails), he looked at me with confusion.  As I pointed to a nail, he looked at me and said, "so that's a nail? ...... how am I going to explain what you just said to my wife."

I knew right there that this report was going to have to be extra descriptive and simplified.  They didn't buy the house, but loved the report and hired me a year later to inspect the next house, which they did end up buying.

If your sample is any indication, your reports are better than most.  Easy to read.  Flows like water.

  • Like 1

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Mike Lamb    7

Illinois SOP forbids me from telling a client not to buy a house but they figure it out pretty quickly without me using those exact words.  Body language, facial grimaces, remarks like, "the cost to try to fix this is going to be huge." etc.

I have had many jobs where we never make into the house.  I give an appropriate discount.  They always hire me again.

Edited by Mike Lamb

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3 hours ago, Marc said:

If your sample is any indication, your reports are better than most.  Easy to read.  Flows like water.

Thank you Marc, I appreciate that compliment.

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On 7/10/2017 at 6:59 PM, Chad Fabry said:

Occasionally, I'll say, "if you're backing out of this deal, we can stop now and I'll give you a discount on your next inspection".

 

 

I do this too.  I've never told anyone to run away.  But when I think people should, I make sure the report is seriously strong in explaining the big problems.  To me it actually makes the report writing task easier.  No tapping the brake on this one, it's full throttle all the way!

Edited by John Dirks Jr
learning curve

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Tom Raymond    10

I had a double wide once where I told my client that every single component of the building was significantly past it's intended service life. The most cost effective way to fix it all would be to put the wheels back under it, roll it off the lot and haul in a new one. 

He didn't go through with the purchase. 

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Mark P    0

I once did an inspection for a "trust". The owner had died leaving a couple of houses in his trust. One of the houses he had inherited decades before and it  had been abandoned for years. I had a had time locating it because it was so overgrown with trees and bushes, etc. In my report I recommended the home be demolished.  

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