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Everything posted by Marc

  1. No Stephanie. It just means that a client should not rely on an agent's recommendation of inspector. If he wants to consider that recommendation, he should screen that inspector to verify to his satisfaction that he's a good inspector. Don't act on that recommendation without doing so because it came from an agent that was compromised. There's no better way to find a good inspector than to read his recent reports. Nothing, not his certs, not his association memberships, not his designations, nor his years of experience, reveal his performance as well as reading his reports.
  2. If the client is the buyer, he's in this transaction for the house and has an enormous stake in the fidelity of the inspection report. The agent's stake in the purchase agreement is his commission. He earns it if the house arrives at a closing. He doesn't earn a penny otherwise. Home inspection reports do not sell houses. They're not intended to. They're intended to reveal the issues with the house so that the buyer is informed on what he's getting for his money. Buyer wants the best deal for his money. Agents wants his commission. The agent cannot make a fair decision on the best inspector for the client because he will be affected by the result.
  3. Agent expectations? The agent is not the client, but a professional in service to the client, just like us. We're two separate jurisdictions that happen to be next door to each other. Any inspector recognition of agent expectations, or vice versa, when in service to the client and is contrary to the interests of the client, is to the detriment to that client. It is a disservice to that client, and the bulk of it is not illegal.
  4. The two views are not opposing each other. You and Jim are looking at different sides of the elephant. He's from the inspector's view of the elephant, you're from the insurance side of things. Views that don't seem to mesh can be expected until both parties fully understand each other, then the whole becomes better than either alone. Near impossible to do that on an online message board. My version of what I think Jim is saying is that the primary defense against legal difficulties is to be dang sure that your client is happy. Don't give him a reason to put your service under a microscope in the first place. But that's not where I begin. My contract has to cover every aspect and has work with applicable laws. Client expectations need to be managed. A single wrong sentence in the report (or even the verbal) can turn your entire efforts upside down, etc. You've got to be a practicing home inspector for quite a few years before you have a chance to understand every facet of minimizing your liabilities, and then an insurance guru who knows what she's talking about comes along and makes it better.
  5. I agree, and that the prevalence of such relationships varies with the locality and depends on the status of the real estate norms in a given area.
  6. It's not the same everywhere. It's really bad out here in Louisiana. I should move near Les and give him some competition...or pray he'd hire me.
  7. Not all parties, Stephanie, just agents. Agents, because they're heavily invested in arriving at a closing so they can collect their commission, regardless of the condition of the house. They're compromised when asked to refer the inspector that's best for the buyer. The inspection is about disclosing issues with the house and no party has a greater stake in learning that than the prospective buyer of the house. Offering referring party coverage isn't a scheme but when that party is agents, it is complicity that aids in the betrayal of the buyer by agents who push their referrals and by those inspectors who seek those referrals. Offering such coverage isn't an issue to me but it is disturbing to me for an insurance company to promote it in reference to agents that refer inspectors. In my 16 years, I've never experienced business success in home inspection. I don't dare open my door to the influence of the agent and that has always cost me success. I'm certain I'd be at the top of my field if agents could somehow by prevented from referring inspectors. There are two kinds of practitioners in real estate. The kind that promotes their profession and the kind that milks it.
  8. My spouse keeps me wound up.
  9. Use perforated if necessary to prevent erosion issues along the way down, otherwise use solid. Perforated needs additional features like geotextile liner and aggregate filler, so use it only if needed.
  10. That method works only with folks who can hold their liquor, cause the bottle needs to be about half full.
  11. Couldn't sleep, so I spent an hour or so looking for sample reports from guys in that area. None were even decent. Among the ones that didn't have samples, most were CPI braggarts, that InterNACHI funk that's spreading all over the country. Sorry Jim. Go for a nice long drive, down south.
  12. Post a photo of the main breaker.
  13. I had a nephew looking to buy a property until I pointed out with maps and onsite observations that it was practically at the bottom of a bowl.
  14. I use Word along with several other supporting software on a 3 monitor set-up. I've heard that Whisper accomplishes pretty much the same thing on one monitor.
  15. Two insights: 1) don't talk to that excavation guy again. He sounds looney. 2) the solution is in the details.
  16. They're different folks. Like the gauntlet I went through when I began TIJ, the mold needs to be broken and remade. They're also mostly younger, more misaligned with reality and more likely to disparage others. Some of those I block.
  17. It's an issue I've engaged in very seriously for well over a decade. No apology needed. If I were in your shoes, I'd tell them all of those inspectors and their reports are compromised. They're worthless. They're worse than worthless, they can be highly damaging if heeded.
  18. Too small. An electric on-demand water heater cannot meet your hot water needs.
  19. Ok. A typical residential service is 200 amps at 240 volts. That comes out to 48,000 watts or 164,000 btu/hr. Most of the gas-fueled tankless water heaters I see are 199,000 btu/hr. A common heating element on a storage type electric water heater is 3,500 watts which comes out to 12,000 btu/hr. Good enough for a small stream at a lavatory faucet but that's about all. Certainly not enough for a shower or washing machine, much less all at one time. What's the size of the main breaker on your circuit breaker panel?
  20. A residential electrical service doesn't have the capacity to meet the hot water needs of a house in real time.
  21. I'd never trust any inspector that was picked by an agent. I wouldn't even care to see his report nor hear his advice. If the seller chooses to do so and to pay for it, that's his lost.
  22. How is it that you're in this fight? What's your role in this story?
  23. Since a handyman is likely to offer more than one trade, he'll need to carry a lot of tools/equipment plus the occasional materials and panels. Pickup, preferably with an 8' bed and extended cab for tools. I took my rear bench seat out of my pickup and laid a plywood bed and back panel. Holds a great many tools and supplies once they are organized in modular storage boxes.
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