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mgbinspect

Tipping the Home Inspector

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It's always nice when an appreciative home buyer makes some form of gesture in genuine appreciation for our effort. Today, it was from a fellow from the middle-east that spoke about twenty words in English. He must have owned a convenience store, because he opened the trunk after the inspection and VEHEMENTLY INSISTED that I help myself to as many packaged Krispy Kreme pastries as I could hold in my arms. I originally thought I'd get away with just taking one package, but he wouldn't rest until my arms were full. Just what I need - more calories. I took them straight home, without touching them, and gave them to my visiting daughter and told her, "Save me from myself. Give them to Blake (my grand baby)."

I usually get a couple of random tips a year ranging between $5.00 - $20.00, but I'm thinking that I may be the holder of the world record tip given to a home inspector:

It was probably 2005. I did a three-phase new construction home inspection for a couple re-locating from New York City - you know, where hot sauce comes from? ('Get a rope...') During the three phases, we identified and eliminated so many potential problems that when the couple gave me the final payment it was over the billed amount by $250.00. I immediately informed them that they had accidentally over-paid me. They assured me that they knew that I saved them a whole lot more than that and wanted me to have it. Needless to say, it was a particularly special moment.

With that random act of kindness aside, the second largest tip I've received to date is $80.00 cash - probably a year or two ago.

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When I am offered one I tell my client that the best tip they could give me is to tell people that they are happy with my services.

I am sure it is different if you are an employee of a larger inspection company. Just out of curiosity, do the larger inspection businesses have official company policies regarding accepting tips?

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Beats me. I'm a one man band here and have been since 1997 (Inspecting since 1993). In most of these rare cases, people were so completely insistent upon the tip, I felt I'd offend them to decline.

Richmond is a very gracious town, with a ton of classic southern gents and gals. The idea of anything underhanded or anything remotely suggesting a kick-back would be pretty much anathema here.

In the case of the $250.00, it was a done deal. The check was in my hand and they were standing side by side in agreement that I was to have it.

One thing that I learned long ago is that people often, thinking they are doing the right thing, deny someone their own "feel good" in giving a gift. I dare say few people think about that, but when we give a gift, it typically gives us joy. So think twice before you deny another person that pleasure. Life is good...

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Beats me. I'm a one man band here and have been since 1997 (Inspecting since 1993). In most of these rare cases, people were so completely insistent upon the tip, I felt I'd offend them to decline.

Richmond is a very gracious town, with a ton of classic southern gents and gals. The idea of anything underhanded or anything remotely suggesting a kick-back would be pretty much anathema here.

In the case of the $250.00, it was a done deal. The check was in my hand and they were standing side by side in agreement that I was to have it.

One thing that I learned long ago is that people often, thinking they are doing the right thing, deny someone their own "feel good" in giving a gift. I dare say few people think about that, but when we give a gift, it typically gives us joy. So think twice before you deny another person that pleasure. Life is good...

Being offered a tip is a rare thing for me as well. Maybe I need to reconsider that not accepting one could be an insult. If giving me extra money makes someone feel better I would love to make them feel great!![^]

Also, I did not mean to imply that you worked as an employee with my question. It was meant more as a general question to the TIJ readers regarding company policies.

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I've only received one tip in this biz. I wrapped up with an older guy, who stared at me for a few moments before reaching into his pocket. He pulled out his already-written check as well as a money clip. He handed me the check, and also a twenty-dollar bill while saying, "You've worked hard here, today. I want to buy you dinner."

I thought, and still think, that was one of the coolest things ever.

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I've only received one tip in this biz. I wrapped up with an older guy, who stared at me for a few moments before reaching into his pocket. He pulled out his already-written check as well as a money clip. He handed me the check, and also a twenty-dollar bill while saying, "You've worked hard here, today. I want to buy you dinner."

I thought, and still think, that was one of the coolest things ever.

Indeed, and when we think back, we can all remember times that we tried hard to do something wonderful for someone who refused to recieve it. That's frustrating. Graciously give and graciously receive. It's a really good "pay it forward" thing to do.

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Every once in a while I'll get a client that pays me in Ben Franklins with instructions to keep the change. Sometimes a check payment is rounded off to a higher figure.

Marc

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I'm a little disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about sneaking up on dozing inspectors and pushing them over. I bet I could manage to tip a few I know while they were working.

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I'm a little disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about sneaking up on dozing inspectors and pushing them over. I bet I could manage to tip a few I know while they were working.

You shouldn't become discouraged. It's my understanding that even if a guy isn't born with a sense of humor, one can be developed with lots of study and practice. Yes, you've fallen short here, today--profoundly, actually--but give yourself time. I have all the confidence in the universe that you'll one day achieve your goal and actually come up with something amusing.

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I'm a little disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about sneaking up on dozing inspectors and pushing them over. I bet I could manage to tip a few I know while they were working.

You shouldn't become discouraged. It's my understanding that even if a guy isn't born with a sense of humor, one can be developed with lots of study and practice. Yes, you've fallen short here, today--profoundly, actually--but give yourself time. I have all the confidence in the universe that you'll one day achieve your goal and actually come up with something amusing.

Inspector tipping - priceless, Chad. That actually reminds me of an inspector here who was so grande that there was NO WAY he could enter the average crawlspace. I could just imagine him having that sleep apnea moment and dozing right in the middle of an inspection before his horrified clients. Fortunately (miraculously), he retired.

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Has anyone here every actually tipped a cow or seen it done?

In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I and two friends personally once attempted to tip a cow but we were unsuccessful. I cannot recommend the practice, at least not with the Angus breed. While slow to anger, it seems that cows can be remarkably spiteful creatures. Fortunately, this particular animal lacked horns.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Has anyone here every actually tipped a cow or seen it done?

I'm in Kentucky, and you don't really want the cow to tip over when . . . well, you know. Think of how dangerous that could be.

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I'm a little disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about sneaking up on dozing inspectors and pushing them over. I bet I could manage to tip a few I know while they were working.

Chad - In Texas that would be "tump" over. [;)]

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Don't mean to be the one bad apple here, but I really can't see tipping a home inspector. A waitress or pizza boy, yes, because they make so little. But a home inspector charges plenty

.

I know I'll get some angry replies here, but it gets a little tiring to read on these forums from Home Inspectors how the phone don't ring, or business is slow. Go try working a minimum wage job. Go work in a factory and get laid off and see how you manage.

Got nothing against Home Inspectors, just don't so no reason to tip them or give them gifts. Just my honest opinion.

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Don't mean to be the one bad apple here, but I really can't see tipping a home inspector. A waitress or pizza boy, yes, because they make so little. But a home inspector charges plenty

.

I know I'll get some angry replies here, but it gets a little tiring to read on these forums from Home Inspectors how the phone don't ring, or business is slow. Go try working a minimum wage job. Go work in a factory and get laid off and see how you manage.

Got nothing against Home Inspectors, just don't so no reason to tip them or give them gifts. Just my honest opinion.

I think most of us agree with you. None of us ask for or expect tips, but it does happen from time to time. I think I've had maybe 2 or 3 tips in the past 5+ years.

So why do we tip a taxi driver and not a bus driver?

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Don't mean to be the one bad apple here, but I really can't see tipping a home inspector. A waitress or pizza boy, yes, because they make so little. But a home inspector charges plenty

.

I know I'll get some angry replies here, but it gets a little tiring to read on these forums from Home Inspectors how the phone don't ring, or business is slow. Go try working a minimum wage job. Go work in a factory and get laid off and see how you manage.

Got nothing against Home Inspectors, just don't so no reason to tip them or give them gifts. Just my honest opinion.

An inspection I did this past Monday yielded about 20 times more repair dollars than inspection dollars paid to me. Last I heard is that the client was currently focused only on replacing the FPE panelboard and the first contractor's bid was $1,500. I charged $250 for this 1,100 SF patio home.

Some clients like a return like that on their inspection dollars.

Marc

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Don't mean to be the one bad apple here, but I really can't see tipping a home inspector. A waitress or pizza boy, yes, because they make so little. But a home inspector charges plenty

.

I know I'll get some angry replies here, but it gets a little tiring to read on these forums from Home Inspectors how the phone don't ring, or business is slow. Go try working a minimum wage job. Go work in a factory and get laid off and see how you manage.

Got nothing against Home Inspectors, just don't so no reason to tip them or give them gifts. Just my honest opinion.

You're not a bad apple. I, for one, have never fathomed or expected to be tipped. Once in a great while, it just happens. We do stellar without a tip, but every now and then folks are especially appreciative and just plain feel led to do so. It's really that simple.

I doubt any of us have a tip jar. It's just one of the many random things that we experience as the world turns.... [:-hspin]

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Don't mean to be the one bad apple here, but I really can't see tipping a home inspector. A waitress or pizza boy, yes, because they make so little. But a home inspector charges plenty

.

I know I'll get some angry replies here, but it gets a little tiring to read on these forums from Home Inspectors how the phone don't ring, or business is slow. Go try working a minimum wage job. Go work in a factory and get laid off and see how you manage.

Got nothing against Home Inspectors, just don't so no reason to tip them or give them gifts. Just my honest opinion.

I don't understand it either. You call a home inspector, he names his price, and you pay him.

I suppose there are some people out there who genuinely feel that they received exemplary service and tipping is how they express their gratitude.

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I once had a lady customer offer me more then a tip, if you know what I mean.

I'm interested in hearing how you turned the offer down...

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Tipping is a funny subject anyway, and a bit regional I guess. Here, tipping waiters and waitresses is practically a religion and 20% is the magic number. Someone can bring the worst meal on the planet, and I still tip the food server 20%. That's just the way it is. Yet, every time I go to Florida and do my normal tip, food servers usually pause and look at me as if I just flew in from heaven. Apparently they don't see big tips consistently down there. But, as Jim says, it's gratitude and the joy of giving. Personally, I like being kind and making someone elses day. Why not? Even on the cloudy days, bring your own sunshine. [8D]

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