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So, had a client request an inspection today, scheduled, confirmed...all is good.

However, after Googling the property (as I often do, just to see what I'm getting into) I realized I did the Pre-inspection on the house a few months ago...what to do?

This ever happen to you?

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Let's look at it differently;

Suppose you're a mechanic and a fellow brings a car in to you to check it out 'cuz he thinks he'd like to buy it. You go over it with a fine tooth comb, find some stuff that needs fixing and you tell him about it. He pays you for your time and leaves.

A few weeks later, another guy rolls in with the same car and wants you to check it out. You don't know what's been going on with the car in the interim and you're going to have to spend the same amount of time on it to check it out. Wouldn't you simply do the job and expect to get paid for your time and knowledge exactly as you were paid before?

So, what's the difference?

It's easy here; we can't divulge the results of an inspection to anyone else without a clients permission and I'm not about to call an old client to ask permission to resell a report when I don't know what's been going on in the interim. Besides, the only one that's allowed to rely on my report is the one that's named as the beneficiary of the report on the time and date of the contract and state law requires a new contract for each inspection.

I'd just do it all over again exactly as before, write a completely new report and get paid exactly the same.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I would not work for the seller and the buyer on the same transaction.

Nor would I; but it's not the same transaction. It's two separate transactions for two different clients with two separate contracts.

He can disclose that he did a pre-inspection for the seller, point out that he doesn't know what's happened to the house in the interim and that a new contract is required between he and the buyer and that the seller is not party to that contract and that he won't be communicating with the seller.

Ulimately, it's the buyer's choice. If after full disclosure he opts to go ahead it should not be an issue.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If I did a pre-listing inspection on a home and then I had a person contact me to do a buyers inspection I would let them know that I did a pre-listing inspection on the same home. I would then ask them if they would like for me to provide them the name of another inspector or do they feel OK letting me do the inspection. I would put the ball back in their court.

I have had this happen before on a couple of occasions. Each time I have graciously backed out of the inspection and provided the client with the name and number of another inspector for the job. Everyone involved in the transactions appreciated my efforts to remain above reproach.

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What if -while you are doing the inspection for the seller- s/he discloses something to you, like the fact that s/he is thrilled to be selling the property, since in an effort to save a few bucks, they had their reprobate uncle wire do all of the wiring. They are looking forward to moving into a home they can sleep through the night in.

You see nothing egregious in the panel, but how do you report all that to your buyer?

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I would not work for the seller and the buyer on the same transaction.

I'm with you on this.

I'll second (third?) that. Unless you're in a very small market with very few inspectors, it would seem that this is not likely to happen with any frequency. It hasn't happened to me. It just doesn't appear to be worth the potential conflict with the first client, assuming they are still (or now) the seller.

But let's assume time is short and I had already booked the inspection before realizing it, like the OP. I would contact the first client, inform them that I had been retained by the buyer, and, hopefully, get their approval or "release" to do the second inspection. If they weren't comfortable with me doing it, then I simply wouldn't. That relationship did come first after all. Even with approval, I would also inform the buyer of the situation and, like Scott said, give them the option of finding another inspector.

If everyone involved was OK with it, then I don't see any further conflict as long as I felt I could treat it as a completely new inspection, without any reliance on info found during the first (though that may be easier said than done).

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Good answers, thanks for your help!

I think I'll show-up, let them know the situation and take it from there.

If you feel the need to disclose this (and you should), then you should do so as soon as possible. If you wait until the day of the inspection then your client may feel pressured into using you even if they're not comfortable with the situation. It's the same reason I send out my agreement via email as soon as possible after setting up the appointment.

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I always point out that I've done a prior inspection on the home, but in this case I'll add another twist. I have had people request a walk-thru on a home I have done a pre-listing inspection on. I spend 45 minutes to an hour going through the home with them with the pre-listing inspection report in hand giving them the same type of maintenance/upkeep comments I would if I were doing a full inspection. As well as pointing out items that may have been addressed from the original inspection report

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Robert - what you do makes a lot of sense to me, as long as the owner of the report (seller) is informed.

Do you use a contract with the buyer, is it the same as the one you use with the seller, and do you discount your fee for the buyer, compared to a full inspection?

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