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Terence McCann

I Already Said I Don't Do Re-Inspects

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It's not often I ask for critique of the written word (soft under belly and all that) but I would like/need thoughts on this. This is an Asian couple.

It is a standing policy of Harbor Light Inspection Services Company that we do not do re-inspects after the repairs have been completed. I explained this to John and your realtor, and will further explain it to you now.

I formerly did re-inspects; however every time I would conduct a re-inspect I would find that the repairs were done incorrectly and I would be placed in the middle, arguing with the person that did the repairs along with the sellers and their realtor. I had one realtor ask me, after I found that the repairs were not done correctly on a deck, to explain how I would like the repairs to be done. This is not what I was hired to do, and I will explain why. For example, if I find something wrong, on an outside deck that needs repair, I ask that you call a contractor to properly repair the deck. The simple construction of a deck needs special brackets, at certain places, and special screws. The arsenic that the wood is treated with can cause regular screws to fail. I do not specify how to do the repairs - that is the job of a qualified contractor. The contractor needs to determine how to do the correct repair, not me.

Another way to look at it - if you were to see your doctor and they found something that didn’t look right with your heart - your doctor would then tell you to see a doctor that specializes in human heart problems – a cardiologist. The cardiologist would then take care of you.

I know I found many more things wrong than the relocation-home inspector. When I spoke with your realtor, she acknowledged that I was very thorough and found a lot more items then the relocation expert home inspector. You received a very thorough and in-depth home inspection.

I apologize to you for not doing re-inspects, but I hope that I have made my meaning and reasons why, clear in this email.

FYI, they had the sellers make all the repairs and now want to make sure that they were done correctly. No where in my report do I suggest that they have the sellers do the necessary repairs.

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It is a standing policy of Harbor Light Inspection Services Company that we do not do re-inspects after the repairs have been completed. I explained this to John and your realtor, and will further explain it to your not paying attention the first time, ignorant, knuckle headed, stubborn, window licking, three fries short of a happy meal having ass, now.

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It is a standing policy of Harbor Light Inspection Services Company that we do not do re-inspects after the repairs have been completed. I explained this to John and your realtor, and will further explain it to your not paying attention the first time, ignorant, knuckle headed, stubborn, window licking, three fries short of a happy meal having ass, now.

Bad day, Gary?

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I think you explained yourself perfectly well, though I prefer, but don't recommend, Gary's much-less-diplomatic approach.

My only suggestion would be to offer people an alternative. Maybe you could suggest they hire their own professionals--roofer, plumber, deck dude, etc.--to make certain all repairs were performed up to snuff. Clearly that would cost more than they're gonna want to spend, but then it becomes THEIR choice rather than YOURS that bears upon the situation.

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It is a standing policy of Harbor Light Inspection Services Company that we do not do re-inspects after the repairs have been completed. I explained this to John and your realtor, and will further explain it to your not paying attention the first time, ignorant, knuckle headed, stubborn, window licking, three fries short of a happy meal having ass, now.

Bad day, Gary?

I don't know the meaning of a bad day. LOL!

Ya think that was a little too much?

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As we all know, this is a tough issue sometimes. While I generally shy away from re-inspects for the reasons stated above -- whether eloquently, or, ummm, a teensie bit more aggressively -- I also understand my duty to my client. This is especially true for non-native Americans who have a minimal working knowledge of American houses. For whatever reason, I have a fair number of these clients. These folks are counting on us to help them make a decision. IF I take on a reinspection job, I let it be known that I won't design/specify repairs. I let them know in advance that there are many ways to perform a repair, and some are better than others. My comments following a reinspection reflect that.

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I'd suggest making it shorter. Too many words make it seem like you're protesting too much.

Aye.

When I talked to the gent he expressed concern that my lack of enthusiasm regarding a re-inspect might equate to a less than stellar inspection.

It is difficult to respectfully translate terms and conditions, and expectations, to those not native to our soil (Christ, it's almost impossible to explain to those born here). In a way I feel I've let them down.

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I often try to keep away from reinspects and do not try to market it at all, but will do them if my client really wants. When I do reinspections, I work off my summary and advise them what has been repaired and what was not. I also advise them what repaired things were done wrong.

When a contractor (or anyone else for that matter) wants to challenge it, I advise my client to have them cite what standards, guidelines, codes, etc. their repairs meet, and to show me where they found information contrary to what I reported.

I've never heard back after that.

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Use about 1/3 the verbiage, and it will still sound wrong. People never understand the problems inherent in reinspections.

I explain to people that I do reinspects for a fee, and that often, it's more expensive than the home inspection. There is no way I can know if the work is being done correctly without being there watching the work in progress; that takes time, time = money.

Explain that to design a repair on paper, you would then be providing architectural or engineering services, professions that you are not licensed for.

Explain that when you bless someone's work, the result is an implied warranty. You are not in the insurance business.

Don't get overly technical, unless you can sense they're hungry for technical, which hardly anyone ever is. Few want to know about arsenic corroding bolts; just say the wrong bolts will rust and fail.

Say all those things, and they still are unlikely to understand.

But at least you'll have tried.

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As I re-read what I wrote it seems like a lengthy cop-out. However I've been placed in this position before - it's no fun.

Your home inspection fees were fully earned when they received the home inspection report. You don't owe them anything else. If you don't offer re-inspects because of the trouble or for whatever reason, just say so, simple as that.

Marc

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As I re-read what I wrote it seems like a lengthy cop-out. However I've been placed in this position before - it's no fun.

Your home inspection fees were fully earned when they received the home inspection report. You don't owe them anything else. If you don't offer re-inspects because of the trouble or for whatever reason, just say so, simple as that.

Marc

I tried Marc. He first called me to let me know the sellers completed the repairs and asked me to come out to make sure the repairs were done correctly (he was willing to pay). Then their realtor called me. Next was the email from his wife.

The last reinspect I did was so unpleasant I swore off them. I did a simple deck reinspect. I take a look at the deck then proceed to pull the main beam out from under it - not even attached (the deck was only a few feet off the ground). The end result was the listing agent screaming at me and telling me I needed to say exactly what, and how, the repair(s) needed to be done. Now I don't mind a listing agent having a fit but the first thing that came to mind was there ain't enough money to warrant this.

The buyer was a young single mother, no husband and no father. The reason I know this is I asked her if there was anyone that could help her overseeing what needed to be done to the home. I did that reinpect for free.

Well put Kurt.

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Explain that when you bless someone's work, the result is an implied warranty. You are not in the insurance business.

I could never understand how such is different from blessing items during the original inspection. . .

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I do re inspects for a fee but try my best to avoid them.

When I do them I am always surprised when the repairs look good.

I remember the first one I ever did about 13 - 14 years ago. There were 8 items on the summary page. The seller said that they had repaired them all and about 2 weeks after the inspection the buyer called me. I went back and the seller had done absolutely NOTHING.

I couldn't even tell if anyone had been in the house since me.

The buyer was smoking mad....

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Explain that when you bless someone's work, the result is an implied warranty. You are not in the insurance business.

I could never understand how such is different from blessing items during the original inspection. . .

My thought exactly. Home inspector myth?

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I could never understand how such is different from blessing items during the original inspection. . .

Neither do I, but that's how it always seems to work out for me.

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I do them. I don't like doing them. The hourly rate is lees the the full inspection. The other "side" is almost always a pain.

Side note: Had the listing agent bring her broker with her to the second re-inspect last week. The broker saw her make an A** of herself. I know the broker. He's a good man. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall later in the day.

As has been said, the agreed upon work is seldom done well or at all. I do require invoices from contractors and licenses are required.

Re-inspects are a loss item. The interaction with all the parties drives the return down.

IMHO performing them is a good way to cement your future relationship with a client. People remember good service and we are consumer advocates.

Is your business growing through this recession?

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I explain it to the client like this:

My fee is based on a one-time visit to the property, the time it takes to prepare the report and deliver it to you. Any trip back here to the property for any reason short of an error by myself is charged by the half hour and at twice my normal hourly rate. When I come back for a reinspection I charge like an attorney; I'm charging you for my time on the road coming and going, time on site, time preparing any follow-up reports and any time spent on the phone arguing with a ticked-off seller or seller's agent or contractor. That can get expensive, especially if I come out, the work wasn't done well, I report that to you and then you want me to come out again when the work is corrected, the work continues to be done sloppily and I continue to write it up each time I return.

When you think about it, you really don't need me to resinpsect. I'm just the family doctor and I refer you to specialists. If it's an electrical issue, insist it be corrected by a licensed electrician, a plumbing issue by a licensed plumber and so on. Whatever the issue is, you should ensist that it be corrected by a reputable professional who guarantees his or her work - not the seller or the seller's cousin or best friend, etc.. That way, if it goes wrong later, you can hold that person's feet to the fire.

I did reinspections for free for about the first four to five years. I spent many a stressful day trying to squeeze them in among other jobs and it seemed like every single one of them turned into multiple visits to verify that a screwed-up job had been fixed. I finally wised up. Now I don't get calls for many reinspections. Gee, I wonder why?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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So am I the only person here who likes doing reinspections?

Nope, I like doing them. Like I said, they often pay better than the original inspection.

What's a drag is the folks that expect it for free, and having to explain why I don't work for free.

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The last one I got asked to do was for a "flat" roof with tiled parapets that had a new TPO covering. The listing agent/seller had fessed up to my client that the work was not up to snuff but that her roofer wasn't responding to her complaints. Evidently, there had been a previous inspection. So, at the same time as my inspection the agent/seller had another roofing company (a well known one) inspect the roof. I basically just followed him around, reported the more obvious stuff to my client (also an agent), but deferred to the roofer and suggested she get the resulting work order and warranty from him or the seller. We were both under the impression that this new company was going to make the many needed repairs.

As it turned out, the agent/seller went back to the original guy, presumably armed with the list, and forced him to do the work. Keep in mind this is the same genius that thought that duct tape was an appropriate way to flash a chimney!

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A couple of weeks later my client wants me to re-inspect the roof and tells me the story of who did the repairs. She also said that the guy was offering no warranty at all on his work (original or subsequent "fixes"). I had no problem at all turning her down and, instead, recommended she get an independent licensed roofer to do the inspection, preferably the one who had done the original write-up.

Re-inspections: I've done very, very few and I certainly don't promote them.

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