Jump to content

Prior To Close.....


Recommended Posts

Feel free to steal or comment on the following:

Often we make note of problems and recommend repair. Many times a problem can become worse if it is not corrected. We recommend that a qualified contractor correct the problems.

During your final walk-through inspection you should have the opportunity to check the home when it is vacant. At this time you may be able to check the areas that were concealed at time of inspection. You should check to see if anything has changed since the original home inspection (that is typically performed a few months prior to closing). It is also advisable for the owner to provide any operating manuals for equipment, along with any warranties that are available. You should operate kitchen equipment, plumbing fixtures, heating and air conditioning systems, and any other equipment that is included as part of the purchase. It is also important to check for any signs of water penetration problems in the house (interior, basement and in the attic). If the owner has agreed to any repair work, the documentation for this work should be obtained. Any problems that are discovered during the walk-through inspection should be discussed with your attorney, prior to closing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use it occasionally, mostly when it's something that looks like it could become a can of worms once opened (probable hidden damage, etc.). Clients here sometimes choose to take care of certain things themselves to have control over the process, but if it's one of those can-o-worms problems it could ballon on the money side.

Brian G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in Pittsburgh this past weekend for the ASHI MRC requirement. The PRO-ASHI chapter did a fine job, nice conference. Anyway, during one of the seminars we talked about using the "prior to close statement". It is recommended, due to the attorney's finding a bit of a dent in the armor, that we use it on major items such as a weak roof, questionable furnace etc. It's not enough to tell them to have a licensed & competent ("competent" has now been added to due to the fact that all licensed professionals might not be competent - Oy Vey...) look at it but we should advise them that they should do it "prior to close" so that they can still negotiate/not bear the full brunt of the repair if needed.

[:-indiffe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put this in the beginning of the body of the report. I guess I will have to add "competent" now.

Items noted in the report in need of service, repair or replacement should be addressed prior to close of escrow by a licensed contractor or technician in the appropriate field to fully determine the extent of the issue and costs involved in repair or replacement.

Sometimes I reitterate this in the report. Last week I inspected an older house that had a partial crawlspace with no access, lord knows what is going on down there. When they do find out, I want to be sure I am covered.

Actually it seems to me you can say it until you are blue in the face and most times they will close without further investigation anyway.[:-banghea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I was using "qualified" but competent sounds better. I mention "prior to settlement" when it involves possibly hidden or major damage; defined as cost of repairs estimated over $500. Maybe I will add it to the inspection agreement and not mention it at all in the rest of the report. If you show preference for one issue and not another it could be a liability.

Mike Garcia

No Suep for you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a lot of this language in various ways, but lately (the last year or so), I've been having 2nd, 3rd, & 4th thoughts about it.

Is this stuff a lot of urban legend? Has anyone ever heard of or experienced a problem because the customer didn't take action before closing? Has anyone ever had a problem because they left out the word "competent" in the recommendation for a contractor?

If we are somehow on the hook, what about the attorney's that review the report for their clients?

And, who is recommending these report writing recommendations? Are they folks actually in the business, or are they folks in the business of advising home inspectors?

Does anyone think that recommending a "competent" contractor over a simple "licensed" contractor protects them from future legal action?

I ask, because I've been saying this stuff for 20 years because I heard it from someone, who heard it from someone, etc. Nowadays, I'm thinking it's a lot of gobbledeegook by a bunch of goofballs (me being one of them) that are making stuff up as they go along.

I think it's all part of the innane manner in which we've been writing reports for decades. Kind of like the nasty passive voice stuff ("it was observed that the ....."), or the InspectorSpeak that seems to be the accepted norm of reportage.

How about "The furnace is in horrible condition; it could blow @ anytime. You should find the least capable incompetent fool in your region to drive by, take a look through the window, & send you his opinion via note in a bottle tossed from an ocean going liner. After review by this incompetent fool, you should take your sweet time in thinking about it, let alone doing anything about it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Terence McCann

I was in Pittsburgh this past weekend for the ASHI MRC requirement. The PRO-ASHI chapter did a fine job, nice conference. Anyway, during one of the seminars we talked about using the "prior to close statement". It is recommended, due to the attorney's finding a bit of a dent in the armor, that we use it on major items such as a weak roof, questionable furnace etc. It's not enough to tell them to have a licensed & competent ("competent" has now been added to due to the fact that all licensed professionals might not be competent - Oy Vey...) look at it but we should advise them that they should do it "prior to close" so that they can still negotiate/not bear the full brunt of the repair if needed.

[:-indiffe

A perfect example of why attorneys are the last creatures on earth that home inspectors should be taking report-writing advice from.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was an article i think in the Communicator a few months back about this very thing. I cant find it now, but the gist was a lawsuit brought on a home inspector. As I remember, the inspector pointed out the defects / defficiencies but didn't stress enough (according to the plaintiff) the importance of doing the repairs or of having then further investigated prior to close. The home inspector won, but the lawyer thought it was enough to bring a suit.

Maybe somebody else remembers the article better than I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seminar was conducted by Mr. Bob Pearson of the Allen Insurance Group. Bob was a former home inspector, perhaps some of you reconize the name?

One of the case examples he referred to was one in which Mr. Scott Kaylor of Pelican Property Inspections, located in Florida, was involved in. His client, the home buyer, happened to also be an attorney.

Long story short: The client wrote a letter to Scott saying that due to the omissions, on the inspectors part, they were entitled to $10,550.00. Scott wrote back pointing to the fact that he had told them to get a licensed professional out, "prior to close" to look at the problems listed. The problem went away. This is a thumbnail of the actual story. I have copies of the actual letters incase anyone is interested in looking at them, just drop me an email and I'll shoot them over. The name and address of the client have been erased.

Again, the point Bob was making is to try and keep things as bullet proof as possible.

I always wonder when enough is enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting, but this is a case where the numbers don't equal the result. Someone tried to shake the inspector down, the report made the complaint go away. The "prior to close" argument is just a sideline in this case.

What if the report had said "These are very major problems that are going to be very expensive to fix. Have a contractor reinpsect the defects & provide specficiations for repair & the approximate cost. If you don't, you will find yourself paying for very expensive repairs."

The above is kind of clumsy, but it is trying to make a point. Would it really matter if you said "prior to close", or not?

IOW, my point is this; inspectors are always working @ InspectorSpeak, which tends to obfuscate simple facts. If we wrote like we talked, there would be fewer, or no, misunderstandings.

Personally, I like reports that say simple things, like "this thing is broken; it should be fixed immediately. The fix is expensive. Have a contractor tell you how much it's going to cost."

No "prior to close". No "it appears to be", no "it was observed that....". Simple observation, simple analysis, simple direction. Is it really necessary to add all the extraneous InspectorSpeak? I don't think so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

No "prior to close". No "it appears to be", no "it was observed that....". Simple observation, simple analysis, simple direction. Is it really necessary to add all the extraneous InspectorSpeak? I don't think so.

Well...in the world I inspect in neither the problems nor answers are always clear-cut. I don't think it's realistic to expect to be able to state definitively what is or is not going on (or what should be done about it) in every situation. In those cases it's both wise and accurate to say "appears to be" or some other phrase that amounts to exactly the same thing. "It looks like "X", but I can't be sure because I can't get enough information by normal means and I'm not about to tear it open."

"Prior to close" is a personal choice, methinks. "It was observed that" is just God-awful passive voice. My 2 cents.

Brian G.

It Was Observed That I Appear to Be Differing Prior To Closing My Post [:-dev3][:D][:-dev3]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We never say prior to close or anything like that. We just tell them what we think and can see or "prove". In Michigan, telling someone to do something prior to close would nearly cross the line of facilitating the sale and transfer of real property. It is my opinion you should inspect and report as simply as possible and let others do what ever they want. "You need a new roof, this one is worn out". "The furnace is broken and needs to be repaired or replaced". "this is a worn out water heater and you should get a home warranty before you close on this house. Your agent can sell you one or just put the bite on the seller. Don't file a claim until after 30dys and just tell the warranty company it was working fine!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Les

In Michigan, telling someone to do something prior to close would nearly cross the line of facilitating the sale and transfer of real property.

You lost me there Les. Sounds to me more like you would be obstructing the sale, not facilitating it. I presume you're aiming at the idea of an HI getting a bit mixed up in the negotiation / transaction process instead of being entirely independent of it?

Brian G.

Presume...The Part Before the Sume? [:-tong2]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if one is telling someone to do something before closing, they are then presuming that the property is going to close, which places the HI very close to the realm of facilitator. I think we need to ask Judge Roberts about this one after his confirmation hearings.

Which reminds me.....

I was wondering why no one has asked our Supreme Court appointee if Brad & Jen simply grew apart, or if it was really Angelina that drove a wedge between them(?).......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Michigan - Facilitating the sale of real property is the role of a licensed real estate agent. That does not always mean they deal in "positives". When you inspect a house, you are likely performing a job that was part of the initial purchase agreement. Inspectors should inspect and report as accurately as possible and let the chip fall where they may. We have no interest in the sale or transfer. It may sound crazy, but I don't care if they buy or not. I always wonder how inspectors can advertise "we don't get paid until it closes".

My water heater example was an attempt at humor because it does cross the line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Undoubtedy (note the silent "B") Les has read (A) some (E)sort of periodical from the turn of the century and I'm inclined to get on board (A) and remove all references to "closing or settlement (T) or whatever" (H). Thank you Less for yet another astonishing and humbling opinion.

Mike Garcia

Can't spell, something to do with Puerto Rico. [:-cowboy]Pronouced: Ca-ba-yeh-ro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"It may sound crazy, but I don't care if they buy or not."

I care...a lot. If they don't buy, my phone rings the next week or so to do another job for them. One of my primary goals of each inspection is to find as many costly, legitimate deficiencies that I can so the Client is (rightfully) scared as heck to go through the purchase. If the fear-of-god is justified, I'll put it in 'em in a minute.

I realize that's off your real point, but I do care if they buy or not...a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not supposed to care if they buy or not, so I don't. If they do buy I'm not an SOB that time, if they don't I probably get another job. Win-win if you ask me.

I use the "prior to closing" phrase when I think my client may get blind-sided with huge expenses after the sale. That I care about. Most of my clients are not sophistocated in real estate or construction/defects/repairs, so I worry that if I don't warn them in certain types of situations the people in the deal who are sophistocated in real estate will let them take the hit. There's also the not so inconsequential or unlikely possiblity they might look for someone to blame/pay when that happens, legitimate or not.

But that's my take, and I don't have any big issue with anyone who sees this particular topic otherwise. Do the right thing, whatever you believe that is, and you'll probably be fine.

Right Mike? (note the silent "e")

Brian G.

There Are No Silent Letters in "Brian Arthur Goodman" [^]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's smart.

I got away from "official" prioritizing several years ago. It's impossible; one person will totally freak about a little asbestos tile in the closet, & the next person won't care if the whole house is asbestos. Same w/just about everything; everyone is going to have their hot buttons, & it's impossible for us to know what they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...