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Mike Lamb

Inspection Cut Short

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I occasionally have inspections where after about an hour my client decides they do not want the property so I stop the inspection and usually give a discount.

They have already signed an agreement saying that I'm going to do a full inspection. While I start off the report saying I did not do a full inspection per my client's instructions, I do not have them sign an amended agreement.

How does everyone else handle this stuff?

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The inspection was terminated by the client prior to completion of the full inspection. Only items that had already been inspected are discussed in this report.

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Except,

I believe IL lic law says if items are going to be excluded, they have to be excluded BEFORE the inspection starts, and same agreed to in writing in the Insp Agreement, again, BEFORE the insp starts.

Or some such nonsense, added in the last lic law revision a couple years ago by some lame-brain. . .

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They also say we have to describe all the plumbing fixtures.

I think canceling the inspection and excluding items are different.

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Except,

I believe IL lic law says if items are going to be excluded, they have to be excluded BEFORE the inspection starts, and same agreed to in writing in the Insp Agreement, again, BEFORE the insp starts.

Or some such nonsense, added in the last lic law revision a couple years ago by some lame-brain. . .

Yeah, here it is, I guess. (Since we must have a signed agreement before we can do the inspection, I read #3 as saying we can't exclude systems or components unless same is spelled-out in the agreement.)

f) These Standards are not intended to limit home inspectors from:

1) Including other inspection services, systems or components in addition to those defined in these Standards;

2) Specifying repairs, provided the inspector is appropriately qualified and willing to do so; and

3) Excluding systems and components from the inspection if the exclusion is specified in the written agreement.

'Course, I just have them initial where I cross-out on the agreement anything not inspected. But since the agreement is altered after the inspection has started, I think that's probably not kosher, though.

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They also say we have to describe all the plumbing fixtures.

I think canceling the inspection and excluding items are different.

I often want to describe my plumbing fixture to certain agents present. . .

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Yeah. I write up as far as we get. I fill in any categories not inspected with

"I didn't inspect the XYZ system or components. The client cancelled the inspection before I inspected XYZ"......etc., etc.....

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If client is not in possession of a copy of a signed HI contract, I destroy the contract and usually charge by the hour, but I can't report on more than one system, as per regulations. A written report is always submitted so it can replace anything spoken.

If they are retaining a copy of the contract, I try in earnest to finish it and charge full amount.

Marc

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Why worry if they are walking away from the purchase? What kind of damages could they come after you for? A wasted afternoon?

I always do the full inspection no matter what they tell me. They may say they are walking away from the purchase then their agent talks them into purchasing the property or they change their mind, again.

Why? I don't want the liability of not reporting something. I don't want to give some lawyer even a glimmer of hope of suing me for not reporting something. This business is way too litigious as it is.

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I work exclusively for the client. I am guided by sop and regulation. When they are "done", I am "done".

Maybe a full fee or maybe part of the full fee. Just depends.

Matthew, that reasoning is exactly why it is slightly litigious. I can't even begin to guess what a salesperson may do or what my client will do.

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Me too. I do what the client wants. Sometimes I cut a discount, most times I don't.

I'm sure there's some built in liability in not doing the full report. There's some built in liability in every other part of this gig, so it's gotta be there too.

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If the client is under agreement to purchase a property and stops the inspection, I will issue a letter with the concerns discovered to that point, the reason they stopped the inspection and a statement that everything else was not inspected.

If it is an inspection prior to an offer, they don't need documentation for not proceeding.

Either way I get a good (but reduced) fee for the appointment slot and I get to eat lunch that day.

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Never in 10 years of inspecting has anyone asked to abort mid-inspection.

Closest I got was the after the inspection was done and we were standing in the driveway, they decided not to purchase the home based on foundation damage. They said I did not need to be overly picky but still document so they would have something if needed to justify to seller why they backed out. Buyer was agents son. Both Agent and son were in attendance.

Kinda been secretely hoping for this to happen at least once so I could be a member of the club [;)]

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I'm with Kibbel. I kinda like it. Folks pay me mostly full fee, zero liability as near as I can tell, and I get part of the day off with pay...and there's another job for the same people next week.

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Time for a real lunch (instead of a grabbed sandwich) is always good. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, I'm a happy lunch goer (or a go home early goer).

And a second job down the road.

What's not to be happy about! You did what you're supposed to do. Provide the clients an education about the property so they an make an informed decision regarding whether or not to purchase it.

They made a decision.

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About 3 weeks ago I let my young naive client back out of a bad deal, a 1901 shack on rotten wood posts. 15 mins into it I said call your agent and see if she can get you out of the deal. 10 mins later I was heading home for some quality time. I won't get sued. I got a thank you email. [:)]

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Never in 10 years of inspecting has anyone asked to abort mid-inspection.

Closest I got was the after the inspection was done and we were standing in the driveway, they decided not to purchase the home based on foundation damage. They said I did not need to be overly picky but still document so they would have something if needed to justify to seller why they backed out. Buyer was agents son. Both Agent and son were in attendance.

Kinda been secretely hoping for this to happen at least once so I could be a member of the club [;)]

Never? Dang, you must get some nice places. I bet it happens 2-3 times a month for me.

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Had my first one today.

I didn't get half way through the crawl before the nice single story ranch built in 2000 turned into a pole barn around a late 70s single wide.

My spidey sense was tingling a bit, but I was leaning more to pole barn than trailer. Should have known I'd get both with this guy helping out.

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My client's agent was too busy to attend the inspection so she got stuck with the seller's agent. Man was she shocked to have her listing blow up on her, especially since she sold it to her clients to begin with. I wish I could have stayed to hear that back pedaling.

Full fee for 2 1/2 hours work. No report, both agents said the contingency form marked unsatisfactory was adequate.

The cute little 30 something divorcee was so disappointed I offered her a discount on her next inspection. I am a sap sometimes.

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I offer a reduced rate if the inspection is stopped part way through. I amend the agreement stating that the inspection and the home purchase was stopped by the client and no report is given unless they want it. They always, don't bother with the report. I do keep my notes and pictures on file, in the event they are needed. More often than not, they thanks me and hire me for the next home.

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I don't discount the inspection if the client cuts it short. I offer a discount on the following inspection.

Instead of a report , I write a one topic letter describing the most egregious defects discovered and boom, they're out of their deal.

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