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For "Home Inspections" we use a compueter generated home inspection software with pics. However we get some calls from people buying commercial or multi family (3 or better) buildings. These people do not want to pay for a "Full Home Inspection" and they are prepared to spend money for ongoing maintenance. For example I discuss with them that a FUll Home Inspection will tell them which faucets leak, which outlets need gfci, etc. Or we do it on a consulting basis. This tells them about the plumbing as a whole --lead service pipe, galvanized pipe--things that could require redoing the whole system. Basically it is at their pace, "A walk and talk", they sign an agreement that informs that we are not doing a Home Inspection, that we are not following any standard just walking around the building answering their questions and pointing things out. At the end they do receive a documant summarizing the things that we discussed.

We charge $250 for the first hour and $150 for every hour there after.

I am posting this because I have been reading abour guys that do pre-listing with no report. If someone wanted I might do this for pre-listing. However I worry about that. Not because of Liability but because of this phrase "People's perception is their reality." We know that the seller who paid us for this limited inspection (pre listing) signed that we were not doing a detailed inspection. But after the next Yahoo comes in for the buyer and does a detailed inspection, I fear the seller might think he is alot "better" than us. We hear all the time from buyers and sellers "Wow you guys are alot more thorough than...." I like that. I like finding a lead service pipe that alot of other inspectors missed or did not know about..

SO what does everyone think about offering different services? and am I off base on the fear of people paying for a limited quicky breeze through-pre listing and then forgetting that we can be mroe thorough when they are buying??

This message board is great, home today with the almost 4 week old, great source of entertainment for me. Feels more productive than the TV.

Pete

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Pete,

Anything that you think can go wrong, can indeed go wrong. As if that is not bad enough, there are a lot of things that can go wrong that you will never think of until they actually do go wrong.

Everyone is different here, But as for ME, I have chosen to inspect only single family homes for buyers only. I hope to pick one thing, do it well, and market the hell out of it. Hopefully then I will be too busy to even worry about anything else.

4 weeks aye? you lucky dog.

George

just MY opinion.

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Pete,

It’s not without merit, but your idea wouldn’t suit me for two reasons:

1) Ours is a high liability business to begin with. Doing less than the most comprehensive, professional inspection you’ve got in you, even by design, feels like increasing your liability to me and I’d rather not.

2) My business is 100% referrals. Doing my very best work gets me more referrals. Doing less than that might stem the referral flow, which stems cash flow. This is the wrong direction for a young capitalist like myself.

Just my take on it,

Jim

PS You've got a 4 week old at home? Why are you wasting time on the internet when you could be taking a nap?

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Over the past few years I have done many multi family units, from a 260 unit apartment complex with pools to duplex's and I price them based on the amount of time I think that I will have in the project. I know how much I want to make per hour/day, I establish what my client wants and then I price it out accordingly. I always issue a written report with photo's and if it is an apartment complex I have designed a matrix that gives the condition of each unit. With an apartment complex you will be spending about five minutes in each unit, if that. They will all be similar floor plans and you can really move fast if you have a partner.

Multi unit inspections are a whole lot simpler than single family homes, it just takes a different mindset when you are doing them. We had a great session on this at InspectionWorld this year.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

Pete,

It’s not without merit, but your idea wouldn’t suit me for two reasons:

1) Ours is a high liability business to begin with. Doing less than the most comprehensive, professional inspection you’ve got in you, even by design, feels like increasing your liability to me and I’d rather not.

2) My business is 100% referrals. Doing my very best work gets me more referrals. Doing less than that might stem the referral flow, which stems cash flow. This is the wrong direction for a young capitalist like myself.

Just my take on it,

Jim

PS You've got a 4 week old at home? Why are you wasting time on the internet when you could be taking a nap?

After the first night she started sleeping 8-9 hours a night in two bursts; varying splits-- (4&4, 5&3). My wife and I recognize that we are lucky. My aunt keeps threatening to call child welfare--she suspects we must be drugging the baby. Just lucky I guess.

I agree with you the liability is probably higher. We try to mitigate it by using a solid agreement and written report with photos. One lawyer I have done these with has used us for two buildings and given us one referral. So hopefully it is worth it. Plus they are alot of fun..

Pete

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Congratulations Pete.

I have 19 and 16 year old son and a 4 month old daughter.

Yep.....I've been recycled.

The baby goes to bed at 9:45 pm and sleeps through until we wake her up at 8:00 am. It wasn't that easy with my boys. We've kept her on a strict schedule and it's paying off.

We too have been threatened with the Children and Family Services phone call.

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Originally posted by Bobby Ryon

I have 19 and 16 year old son and a 4 month old daughter.

My step-daughter is 21, my son is 5. Must be a virus going around. If you don't understand women now Bobby, you will in about 20 years. I learned more about the subject in the first 5 - 6 years after I married into a teenager (step-daughter was 14) than I did in the 30 years that came before. A lot of it still doesn't make sense to me, but I understand it...know what I mean? [:-boggled]

Brian G.

Yes, They Do Things Just to Drive Us Crazy Sometimes [:-crazy] [-crzwom]

Why? Why does the sun shine? Why does the wind blow? Hell if I know, it just does.

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Written report. All the above reasons.

Multi-family inspections appear daunting @ first, but are not. Commercial is the same way. Surprisingly, I find commercial inspections to be much less liability, for several reasons.

The average investor isn't worried about a cracked windowpane. They know that they have to change out major equipment. The don't care about someones stained ceiling tile. Subcontract out the environmentals.

Very often, the inspection boils down to a big flat roof, a package HVAC system, sidewall & glazing, & the parking lot. Very often, tenants are responsible for the package units and mechanicals in their spaces.

I've modified my report system to accomodate an unlimited number of interiors and HVAC systems, so multi-family reportage has gotten real easy. I'm going to do the same for the electrical & plumbing. If one is adept @ single family for buyers, the move to multi-family & small commercial is relatively simple.

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  • 1 month later...

I have performed several multi unit inspections and have been doing commercial inspections for several years. I agree with the idea that commercial inspections can be a better type of inspection to do.

The emotional expectations are usually not involved as with residential inspections. However the liability of missing something is much greater.

Developing your own report format or altering a general home inspection report can help to make sure that you can limit some of the liability.

I would be very carefull of just a verbal report

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Reuters, Mar 4, 2004: The State Police in Illinois report massive traffic jams from all points of the compass as home inspectors from all over the U.S. head to Chicago to get into the lucrative commercial inspection trade. Chicago police report one local home inspector was forced to flee across the lake to Canada in a vintage canoe with hords of angry local Chicago inspectors in pursuit in rowboats.

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