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Thoughts on Walk and Talks?


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Hey folks, 

I've been seeing more companies doing these walk and talk consultations or partial home inspections where the inspector, the buyer, and the agent all go on a brief tour of the house together. The inspector notes some obvious visible defects, but there's no formal written report or anything and the whole process takes about 30 min. Personally, I don't like it. I think it's going to confuse buyers about what they should expect from a home inspection and they're going to be upset when hidden defects show up and they need to make repairs.  

Bu-uut... I've also seen the real estate industry lately and at least here (Delaware) buyers are regularly offering 60k, or more, above asking price so I get the crunch too.

Curious about what other people think of/are doing with these?

 

Thanks!

 

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It depends on the applicable laws, both statutory and administrative, of your state. In my state of Louisiana, a walk/talk that involves more than a single system of the house fits the state's definition of a home inspection. Anything fitting that definition must also meet the state's requirements. A walk/talk involving more than a single system is illegal here.

Edited by Marc
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Oregon's law is similar to Louisiana's, but Oregon allows pretty much any change to the requirements if the licensed inspector and the client agree to the changes. So, in theory, we could do these with a special contract that outlined what would and would not be done. 

I think that Jocelyn's concerns are real but, like anything else we do, best handled by carefully managing expectations.  "I'll tell you about any problems that I see from a running horse as I gallop by." 

What do the insurers think? 

 

 

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Whole systems can be omitted by agreement between inspector and client also. What can't be left out are the contract and report. Both of those must comply.

Edited by Marc
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If they want me, it's everything or nothing (if I had a nickel for everytime I've heard that...)

I'm quite busy right now partly because of all the folks that waived inspections are now calling for help with serious concerns discovered after moving in.

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Right, they are rushing the process for who's benefit? The inspector puts his business and rep at risk, buyer takes a chance, realtor takes no responsibility for setting it up.

I would say this 'Walk and Talk' is a consultation, not an inspection. Different contract, different expectations, and a full inspection still needs to be done.

We have the same real estate panic here, not enough homes for the hordes of buyers. There was talk about a legislated cooling off period for inspections before closing but buyers can still forego the inspection contingency and take a chance and they do.

 

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I do walk and talks by the hour and usually issue a letter, but with people I know it can just be verbal consult.  I encourage clients to attend every visit, and walk talk slows my process, but I love direct delivery of my thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Jim Baird said:

I do walk and talks by the hour and usually issue a letter, but with people I know it can just be verbal consult.  I encourage clients to attend every visit, and walk talk slows my process, but I love direct delivery of my thoughts.

Georgia?

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I don't think the current push for walk and talks to replace SOP inspection is a good idea, but they should be an available alternative for folks that want a little advice but don't need an SOP inspection.

I've done several for an investor buying distressed properties. She knows they are in rough shape, but doesn't always know how rough. 

I've done two for a union plasterer that knows what he knows and what he needs help with. 

It's wrong that a contractor can provide these kinds of consults but a professional consultant can't. We are in business to make money. Our associations and licensing bodies shouldn't be preventing us from doing so. Imagine we run lemonade stands, would you tolerate being forbidden from selling a glass of water?

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I have always provided any and every legal service I was qualified to do.  But at the same time making every effort to promote as "full" an inspection as practical. 

Associations are in a completely different business than me.  

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Thanks for getting back to me everybody! This is some good food for thought.

7 hours ago, Tom Raymond said:

It's wrong that a contractor can provide these kinds of consults but a professional consultant can't. We are in business to make money. Our associations and licensing bodies shouldn't be preventing us from doing so. Imagine we run lemonade stands, would you tolerate being forbidden from selling a glass of water?

Hadn't thought about it this way, hmm.

On 5/18/2022 at 12:07 PM, John Kogel said:

I would say this 'Walk and Talk' is a consultation, not an inspection. Different contract, different expectations, and a full inspection still needs to be done.

A couple folks brought up the expectations and I agree, I think setting expectations is super important here. (And/or working with people that know what they're asking for.)

And then setting those expectations within the framework of state admin and statutory law. 

 

Thanks!

 

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