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Complaints


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Clients:

You cost to much.

You didn't find everything. (You didn't tell me the paint was scratched, carpet stained... ...)

I can't find what you said about the patio in the roofing section of the report. (Duh)

Why don't you call me back immediately when I leave a message on your cell phone. (I don't answer my phone during inspections, I return calls when I am done)

Realtors:

Your to picky. Your an alarmist. You kill deals.

You take to long.

Why cant I have a copy of the report today?

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Generally speaking most complaints from homeowners against home inspectors are generated from:

1) Leaking roofs

2) Wet basements

3) Heating systems

I handle each one as the unique situation it is. Essentially, I return the call, letter, or email as quickly as possible, return to the house to look at the problem, and try to be helpful, objective, and professional.

I can only recall refunding more than an inspection fee twice in 17 years. We have three inspectors and probably get one client contacting us with a problem they feel we are responsible for every year or two.

Jim

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1. First week after they move in: The door bell is not working! (Previous owner broke wires in attic moving items out of the attic)

2. One month after they move in and we have a rain storm: My roof is leaking!

3. Three months after they move in and we hit 90F: My A/C unit is not cooling!

4. Four months after they move in and we hit 90F: My A/C unit is not cooling and the A/C contractor says that the furnace is shot also and that the home inspector should have seen it!

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For what it's worth, I print my report on-site and tell the buyer to read it, mark their questions and any typos while I finish up the WDI report. The amazing thing is that they do exactly that.

I correct the typos and answer any questions and everyone goes away happy.

I always ask the buyer to follow me around, as a result there are usually few questions about the report.

Works for me!

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The few complaints I have experienced could all be traced back to me not writing my report clearly; in all cases, I "mentioned" the problem, but didn't necessarily "weight" it properly.

It's the report. Pauls method is an example of how this works. Get the report right, complaints go bye bye.

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Unlike Paul, I discourage the buyer in going around with me during on the inspection.

I explain to them, beforehand, how it's going to go, then I give them a tape measure or a Quaalude, and go do my job.

I cannot concentrate on the inspection, if I have someone looking over my shoulder, but that's just me.

After it's all done, I walk the buyer through my findings, show them where everything is, and give them time to ask any questions.

I think Paul's method would work great, if I could chew gum and walk at the same time, but I can't.

Regarding complaints, thankfully I don't get alot, but when I do, it's usually due to something they think I missed. Most people don't read your report, no matter what you have them sign.

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Regarding complaints, thankfully I don't get alot, but when I do, it's usually due to something they think I missed. Most people don't read your report, no matter what you have them sign.

Which is exactly why I find a way to go do something else at the end of the inspection while they "edit" my report for me.

It's also why I don't use a summary page.

I can't force them to read the report, but I can stick their nose in the trough!

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Ahh, A Report Summary.

Some do, some don't. I usually don't, but on occasion I do.

A wise old inspector here in Michigan once told me how his summary page references the page number of the problem being summarized, but not the actual problem. He said that this made his customers read the report. He told me that when he is really on his game, he can reference almost every page in his report in the summary. Finally, he claimed that that was the one single change he made in doing business that all but ended complaints.

I have tried it a couple of times, but for me, it is harder then it sounds. Perhaps some of you word smiths might want to try.

George

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I have a summary page that's automatically created by my software. Everything that gets anything other than the A-OK shows up on it, complete with whatever I wrote about it. I think this actually helps keep the client from missing the forest for the trees. It also means they can listen to me during the review rather than frantically scribble down notes about the problems (usually).

So far my record for a summary report is 11 pages. 2 or 3 is thin, 5 to 7 is average. I suspect this is part of the reason I'm so popular with so many local realtors.

Brian G.

Didn't Get Many Realtor Christmas Cards This Year [;-xmas] [:-weepn]

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I don't remember that last time that we got a buyers complaint. I contribute that mostly to the client being at the inspection.

We did get two written complaints to the association last year we belong to.

Here is the closing on one of them:

We have now sold the house but took a 5,000.00 loss because of him, He sould not be doing inspections! He is an ass (underlined).

He spent 4 hours here and We've never take more than 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I have a good mind to sue him for our losses.

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Originally posted by E. Burns

I don't remember that last time that we got a buyers complaint. I contribute that mostly to the client being at the inspection.

We did get two written complaints to the association last year we belong to.

Here is the closing on one of them:

We have now sold the house but took a 5,000.00 loss because of him, He sould not be doing inspections! He is an ass (underlined).

He spent 4 hours here and We've never take more than 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I have a good mind to sue him for our losses.

Now, that's the kind of complaint one wants. (I'm assuming it is the seller complaining about your thorough inspection.)

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I typed reports for 14 years, then realized one day that 90% of what I write I see day after day. I spent a year writing a narrative type checklist that I've now been using for 12 years.

The backs of my checklists have graphics or other info on what I'm discussing on the facing checklist page. Every comment in my report has a number - so when I go to the "Overview Page" I might say "Repair comment 3a on page 14".

They've got to go to that page to read the comment - less complaints.

Dan Bowers (KC)

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