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For the purpose of pre listing repairs, has a seller ever wanted to hire you to just do a quick walk through and tell them the major things they should fix before listing a property?

By walk through I mean just that. Walk and talk and point out what and why. No written report, no guarantee. Lets say $100 for one hour on site of pointing your finger and running your mouth.

Lets call it a "pre listing repair consultation"

I know this concept does not fall anywhere near the field of home inspection the way we know it. However, do you think there is a way for an idea like this to take root as an entity outside the field of the typical home inspection?

For the record this is not my idea but it was presented to me by a party that helps people manage the sale of their own homes. I told them I was not sure if an idea like that would work but I would contemplate it. So I come here and float it out there to see what you all think.

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Hi,

Yeah, I do them every once in a while, but, like Walter, I won't even get into my truck for that. At that rate, by the time I fought my way through traffic to get there I'd be going backwards. You're in business now. You need to stop thinking in the hourly wage terms that you're used to, and start thinking in terms of what the cost of your services needs to be for you to cover your overhead plus make per hour what you need. For something like that, I charge a minimum 2-hour rate.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I do need to focus on the real inspection process I agree. This was an idea brought up to me. I thought is was worth kicking around for possible future implementation. Just a way to supplement things.

I could imagine having my hands full with everything else and it not being worth my time. I hope it turns out that way.

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I do them quite a bit, especially when our market was busier; there'd be multiple offers within hours of the home hitting the market.

My client wanted to make an offer and remove their inspection contingency. I'd basically do the same inspection I always do; no paperwork.

I'd charge a little more than half my full rate. It'd take me about half the time.

I think its a great "added service" that was discussed in another topic. You save time and the client saves money.

Personally, with as much grief as I go through trying to write a decent report, many times I prefer to do this. Less mental hassle and fatigue just blathering to the client while they're taking notes.

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Originally posted by AHI

Can you give me an example of what you might say in an agreement for a service such as I mentioned above?

Well, what do you want to do? When a customer asked me for a straight walk-and-talk, I wrote up an agreement something like this:

I agree to walk you around and through the house at 1 Elm St., explain any problems I find, and answer any questions you have. I won't see every square inch of the house, and it's possible that I could miss some problems. I won't prepare a written report.

The cost of this service is $____.

I charged about double the number you suggested, per hour.

I also explained that for about an hours' pay, I'd go ahead and write a report. "It's a better use of your money," I told 'em.

Most -- but not all -- customers went ahead and bought the HI with the written-report option.

WJ

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Contrary to what most inspectors think, I much prefer some nature of written report. We use approx the same verbage as WJ cited, but call the service "Record of Site Visit". We often use the format and protocols on pos houses being purchased by first timers. They take about the same amount of time as an easy inspection and we offer no follow-up other than something mandated by law. Our fee is determined on-site by the inspector and goes all over the board.

One of the reasons we like to commit something to paper is we talk differently than we write on this type inspection. I may say "Have the fireplace and chimney cleaned before you use it this fall." The client makes a note "fireplace and all chimneys need to be cleaned" That gets translated onto an addendum to contract as "Fireplace and chimney is loaded with creasote and must be cleaned". Or I often say "furnace is older than dirt." Agent and client hear "Furnace is no good and must be replaced." you get my point.

I don't write books during an inspection, so short sweet statements serve me well. "Roof must be replaced." "Furnace is worn out." "Gutters are filled with leaves." etc

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Illinois requires a written report for a "home inspection", but when I do a walk & talk, I have an agreement that states "this is not a home inspection per Illinois HI Act 1854" (or whatever the number is).

IOW, I tell them I'm not doing what's covered by the HI licensing law; I'm doing a custom report, w/specific descriptions of what I'm doing and not doing.

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Originally posted by kurt

Illinois requires a written report for a "home inspection", but when I do a walk & talk, I have an agreement that states "this is not a home inspection per Illinois HI Act 1854" (or whatever the number is).

IOW, I tell them I'm not doing what's covered by the HI licensing law; I'm doing a custom report, w/specific descriptions of what I'm doing and not doing.

That's the thing. Just do something that's not a home inspection, give it another name, do what needs doing, collect fees. It's so easy.

I get a little amazed that so many HIs are worried that the govt. drones are going to kick their doors down for some real or imagined minor variance from what the not-legally-trained HIs think are bugaboos.

Just yesterday -- at the "Chained" trial, the knucklehead builder -- who, don't you know, is another ITA instructor -- sat three feet from the judge and said "home inspectors don't do codes!"

The judge calmly and cheerfully explained that "not required to cite codes" isn't the same thing as "forbidden from citing codes."

I'm a dumbass magnet. Seriously.

WJ

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That's exactly what I was thinking. Separate the service from our line of work. Why not? Not only do you not have to worry about the gov, but no worry about compromising ethics or standards of practice set forth by the HI organizations. If its not a home inspection all that jazz doesn't apply.

I would rather not even write anything in these cases. Too much trouble trying to quantify what should be written and not. Just point your finger, run your mouth, collect you money and boogie on down the road.....

...although I don't think I'm worth as much as some of you all.....yet...

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp[/i

Just yesterday -- at the "Chained" trial, the knucklehead builder -- who, don't you know, is another ITA instructor -- sat three feet from the judge and said "home inspectors don't do codes!"

The judge calmly and cheerfully explained that "not required to cite codes" isn't the same thing as "forbidden from citing codes."

I'm a dumbass magnet. Seriously.

WJ

That's gonna be a really good column someday.....

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I've thought about doing these walk-through inspections myself, but I've always written off the idea because of the insurance issue. What do you do about insurance? I doubt that you could get coverage for something like that. I surely wouldn't want to do them bare. You're bound to miss stuff on a quick walk-through. Without a written report, the chance of getting sued is probably pretty small, but the possibility is still there.

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Hi Joe,

I have a special pre-inspection agreement for these. It's a whole page but says, in a nutshell, "This is a limited inspection that does not comply with any nationally known standards of practice. I'm going to look at five areas. It's limited to 90 minutes at a cost of $XXX. There won't be any written report, there are no guarantees, and you are indemnifying me completely from any liability related to this inspection, now and forever. Sign here."

Works for me.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Yeah yeah..keep the contract language commin.....I'm gonna be drawin one these up soon.

I have a connection who can line me up with clients who could use a service like this. It can be a great benefit to a seller to know the kind of things an HI hired by a buyer might point out. The seller can then be in more control of the expenses for repairs prior to listing instead of being forced to make a last minute decision to lop possibly thousands off of an agreed price at the settlement table.

If one wanted to get separate general liability insurance for this service it shouldn't be much. It would fall into an unknown category by the underwriters. I got a quote for such thing of less than $300 a year for up to $500,000 worth of coverage. Its not E&O. that might only apply to a service with a written report.

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How does this sound for a contract of services?

I, John Dirks Jr., will walk around and through the grounds and property located at__________. As a home repair consultant I will give my professional opinion about the systems and components of the property. I will say when I think something needs repair or alteration and address any glaring defects and safety issues as well as answer questions.

I will not be providing a written report although the client is welcome to take notes of their own as I talk. This limited walk through consultation is not a home inspection and should not be considered as such. I will not see every square inch of the property and I will likely miss some things. I will spend _______hr(s) on site looking around and conveying information orally.

There is no guarantee or warranty whatsoever associated with this service. As the under-signed, you are releasing me completely from any liability related to this home repair consultation, now and forever.

The fee for the service is $_____ and is due on site at the signing of this contract.

Signature____________________________ Date__________

Printed name____________________________

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Originally posted by AHI

How does this sound for a contract of services?

I, John Dirks Jr., will walk around and through the grounds and property located at__________. As a home repair consultant I will give my professional opinion about the systems and components of the property. I will say when I think something needs repair or alteration and address any glaring defects and safety issues as well as answer questions.

I will not be providing a written report although the client is welcome to take notes of their own as I talk. This limited walk through consultation is not a home inspection and should not be considered as such. I will not see every square inch of the property and I will likely miss some things. I will spend _______hr(s) on site looking around and conveying information orally.

There is no guarantee or warranty whatsoever associated with this service. As the under-signed, you are releasing me completely from any liability related to this home repair consultation, now and forever.

The fee for the service is $_____ and is due on site at the signing of this contract.

Signature____________________________ Date__________

Printed name____________________________

What Les said. Not to be harsh, but that text needs a serious critical edit. It needs to convey things you didn't convey, and it needs to not convey some things you conveyed.

One more time: Do not rely on (99.9% of)home inspectors for writing advice. Find somebody who's really good at it.

WJ

WJ

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John,

I've not known most of us to ever say "I told you so".

The problem, as I see it, is the public paints us all with the same brush. So, when one of us does something a little silly, we all pay the price. Inspectors have not been around a very long time and we still have some identity issues. It is still quite difficult to distinguish between "certified/licensed" inspectors.

The real point is - Listen, none of us get paid for the advice.

Oh ya - find an atty that has some knowledge of, at least, construction contracts. Most don't.

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Originally posted by AHI

Too much trouble trying to quantify what should be written and not. Just point your finger, run your mouth, collect you money and boogie on down the road.....

It still takes up an appointment. One that could have been filled with a full-fee inspection.

If they don't want me to do my job the right way, I'm really not interested.

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Well, come on now, there's lots of "right ways" to provide intelligent folks w/the information they need.

I understand what it means when someone's buying a house, why a written report is necessary, the SOP, state licensing laws, and the rest of it, but I also understand the needs of several of my long term customers that buy & sell properties like used cars.

They want and need specific info on a limited number of items; what's wrong w/providing it for them?

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