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B.C. Inspector On the Hook For $192,000


hausdok
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Yeah, but more importantly, if you read a few of the comments, most people seem to think that if they pay one of us a few hundred bucks, it should result in blanket coverage for anything that goes wrong with the house in the future.

One commenter suggested that the limit of liability clauses should be illegal. These are, of course, the same people who price-shop and often respond with stunned silence when I tell them what my fees are.

I looked at a 150K house last week. The buyers paid me five hundred bucks, and were able to negotiate 5K off the selling price. What's more, though, they now have the right to sue me should some problem arise in the future that they think I should have told them about.

Not a bad deal for the buyers, huh? Spend five hundred, receive five thousand for their investment, and retain the right to receive even more in the future should they opt to file a lawsuit.

You know, we all might be a bunch of assholes for signing up to be home-inspector dudes.

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You know, we all might be a bunch of assholes for signing up to be home-inspector dudes.

Yeah, I'm with you there but it's quite possible that this inspector was some realtor friendly ass kisser brushing rose colored strokes on a non alarming canvas while composing that pretty picture of a country estate in a lovely bucolic setting.

One must keep things in perspective... right?

Starving artist.. sofa paintings starting at $39.95 (only 4,806 left to move till he's back in the black)

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The court found that Imre Toth of Aldergrove was negligent because he failed to inspect the entire home, and should have advised the couple to hire a structural engineer before they bought the $1.1-million house in September 2006.

Toth's estimate of $20,000 to repair the house was less than one-tenth of the actual cost of $212,000.

In my neck of the woods, intentional obfuscation is as bad a problem as incompetence. Sorry I'm so jaded. Really, it'd be hard to miss a $200K problem.

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I love this one:

But the judge found that Toth did not give the couple sufficient time to read the contract and did not do enough to highlight the clause limiting his liability.

Please sign the contract here and now please sign this document that states that you read the other document. Now, lets all go to the bank and ask the nice lady to notarize the document stating that you read the other document.

Just another case were no one is responsible for their own actions anymore. Got to be someones fault - just ask any attorney.

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I love this one:

But the judge found that Toth did not give the couple sufficient time to read the contract and did not do enough to highlight the clause limiting his liability.

Please sign the contract here and now please sign this document that states that you read the other document. Now, lets all go to the bank and ask the nice lady to notarize the document stating that you read the other document.

Just another case were no one is responsible for their own actions anymore. Got to be someones fault - just ask any attorney.

I don't know all the details, but the Judge makes a good point. Inspectors should be careful with requiring the client to sign a Pre-Inspection Agreement on-site right before the inspection begins. I've seen a lot of Agreements and some of them are three pages long. Our Pre-Inspection Agreements are legal binding documents and the client should be afforded enough time to review and read the document thoroughly.

When Inspectors present the Agreement to the client on-site and require immediate signature, a crafty Attorney could argue that the document was signed under duress because the Inspector would not begin the Inspection until it's signed. I think that's a valid argument. Most Real Estate Contracts have 3 to 10 day Home Inspection Contingencies. So, if the inspection is scheduled on the last or second to last day of the contingency, then the client does not really have a choice in signing the document. They feel pressured to do so out of fear that they will not be able to find another Inspector in time. This of course is just one scenario only to make a point.

I always send the Pre-Inspection Agreement in advance. Actually, when a Home Inspection Appointment is scheduled, the Agreement automatically goes out 15 minutes after the order is taken. It's all automated through the ISN http://inspectionsupport.net/about/.

The client has plenty of time to click-n-sign the agreement and all of the pertinent information is captured when they do (date, time, ip address, initials, signature, etc.). So, they can't say they did not have enough time to read the Agreement.

Kevin

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You can read a whole bunch more about the inspection, subsequent inspection and the court case here...

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/ ... SC1515.htm

After a quick scan it appears that the case is largely the result of the HI not accessing a crawl space that he knew must be there and then, seemingly, made no further mention of it. This despite finding rot in a similar crawl section on the other side of the house. A subsequent inspection by the EW inspector found a lot of structural rot in the un-inspected crawl. It also sounds like there was major ongoing settlement that wasn't sufficiently addressed. If you read through the testimony, it does sound like the guy screwed up the inspection and his recommendations were, at best, weak and his "ballpark" estimates, while only verbal, were off by miles (kilometers?).

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Yes. Thanks, Richard.

I have to say, though, doof or not, when accepting a $450.00 fee sets someone up to lose nearly 200K, there's something wrong with the bidness model.

Say someone checks out 300 houses a year. Theoretically, using the math from the Canadian case, that person is potentially exposing himself to losses of sixty million bucks.

Who remains convinced that their fees are high enough?

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Not me.

It's insane, sort of, but it's not that big a risk in this story.

Can't get in a crawlspace? For Gods Sake, tell folks they have to get me in there. Got to. Sealed crawlspaces are where all the nastiest stuff always is. There's rot on the other side of the house fer cripesake.

That one's not even risky, it's a gimme........

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Not me.

It's insane, sort of, but it's not that big a risk in this story.

Can't get in a crawlspace? For Gods Sake, tell folks they have to get me in there. Got to. Sealed crawlspaces are where all the nastiest stuff always is. There's rot on the other side of the house fer cripesake.

That one's not even risky, it's a gimme........

And this one had a DOOR! WT......

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Articles like this and the usual subsequent comments always focus on how horrible home inspectors are and how worthless pre-purchase inspections can be.

After scanning the filed judgment that Richard posted, there are 2 lessons that folks seeking the services of a home inspector should heed.

1. The agent recommended the inspector and arranged the inspection.

2. The inspection fee on a $1.1 million dollar home was $450.50.

Each of the above individually, should be a red flag. Combined, there should be huge red banners a-wavin' with warning shots a-flyin'.

They selected a cheap shit inspector doing what he can to appease the referring agent. At that price, he probably had another one to do that day. After the inspection, the buyers removed the inspection contingency and completed the sale on schedule. The inspector knows that results in future referrals from that agent. He's now paying a hefty price for that practice.

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I always send the Pre-Inspection Agreement in advance. Actually, when a Home Inspection Appointment is scheduled, the Agreement automatically goes out 15 minutes after the order is taken. It's all automated through the ISN http://inspectionsupport.net/about/.

The client has plenty of time to click-n-sign the agreement and all of the pertinent information is captured when they do (date, time, ip address, initials, signature, etc.). So, they can't say they did not have enough time to read the Agreement.

Kevin

Would you explain the procedure a little more Kevin?

I take it your are using this company to book and schedule your inspections?

How do they digitally sign the contract?

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The only thing this doofus did right was to review his contract with his client, although he should have done so prior to inspecting the house. I read every one of my day job contracts to my customers and stop and explain (again) anything that seems to puzzle them. I just might start doing the same with my inspection agreement.

Tom

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