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Inspect the same house twice...in a few years.


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The "twice in one day" topic led to an good conversation with some gentlemenly disagreement. Let me pose another scenario that might be interesting...

You book an inspection only to find out that you inspected the house for the homeowner/seller 5 years ago. You make this discovery well before the inspection. How do you handle (or have handled) this?

I've never faced this myself, but I imagine some of our grizzled veterans have. I have my own thoughts but I'll save them for a little later in the thread.

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The "twice in one day" topic led to an good conversation with some gentlemenly disagreement. Let me pose another scenario that might be interesting...

You book an inspection only to find out that you inspected the house for the homeowner/seller 5 years ago. You make this discovery well before the inspection. How do you handle (or have handled) this?

I've never faced this myself, but I imagine some of our grizzled veterans have. I have my own thoughts but I'll save them for a little later in the thread.

I've done it dozens of times. In fact there are several houses that I've inspected three times and at least one that I've inspected four times.

If I'm the one to figure it out, I disclose the fact that I inspected it before and then proceed with the inspection. No one has ever expressed any concern about it. But, oddly enough, in most of the cases, the customer tells me when he books the inspection that I inspected the house in the past, "Hello, Mr. Katen, I'd like you to inspect this house for me. You inspected it five years ago when Mr. Seller bought it." I don't know why this happens, except that for many years there were only two really good inspectors doing work in the nearby town of McMinnville. Between the two of us, over a period of about a decade, I think we inspected nearly half of the town. Repeats were a fact of life -- people seemed to expect it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I think I've done it about 3, maybe 4, times. When I've realized that I'd done the home before, which was when I'd pulled up in front in each case, I just informed the client before I started.

In one case, the seller came home unexpectedly in the middle of the inspection and darned near feinted when she realized the same guy who'd inspected the house for her six years before was inspecting it for the buyer. The reason was apparent by then, she was kind of embarrassed because she hadn't fixed a thing on the home in the six years since I'd inspected it and she'd received a nice credit from the seller to do the work on the house.

I ended up writing up all of the original issues plus all of the new issues and every advantage she'd gained was lost because 6 years of neglect had made things worse and things cost more to fix then they used to.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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In my case it wouldn't be a surprise when I pulled up. I have a "push-pinned" steets and maps file that I use and I would know beforehand.

I have less of an issue with this scenario, but it would still be a little weird. I would, naturally, disclose the fact to the new client, but would you also contact the seller ahead of time to let them know? I'm thinking not as it seems like a breach of confidentiality to the new client.

It would also be tough not to be curious and drag up the old report to read through it. But should you really be "pre-armed" with info the original client paid for? Hopefully, you wouldn't find something serious that you missed and should have found 5 years ago, but it is a possibility. I would, of course, have to report it to the new client, but I would also fully expect the seller to be rightfully pissed at me. Hmmm...maybe I'll get to retire before this ever crops up.

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Hi,

Jim, you are right; you aren't allowed to share the results of an inspection with another client, however, you are required to provide written disclosure of any business or familial relationships between yourself and any other party to the transaction, including sellers. So, disclose the relationship - the fact that you'd previously inspected the home - but if the second client wants to know what those results were, inform the second client that state law says you can't disclose results from an inspection done for another client.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've done it a bunch and, like Jim, my record is checking out the same house four times.

There was one particular house where I found a handful of items that I hadn't mentioned when I'd been hired by the seller. It wasn't really a matter of missing anything, but rather my being more knowledgable four or five years after my first visit. I explained this when quizzed by the seller and she was understanding . . . at least to my face.

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Having prior knowledge of the place can be a good thing. That's the way I would present it to the new clients, "Yes, I know that place." Time has gone by, so new issues have come up, new inspection. In that situation it is, I think, not a disservice to either client. You know the good features of the place as well as the bad. Your first client bought the place based on your inspection results. Must have been a decent house.

Condo building this PM. I inspected a different unit in this building earlier this year. I have pics of the grounds, common areas and the roof in my laptop. Should I show them to my new client?

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I agree, the report belongs to the person that contracted and paid for the information.

The inspector is the author NOT the owner of the report, regardless of the outcome of the real estate negotiations that report belongs to the owner.

We’re concerned about finding stuff we missed on the first visit but how about this.

Several years ago I did a second inspection on a two storey stucco home. The first inspection revealed a missing head/drip flashing at the Smartboard belly band. After a long phone conversation, the buyer’s reeltour told us that the builder would come back to fix it under warranty.

I found myself in front of the same house five months later. This time the drip flashing was in place with no visible disturbance to the stucco. The revered builder had indeed come back and ‘fixed’ it without disturbing the stucco….quite a trick.

So what would y’all do in this circumstance?

Say nothing.

Reveal that the visible flashing is a dummy flashing.

Or?

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