I disagree. The case linked above is the perfect example. The toilet paper dispenser had been previously inspected.
Same Liability Nick.
And maybe, just, just maybe, if your Contract and Report are worded ever just so ( this will pain me to say this :)) …Less Liability
The inspector wasn’t even a defendant in that case.
I think the problem comes in when you “certify” that the house is free from defects except for those that you observed.
It is giving the perception that the home is perfect, because you said so.
Not to mention that in a three month span, for example purposes, things can change.
I advise individuals who call for this service, to let the Buyer get their own inspection. If there are issues, then call me. They usually call me for the home they are buying, after seeing what the other inspector did.
Answer these two questions for me Nick:
- If the house had a buyers inspection and after closing the new owners sue for a missed issue, could or would the agents have any reason to sue the inspector without prior reciprical actions from the buyer?..
- If the sale fell through no matter what the reason, and the agents could show neglect on your failure to diagnose. A house you said was free of any defects from your sellers inspection, could they sue you for the lost commision?
wow I think you should win. Never thought of that.
Depends on the SOP’s used. Most only state that you have to only check a representative number, which is one. Which “one” was checked?
No. The buyer can’t sue the seller’s inspector. The buyer has no standing as the buyer isn’t the inspector’s client. The seller is free (as we all are) to pay for dumb advice from a dumb inspector and the buyer can’t complain (or sue) over it. The inspector has no duty (to be correct) to anyone but his client.
No. An agent can’t sue an inspector over a lost commission for the reason I gave in #1. The agent has no standing as the agent isn’t the inspector’s client either. The seller is free (as we all are) to pay for dumb advice from a dumb inspector and the agents can’t complain (or sue) over it. The inspector has no duty (to be correct) to anyone but his client.
You can’t change a SOP by leaving off the words “of windows and doors”
Suggested language for inspectors to use:
“Note: Just as no two home inspectors and no two reporting systems are alike, no two inspection reports, even if performed on the same property at the same time, are alike. This seller or pre-listing inspection report was performed for my client, the home seller, with the cooperation and assistance of my client, the home seller. It assumes full disclosure on the part of my client, the home seller. My client may choose to share my report with others, but it was performed solely for my client. Although ABC Inspections performs all inspections and writes all reports objectively without regard to the client’s personal interests, performing additional fresh inspections, which of course could reveal and report matters differently, should be considered.”
This one is a no brainer to me.
To many buyer inspectors works directly for the agent and worries to much about loosing their position with the realtor/broker thus leading to no two report reports being the same especially when it comes to pre inspections because no agents are involved. So now the seller wonders why the disparity between the two reports then lays a lawsuit on you and before you can explain yourself you already owe a lawyer 1K just for picking up the phone and retaining them. I for one don’t like doing pre inspections.
Sure it can if the experienced buyers inspector finds your miss. Once that happens the seller is going to go after the inspector who did the pre inspection. Why wouldn’t they? You the MIC inspector just cost the seller a chance at selling their home. The MIC inspector better find everything the buyer inspector finds. The buyers inspector has less liability IMO because 9 times out of 10 you won’t have another inspector doing the same exact inspection just a few months down the road. Any way you look at it though the level of liability anyone carriers depends on how smart they are within this profession.
No. Your scenario can’t have it both ways. The MIC inspector didn’t cause the deal to fall apart, the defect did, or the seller’s unwillingness to repair the defect did. The seller’s unwillingness to repair the defect would be consistent regardless of which inspector discovered it. The seller can’t/won’t make the absurd argument that he would have repaired a defect and saved his deal ONLY if the defect was discovered by a particular inspector. And the defect itself is not created (no causation) by the MIC inspector failing to find it.
That is 180 degrees backwards. Most certainly the MIC inspector DOES NOT have to find everything because the buyer’s inspector comes in behind (after) the MIC inspector. It is the buyer’s inspector that better find everything the MIC inspector missed, and not the reverse, as the buyer is the one moving into the home and will go after his inspector, not the seller’s inspector. Furthermore, because the buyer’s inspector comes in later, his report is the most current and makes the MIC’s report obsolete to a degree. The buyer’s inspection report is the fresh report that the buyer is paying for and relying on, not the MIC report.
Nope. The MIC inspector can be dumber than the buyer’s inspector and the dumb MIC inspector’s level of liability is still far less since the buyer’s inspector has the burden of finding every defect for his client who is moving IN to the home. The MIC’s client (the seller) is moving OUT of the home and doesn’t care if roof leaks appear next Spring.
There is none that exists in terms of ‘‘increased liability’’. However there is ‘‘potential’’ increased liability because of the nature of the inspection and more transactions occuring. More opinions of potential other Agents, Realtors, Buyers, Inspectors, Termite Inspectors, Contractors, on down the line. Plus all the other scenario mentioned in this thread, and likely more to come.
Remember, anyone can sue or take legal action against anyone. Nature of this process, it opens you up to more ‘‘potential’’ liability.
That’s worth $50 cash right?
In my opinion, any increase in liability will come from the way that an inspector markets it.
I am quite clear in my report and in my contract with each inspection that I perform that I have no duty, responsibility or relationship with any party whose name does not appear on my contract. If I am marketing this “move in certified” inspection report to be something for sellers to use to show potential buyers…and to entice them to buy their property based upon information that is in my report…my marketing is inconsistent with my contract.
I’m sure that Mr. Cohen will support that an inspector whose advertising conflicts with his disclaimers will not be protected by them.
Perhaps it would be more beneficial for you to clearly demonstrate how this program can be advertised and sold in a manner that is consistent with an inspector’s contract/report claims that his report (and the information contained therein) is NOT for the use of anyone not named in the pre-inspection agreement.
All reports are obsolete as soon as you put your pen down from making your notes. The time has passed and your report is read in the future making it obsolete. It doesn’t matter if your report is read at the end of the inspection or two months down the road.
Jim is correct. Your marketing can’t make more of Move In Certified than it is. The definition of MIC is:
“MoveInCertified homes have been pre-inspected by InterNACHI certified inspectors and the sellers confirm that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and no known safety hazards.”
Your liability is increased by placing a “move in certified” sign in the front yard. By doing this you are “ASSUMING” by the words on the move in certified website. That the sellers have done something “(CONFIRM) that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and no known safety hazards.”
The sign reads “Homes pre-Inspected and ready” Homes meaning plural and would indicate all homes participating in this program are ready to move in. When in fact the inspector has no idea if the house is ready or if the sellers have fixed anything you may have found. The sellers are under no obligation to fix anything. Yet your sign reads its “ready” accompanied on the same sign are the words “Move in” certified. SO either this program is a big fat lie and a fraud. Or the inspector is taking on the liability of the house being “ready” to “move in”.
You can twist this around any way you like Nick but the fact is your liability has increased by participating in this program.
In your scenario, who sues the inspector and for what?
First please don’t be offended by any of this. I just want to win the $100 or actually I want the narrative CD instead. With that being said.
(1)The buyer could sue you claiming they hired another inspector only to confirm for themselves the house is “move in certified, pre-inspected and ready”. Only to find out the house is a POS. They could at a minimum sue you for the inspection fee they paid to another inspector.
(2) The buyers sue the agent for telling them the house is marketed as “move in certified, pre-inspected and ready” and another inspection would be a waste of money after all the inspector himself said so and put that sign in the front yard. So they purchase the POS house. The agents then turns around and sues you.