A couple notes about the liability (or lack of it) in Move In Certified.

The definition of Move In Certified is:

MoveInCertified homes have been pre-inspected by NACHI certified inspectors and the sellers confirm that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and no known safety hazards.

You the inspector do nothing different (other than host your report online at FetchReport.com). The seller, using your report and what he knows and has to disclose by law anyway, determines if his house is Move In Certified. So you haven’t assumed any additional liability.

  • Your liability is probably reduced by having a better report generated with the help of the seller (the person who knows the home best).
  • Your liability is actually less because the buyer (the one who would complain later) isn’t your client. Trust me, it’s much better to work for the people moving out of the house you inspected as opposed to the people moving in.
  • Your liability is even less because there is more time (on an inspection for a seller) between the time of the inspection and the time the buyer moves in.
  • Your liablity is even less because the buyer may hire his own inspector and find something you missed. Yes… that is a good thing as although you may have missed something, having the buyer’s inspector find it in time for the buyer to address it, makes their damages zero.
    *]Your liability is even less because the seller becomes a partner with you in reporting the condition of the home. He/she is the one confirming (see definitiion at top of this post).
    But let’s look at it from the worst possible scenerio:. You goof. And the house really wasn’t Move In Certified according to the definition. Your failure to discover and report major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and known safety hazards is no worse than the situation you’d have been in anyway, working for the buyer and failing. In fact, you are held to a much higher standard than just merely discovering and reporting on major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and safety hazards on every inspection you do, every day, anyway.

That’s really the bottom line, as with any prelisting inspection. . .

Correct Jeff.

A pre-listing is much less liability and Move In Certified may be even a bit less than that, what with the seller confirming that there are no major issues.


I really don’t see where the issues are on this.

Again, it’s in the definition. Too many readers are not reading it!

Here in California, your report, if given to any buyer of that property will make you liable and responsible to that buyer even though you’ve never met them, communicated with them or even know they exist.

The seller will absolutely NOT be a reliable source of information regarding property condition. We also have one of the most thorough seller transfer disclosure statement policies in the industry in use in California. It has done very little, if anything in the way of reducing non-disclosure related litigation. I’m sure other california inspectors, (Excluding Russell), will agree that they find issues on a large % of inspections, NOT disclosed by the seller.

A good example of this might be a “CLUE” report. Myself, buyers and buyers agent ask the seller if they’ve had any water damage to their home or insurance claims. Seller answers, “NO”… Buyer has their insurance agent run a “CLUE” report and guess what shows up? Water claim, mold remediation, etc… filed by the seller…

Like I always tell my kids. " Read what is written in black and white, Quit trying to add gray to it to make it read the way you want it to read" :twisted:

The more I read this and consider its actual application, the less enthusiastic I am about it, frankly.

So much of what we know about the buyer’s propensity to take action against the home inspector has to do - directly - with his expectations and understanding of the home inspection report.

Instead of me explaining to him what a home inspection is (and is not) it will be a real estate salesman who has anxiously agreed to participate in this program as a result of his being convinced of his own reduced liability for undisclosed defects. I will never have the opportunity to meet the buyer, establish rapport or explain my findings. When buyer’s remorse sets in and unexpected expenses start to hit him, I will be directly linked with the seller and agent.

I can see why a real estate salesman might be enthusiastic over this…and, frankly, a happy real estate salesman sends up red flags all over the place.

I am leaning toward agreement with those who perceive a larger than normal amount of vulnerability for an inspector to write a report that is specifically designed to be used by someone he has never met, spoken with, or otherwise communicated with.

Even with a normal pre-lisitng report I do without the aid of this program, I communicate to the seller (and publish in the body of the report and the pre-inspection agreement) that the written report is for his eyes only and that I have no duty to any person not named on the agreement. I realize that Californians are not allowed this exclusion as the rest of us are, but to voluntarily forfeit this important protection does not make sense to me.

I think that this is one that I am going to sit out and closely monitor to see how it develops. Good luck with it.


Yes, there is risk

What I would like at this point in time is to see where an E&O insurance company would like to stand on this subject.

If we make enought additional $$ in this depressed market we just cover the problem with insurance

Since I do not carry E&O (just general libility) I have no one to call

And an insurance salesman does not count. I would also like to see it in writting from someone up the food chain

I still like what I see


Yes, this product is geared to experienced home inspectors who have no problem being brutally honest in their assessments and are confident in their ability to accurately describe the current holistic condition of a home. I would go as far as saying if reading your report in front of a mirror presents any discomfort or pangs of conscious then throw it away and start over.

The way I envision marketing this product is to only inspect and issue reports on homes with no major defects, that way you are only certifying good sound homes. Furthermore, I would suggest developing a tight pre-inspection checklist that would screen out all the dogs and refuse to make any exceptions to whatever rules you have set up; this program is not for homes requiring major repairs or suffering from deferred maintenance.

Unlike standard home inspections performed for buyers, inspections for sellers require an inspector to be discriminating, there is no need to certify leaking roofs, HVAC systems past their manufacturers stated life or electrical systems which present life safety hazards. By saving these inspections for only the cream of the crop the liability should be low while yeilding a decent profit.


Sort of like a five star rating


You got it! :wink:

Good Point
I like the program but since our contract is with the seller does our insurance cover us from litigation from the buyer?

It is important that these reports have much more explanations and attached reference information in some cases. You also can always offer to go over the report with any perspective buyer by phone or in person and include a strong statement of you unbiased independant reporting along with testimonials to help keep yourself insulated from being linked unduly to the agent or the seller.

It may even be wise for there to be a written description of what an inspection is (and is not) for the paries to sign, before getting access to the report.

In Wisconsin the client must make the report available to all parties to the transaction but in this case they will have to authorize it to be released to prospective buyers.

I think the kinks can be smoothed out so concerns over inspector vulnerability can be minimized. Bottom line is that regardless of who you do an inspection for, you must do the best job of inspecting that you know how to do (or better).

Well, I’m not really sure why you would exclude me, but nonetheless.

In six years, I think I’ve seen, maybe, two transfer disclosure statements, so rarely do I have any idea whatsoever what the seller disclosed or did not disclose.

However, I remember one time presenting my verbal report at the end of the inspection and the sellers and sellers’ agent were present. I found a receptacle that didn’t work. The husband seller was shocked because he took very good care of his home. However, as he was expressing his shock at my finding, his wife spoke up: “Johnny, don’t you remember that that ourlet has never worked? Remember when we wanted to put the aquarium over there but the outlet didn’t work so we put the bookshelf there instead?” “Oh, yeah,” the husband meekly responded.

Joel Osteen’s sermon yesterday morning was right on target with the subject matter here: “Don’t pretend to know what the other person is thinking or has going on in his life.” I’ve never made such presumptions about other people and, subsequently, have no idea why they completed the transfer disclosure form like they did, nor do I really care. It is my job to document the condition of the property at the time of the inspection, although I usually go a little further and help everyone work through the issues that I raise.

As far as Move-In Certified go, if one is willing to be brutally honest (which a home inspector should be anyways; see our NACHI Coe) but helpful with a great bedside manner at the same time, then this program should present no problems or additional liability whatsoever.

For example, I posted my most recent LIST inspection for comments. It’s in the Member’s Only Report Writing area, but when one reads through it, one will note that I don’t include descriptions of the property since the seller doesn’t really care that he’s been living in a wood-framed house on a raised foundation with a gable room, a concrete driveway, single-pane aluminum windows, etc. Note also that there are two “defects” sections. One simply lists the defects that I found so that my Client can print it out and use it for disclosure purposes. The other defects sections is more helpful to my Client in that it states the problem, explains typical causes of the problem, explains typical resolutions to the problem, explains typical results of ignoring the problem, and provides a recommendation. Note also that I regularly tell them what a buyer’s inspection might state about certain things. I also include my two-page flyer titled “Preparing for a buyer’s home inspection,” which is now available to NACHI members as part of our NACHI benefits.

I also regularly tell my LIST Clients that I’m ready to go to bat for them, so when they get the buyer’s home inspection report, if they have any questions, issues, concerns, whatever, to simply call me and I’ll help them work through those issues.

When done properly and in an effort to be truly helpful, I see no additionaly liability with this program, even in California. I love people, I love working with people, I love real estate, I love being helpful, so I’ll be adding this Move-In Certified program to my arsenal of services.

Thats not possible your over your limit. Just kidding.