Difficult inspection(s) #2

I wanted to discuss my morning inspection to see how would you handle a similiar situation.

I pride myself on beingon time and early. If I was to be late I would call all involved parties.

The inspection is schueduled for 9AM. It is a condo and I am not inspecting the exterior. I did receive the lock box combo on a occupied residence and no one was home.

At 9;05 I call my client and ask here if she is planning on attending the inspection. She states they are running late and show up at 9:30.

I wasnt rude on the phone and explained that we where schuduled at 9AM.

So when they arrive the husband has a attitude about how I was rude to his wife. (She just learned she was pregnant)

I start explaining about how occupied residences have limitations and storage and he goes off on how he is paying me and the furniture needs to be moved.

I basically told him that he need not do that and you should focus on the FPE panel in the basment that needs evaluation and to relax.

So I procede with the inspection and find numerous issues as usual.

I go to the clients that I would like to review the summary and he walks outside and has a smoke.

If I was 30 minutes late I wouldnt be in business. This is the type of client that it is a inconvienence because they needed to work around my schuedule.

This is also the client that calls you in 6 months later bitching about the Toilet paper is on the up side and not down.

By the way my afternoon inspection cancelled.
We had originally schueduled once before. She has called and reschuduled and this and that.

I told her she should find another inspector. I dont need this type of client.
She stated her previous inspector took 15 minutes to complete her home. Actually lady this is what you deserve.

It is a sale by owner and no one can get there time together. I have already spent a hour on getting the report ready.Twice

People are people but sometimes they can get more difficult.

Any comments are appreciated.

The picture is an example of the storage. Please let me trip over this stuff so I can test your window that already has a leaking seal. But since your a A… I will test your screen that I already noted needed replacing that isnt working.

The storage in this house wasnt that bad.


I love when my clients are late! I get the inspection done without any interruptions.

Why didn’t you just start on the outside and tell them not to rush you will be there for a couple of hours.:slight_smile:

Psst…he said it was a condo and not inspecting the outside :wink:

The main benifit for having a client to be at a inspection is to follow us around and have the systems explained and show the problems to them and answer questions.

I would love to inspect the home with just myself and no one else.

I think it is rude to show up late. 5 to 10 minutes OK. But a 30 minutes is a problem.



Some clients are that way, maybe he wasn’t happy to find out his wife is pregnant.

I often have clients that don’t want to be there for the entire inspection. I think I would have waited 30 minutes or so before I called. I then just review what they missed. I think the important thing is that I’m on time.

As far as moving things, that is a personal choice, I will move small items or boxes to get at things. But only if it’s a few items and they aren’t breakable.
I’ve even have an Agent clear a closet so I can get to the attic.



The hubby simply freaked due to you telling his wife something they already knew…"The inspection was sceduled for 9:00 AM". They were probably already upset because they were running behind, and then they get a call from you, (telling them that they were suppose to be there at 9:00AM) worsening their situation that morning.

I’ve been in this same situation several times. Where you went wrong is, telling them that they were suppose to be there at 9:00 AM. I would have simply called and asked if they were on their way. And left it at that.

As for moving items…Never.

I don’t touch a damn thing. If something needs to be moved for access, I get the listing Realtor to move the items in question.

If the items still aren’t moved…I clearly write down in the report…NO access/Not Inspected due to belongings blocking access to this area.

Maybe it wasn’t his;)

I will use that time to knock out a lot of the mundane, routine items on the report that I can see and record just by standing in the yard. Take some preliminary photos of the lay out and generally standing there looking very busy and on the job when they arrive. I don’t even sweat them being on time unless they are the ones with the key and I still do not let it get to me. I have run into traffic before or had to wait on a train. It happens to the best of us so I figured out to just roll with it and make lemonade. Makes my day and the inspection go a lot smoother.

I agree with Dave about the issue with calling the client and I admit I was wrong in that regard.

I did apologize to both clients.

I think you guys are forgetting that this is a interior inspection only.

No exterior except for some basics of the heat pump and patio area.

I ask the clients before hand if they want the exterior inspection done.

I couldnt even do the garage because no one left a opener.

Thanks for the replies.

Condo…I missed that part…not smart key or lock box number?..With my laptop in the truck and internet access I always find a way to kill time.:wink:

For me, the main benefit for having a Client at the inspection is to sign the contract and pay me. Then they can take off for an hour or two, or sit down and eat all my candy. The last thing I want is for them to be following me around. That’s when they start asking questions about something that I’m not even working on at the moment, causing distractions and interfering with the inspection process itself. I provide candy, tape measures, digital cameras, pens and paper, just about anything they want just so they do not follow me around at the inspection. Once I finish doing a good, thorough job for them, I’ll be happy to discuss my findings, show them anything that interests them, and answer their questions.

The problem with that statement, though, is that one is presuming that their lives revolve around the home inspection. I can assure you that it does not. They might have been at the doctor’s office learning that the wife was pregnant. And we all know what it’s like sitting in the doctor’s office. And if one goes in for one thing but finds out other things, yes, there can certainly be a delay.

None of what you describe in your post is unusual. It is unusual to get it all in the same day, though. I remember one day a couple of years ago where we had six inspections scheduled. Three claimed they canceled the night before. One claimed he canceled that morning. One Realtor didn’t show up so we couldn’t get in (that Realtor never showed up; I don’t do business with him anymore because he does not value my time). One was an absolute jerk. One of the worst days in my inspection career.

Just rock ‘n’ roll with the tide and you’ll be okay. But it is nice to be able to come to NACHI and get it all off our chests. I usually have a margarita and then come to NACHI; calms me down some.

I don’t move anything. The standard purchase contract here states that the seller shall make things accessible. If they are not accessible, that is not my problem. I am not a mover, and I don’t know any movers who are home inspectors. They are two different professions.

And I will never, ever ask or instruct a Realtor to move something. The last thing I need is for the Realtor not to exercise care in moving something, break or damage it (especially that $10,000 mink stole or million dollar Ming vase) and then tell the judge, “Your honor, Mr. Ray told me to move it.” Yeah, right. Ain’t happening in this century, and I just turned 51.

I know what my general liability and bonding insurance covers. I have no idea what that Realtor’s general liability and bonding insurance covers, so I ain’t making no presumptions about their business protocols, or lack thereof.

Good advice.

We always take notebook computers and books with us to all inspections. If someone is late and we cannot start because of that, we always have work to do. Stuffing envelopes. Finding a WiFi hotspot and checking emails. Customer service for past Clients to see if they are doing okay. Books and magazines to read about home inspections, codes, etc.

I went to pick up Dr. Vicodin the other day. At the pharmacy that I patronize, there rarely is a line. But I always have a book or magazine with me anyway, regardless of where I go. Sure enough, there was a 10-person line and I read a whole chapter of a book. One lady noticed how far along I was in the book and asked me how I knew there was going to be a line that day. I replied that everywhere I go, I assume that I will be delayed by whatever. I read in the car while waiting on trains. I read sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, while waiting at long red lights (and I know where all the really long ones are). Etc. I try to never waste a second. There are only 24 hours in a day.

Just because they are paying for a service does not entitle them to take advantage of your schedule. What if you have another inspection after this one. Their time delay could snowball and make you late for another inspection.

At the very least they should have called you to say they were going to be late. Not to do so is rude on their part.

I am not a mover, nor should we be expected to start moving every manner of contents. I don’t mind moving stuff from closets but I am not going to start moving contents in every room of the house.

That is why I get to my inspections early so I can start and have it completed when they arrive “late.”

Punctuality seems to be from a by gone era.

Went to an inspection yesterday and completed it without finding any major problems. The OWNER arrived as I was leaving and informed me that an inspection had been completed the day before and the inspector had condemned the electrical system and killed the deal ( another set of purchasers) Apparently an electrician had been called in and his findings ( thank God!) agreed with mine.

The owner then informs me that the other inspector was about to receive a nasty note from the owners lawyer and an invitation to appear in court! Further more, he then asked my purchasers if he could refer the court to my report (and ‘ask’ me to appear as a witness along with the electrician of course). THEY SAID YES!

Here is the worst part - as well as being a member of this association ( the owner is going to file a complaint) he is also a local inspector from this area, and a pretty good guy! ( He’s also a pretty BIG guy - if you know what I am getting at)

I am hoping that the whole thing blows over but the owner is p****d that the first deal fell through and wants the first inspector to make up the difference.

That’s my “difficult inspection”.


I doubt it is worth the vendor to take the matter to court. Considering the fact your client has most likely bought the property, it makes the issue moot. Likely they are letting off steam. The peeved client will have a difficult time proving loss, considering the purchase agreement may have specific language which allowed first party to abdicate from deal because of findings.

Is he planning on using the “He said something bad about me so I want money!!” lawsuit?

Good luck in his pursuit. I have a suspicion he’s wasting his time.:roll:

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t 30 to 45 minutes early to an inspection. I get the exterior completed and am usually putting on the tool belt and getting the ladder ready when the agent and buyer arrive. I’ve had once incident in which the owner, buyer and agent followed me from point to point during the entire process of the exterior inspection. Fending off a barrage of questions was getting to be a little nerve racking. I went to the detached garage and opened the door. The three ladies stood outside as I checked the door and switched the lights on and off…suddenly a blood curdling scream let out followed by three sets of feet running away from the garage. I turned and was nose to nose with a beautiful yellow garden snake about six feet long. Talked to him for a moment or two before holding my hand out to him. He slithered off the shelf and on to my arm. Those women would not get anywhere near me for the rest of the inspection. The seller didn’t want her snake back either. I let him go in the field behind the garage. They spent the rest of the inspection in the living room.

I’m always worried I’m going to show up early and the seller isn’t going to want me there until it is “time”…even if I’m just outside…ever have that problem?

I try to get there 15 minutes early and get started…