Follow-up inspection

If previous client request’s a follow up inspection after seller claims all defects have been repaired , how would you handle it?

I’d go to the “search” feature on this BB and research the hundreds of previous posts about the subject. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do it and Charge a reasonable fee checking those items only Like ($35%) of fee My thoughts ?
Roy Cooke …RHI

I typically don’t like performing re-inspections of items reported that have been “repaired.” Many times they are not corrected or repairs are inferior. So I charge a high fee for repair inspections ($100/hour door to door, minimum one hour)and ask that copies of the invoices from qualified repair companies be there at the site for my review and file. In the few instances when I am asked to do a re-inspection of corrected items I always make it clear in my report I am only verifying that a correction was made, not its adequacy, future performance, etc.

I will re-inspect and all items for FREE for any client for as long as they are in the home (lifetime service) provided they provide me with a written or emailed list of exactly what they want me to inspect.

My thinking is this:

  1. it will only take a few minutes to inspect a few items (minimal time expended)
  2. I will likely be near the home at least once during a given week since my covreage radius is pretty constant and I work 7 days a week (minimal travel expense)
  3. It offers a FREEBIE that clients love, while giving them a reason to keep my name and number handy (fridge magnet) for future use.
  4. It makes GREAT marketing and Realtors even use it as a selling point when they refer me.

These are the little extras that I like to give away because it is all about SERVICE and CARING and that is what experience tells me clients really want - and it helps generate referrals (which are fast becoming my biggest source of business).

It is just about a damaged heating flue. I was thinking of a free verbal.

**QUOTE: **
Today, 8:59 AM Larry D. Kage

Welcome Home Inspection Services, LLC

Re: Follow-up inspection I typically don’t like performing re-inspections of items reported that have been “repaired.”

Many times they are not corrected or repairs are inferior. So I charge a high fee for repair inspections ($100/hour door to door, minimum one hour)and ask that copies of the invoices from qualified repair companies be there at the site for my review and file.

In the few instances when I am asked to do a re-inspection of corrected items I always make it clear in my report I am only verifying that a correction was made, not its adequacy, future performance, etc. –
END QUOTE:

I Agree!
My rates are $150.00 per hour starting from the time I leave my house or Office until I return.
I testify as an Expert Witness all of the time. My rates for research, correspondence, answering phone calls, and E-Mails are $150.00 per hour and are broken into 15-minute increments.

You have no idea how much time that you will spend on this issue. Especially if you find that the “repairman” was a fly by night or even a “Certified” repairman who does shoddy work.

*MANY TIMES I HAVE FOUND THAT THE “Certified” REPAIRMAN CHARGED FOR ITEMS THAT HE DID NOT CORRECT, REPAIR, OR DISMANTEL OR TOUCH. {The rusted in place bolts were a dead giveaway.} *
Some “Repaired” items did not even exist!

Many times it will be a “* Friend or Relative”* who is an astute observer of the Discovery Channel and or “This Old House.”

If that is the case be prepared to answer a lot of phone calls from the “Expert Repairman” who will threaten to sue you and God knows what else.

Do not be afraid to take on this inspection. Just CHARGE accordingly, be prepared to do some research, and answer phone calls.

In this case, it sounds like you are talking about a previous client (unless I misread the original post) so I would say that some customer relations are in order.

You can, as Frank says, charge $150 or more, but you are unlikely to get that inspection and you will probably undo at least some of the goodwill you obviously created with the initial inspection (they called you back for a follow up.)

If you were inclined to chage a nominal fee, I would suggest waiving it - this almost always comes back to you a hundred times over in the form of a referral.

If it just a simple corection, and it sounds like it, show them a before and after photo (if available) and a two sentance follow up that says “sucha dn such item was re-inspected and appears to have been appropriately repaired.” (or not, if the job was not done or botched.)

It is up to you and how you choose to conduct your business. I always go for the marketing angle and future referrals…

My re-inspections typically involve going back into the crawlspace and the attic. They take about 45 min to 1 hour plus another 30-45 minutes if client or agent or builder is there. Plus another hour to 1.5 hr. driving time plus emailing the items that were not corrected. Total time typical: 3+ hours
Nope, they are not free here.

I agree with you Joe. If I have the opportunity to do a favor in which I think will lead to more business for a few minutes of looking over a couple of items I jump all over the situation!

It most always leads to more, if not a lot more business.

For instance, I inspected one-

for corporate. The only thing wrong was the roof needed to be resealed (reflective coating). They had it done a couple of days later and asked me how much I would charge to make sure it was sealed correctly, I told them I usually charge $100.00 but since I’m going to be in the area I would stop there and reinspect it free.

They were very pleased I would take the time and look at it since they spent quite a bit of money to have it sealed, and were very concerned they didn’t get ripped-off (again).

In fact they were so pleased I reinspected it free, I have inspected two more of their stores, and have three more to do at $1,779.00 each.

So I spent less than an hour looking at the roof again and made $10,674.00

mmmmmmmmmm, Malt Crunch Blizzard.:|.)

Joe, I agree - when setting it up, I would make sure the client knows you would normally charge $xxx, “but I want to make sure you’re taken care of…”
And make sure he understands you’re just going back to look at that one item. I wouldn’t just verbally report it, either. Just a simple sentence, designed as an addendum to your report. Every time the client sees that addition, he’ll remember how well you treated him.

I include a free “pre closing walkthrough” to be done a couple of days before they close. I ask for a copy of the letter they received from their attorney as to the items that were supposed to be fixed and check them out.

I also offer free phone information and, usually, will go out to their place if they have a subsiquent problem (usually, for free. Remember the ‘three touched rule’.).

I got a call from a past client (they moved in about 8 months ago) who recently had problems with some heavy rains. I went out and checked the finished basement with thermal camera and moisture meter. It showed that only about 1/2 the basement was affected and called a water damage company I knew. The client gave me a check (I didn’t even ask for one) and called the Realtor and their attorney (who referred me) and raved about me. Both of them called to ask, “What the heck did you do?”. I just told them that it part of my service.

Touch the client (even past ones) three times (follow up phone calls, send them a nice box of candy, send a plant, stop by when they are moving in and help carry a couple of boxes). Then they will remember you and bracg about the great service they received (bragging is part of the human condition and it helps greatly when the person they are bragging about is you).

If you do a crappy inspection, they will repeat that too. Give superior service and keep in touch. It helps.

Since this is something that the agents are using as a selling point, how many of these do you end up doing in the average week? What percent of your clients take you up on this part of your service? Do you write up something and add it to your report? How long would the average re-inspect take? It seems like an inspector could generate a lot of good will this way, but what does it cost you in terms of total hours per week?

Boy, Joseph T., if you hadn’t written that, I would have. That is exactly the way I feel and do…:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

So true–ever so true…:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Hope this helps;

Isn’t that the best investment - Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, so by that simple act of great service, you’ve bought better marketing than any sign or graphic can produce. The good will generated is more productive than networking or that magnetic sign you just bought.

Sure is!

TYpically, clients use the report as a way to negotiate money back at settlement and not repairs to be made by seller - so the potential pool for call backs is not large, but it is an option if desired.

I usually get one every 2-3 weeks (an average of just under 2 per month). I schedule it into my work week (“I will be in your area on Tuesday afternoon”) and clients will always accomodate my schedule because it is free…hence no additional travel time or expenses.

I always ask them to email me exactly what they want reinspected (this prevents me from wasting time looking at items they are not interested in). I am typically on site to look at 1-5 items that have been repaired/replaced. It is usually very easy work, and even with crawlspace or attic access (if needed) I am rarely on site for more than 30 minutes.

I provide an addemndum report which states: “On Friday, October 6, 2006, a re-inspection of specific items was conducted at the request of teh client for the above listed address (at top of report with photo of front of home and my logo). The results were as follow:”

Then I describe the initial recommendationa dn condition and the current condition (i.e. Repaired, replaced, improper or inadequate repair) and include a before and after photo for each item.

The report takes about 15-20 minutes to compose (mostly cutting and pasting photos.) So, in all it costs me about one hour of my life, twice per month, and gets me the best best advertising I could ever ask for.