Getting paid at closing

I was talking to a realtor that refers me regularly. He asked if I would be willing to start doing inspections where I get paid at closing, so the client can have a true no-money down experience. I’m still a somewhat newer inspector that is trying to get established. Does anyone else here have experience with doing that? My obvious question was, how would I get paid if the deal fell through. Can the title company hold a check in escrow for the inspection to be released at a certain date even if the sale fell through?

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You are going to get replies from across the board. I think it’s a bad idea, but you must weight the pros and cons for yourself, and there are many cons versus the one single pro!
Whatever you do… IMO… you should charge $100 cash (up front) to provide the service. (So much for no-money-down)!

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I get paid on site at time of inspection, I don’t proceed without the agreement signed and paid.

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I’m with Randy. That’s a pretty feeble reasoning, “So the buyer can have a no money down, feel good.” Who’s that benefit? So if it all goes south, and the buyer bails is this Realtor going to gaurantee you get paid? Why doesn’t the agent just pay you and his buyer can have that feel good at his expense?

No, no and no!

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I didn’t leave my house, on most inspections, without a signed agreement and payment. YMMV JMHO

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As usual, Larry is spot on.

Most of the older, successful folks on this board seem to have the same take on when to have an agreement signed (before they leave for the job or 1st thing when they arrive on site) and payment (same as the agreement).

The beauty of being your own boss is deciding what will work for you and your local market. Best of luck!

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We’ve been screwed before, just once, but it was at that point that we decided clients don’t get their report until we get paid

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When I was first starting out, an agent that I have known my whole life wanted to do this as well. She would refer all of her buyers to me, if I agreed to it. What could go wrong???

The first one she forgot to include me in the closing costs. I was then the a-hole for calling the buyer trying to collect. I did collect.

The second one the buyer was going through a divorce. It was suppose to have a 30 day close, but he ex would not sign off on the purchase. When I asked how long this would extend it, I was told up to two years. I told the agent that I wanted to collect at that point, and again, I was the a-hole. I did collect.

The third one the agent forgot to include me and the radon company on the closing costs. A mitigation system was already installed. Neither of us were paid, and again, I was the a-hole. The agents response was, “that’s part of doing business”.

That was the end of it for me.

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no money no honey

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Thank you guys for the advice. I had always had the agreement signed and payment before I sent the report. As a newer inspector, I thought maybe this could help me stand out from the competition, but it sounds like it will just lead to more headaches. Thanks.

You’re welcome, Steven…and some inspectors use one of these if they agree to get paid at closing (I did the Credit Card backup along with a check that I didn’t cash, one or twice, because writing a bad check is against the law.) . I would hold the post dated check for 30 days and charge the CC if they didn’t call me and say they closed and I had received a check from the escrow company. If the CC didn’t go through I would talk to the local prsecuting attorney about the bad check.

So, your client wants to pay for the inspection at closing?

If your client asks to pay you at closing, have them sign this:

https://www.nachi.org/closing2007.htm

It worked but was just to much of a time waster, so I quit doing anything at closing.

What I bolded above in your quote is a good policy: " it sounds like it will just lead to more headaches. "

Best to you.

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To create the “true no money down” illusion - tell that realtor that HE can pay you on behalf of his client. Then HE can get reimbursed at his closing. That should bring an instant conclusion to the conversation.

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Go down to a car dealer and ask if they can give you a car with no payments until you find a job.

PS: “Closings” fail all the time. The client will be asking “why?” should I pay, there was “no closing”.

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Just say no… or it will become a consuming error in judgement. Sale doesn’t go through, client won’t communicate with you, agent shrugs their shoulders. Why set yourself up for this kind of self-inflicted stress? Payment needs to be made either before inspection or before report is released. Agents will test the waters… they are looking to get the transaction done, many could care less if you get paid.

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There is no friends when it comes to money as so many other fellow inspectors have pointed out in length already.

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Exactly!
Ask yourself… why doesn’t the agent have this relationship with her ‘regular’ inspector? You know she has one, unless she already ‘screwed him’, and is searching for another unknowing newbie! Doesn’t he want the added ‘Revenue’??

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“that’s part of doing business”

Is said by people wanting you to risk not getting paid, so they can get paid.

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Yeah, her and her husband have done well for themselves.

Funny enough, when her and her husband were selling 15 of rental houses, the out of state buyer had me do the inspections. The city changed the rental codes, so they wanted to get rid of them before everyone started dumping theirs. Except for one home, they were all total dumps. My inspection reports were fair, but extremely thorough. Two or three had visible fire damage in the attics. Because of the all of this, the buyer lowballed her and threatened to back out of the deal. She called me to find out what was on the reports, because all the buyer would say is that the condition was not what was promised. I just said, as you know, I can only give that information to the buyer. She then started whining that she was going to lose a ton of money, because of the inspections. I answered with, “that’s part of doing business”. I doubt she had any idea of how it was ironic.

It took a couple of years before I was on her preferred list again.

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That’s on her for not hiring you for HER pre-purchase inspections!!

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