Have you ever done this?

I did an inspection today on a house built in 1918. It started out ok, then I started to find major defects. The roof was completely shot, found a Federal Pacific Panel, knob and tube wiring, sloping floors and something I haven’t seen before.

I’ll post a pic when I get my camera back from my wife but I was in the basement and saw a pretty concealed, narrow door with a poster on it. I peeled the edge of the poster back and found the access to the crawl area under the front of the house. There was a huge, deep area that had a couple tires stacked in the middle of with pvc coming out. My assumption is that it’s some kind of spring that they set up a permanent sump for. Anyway, the earth was completely eroding away under the front corner of the foundation.

My client hadn’t shown up yet. The agent told me that she was a first time homebuyer, was getting an FHA loan and didn’t have much money to put into the house. When the buyer showed up I explained to her that their were some major concerns which would be very expensive to replace/fix. She said that she wasn’t interested in buying the house anymore so I told her I would only charge her $100 for my time (no report), not the $325 that I quoted her and that I would appreciate it if she called me on the next house that she found.

I could have charged her full price and spent probably 3 hours writing up on the POS (not giving me much time to argue with Mr. Larson) but I was also thinking about the HUGE liability this extreme POS is and also that the agent would like my way of doing business and be more likely to refer me. So back to the title, have you ever done this?

Oh yeah, the kicker. The buyers agent emailed me saying the listing agent would like me to send her a summary report of the “major” defects so she could go back to the bank and lower the price of the home. She said she’d give me $50 or so for my time. Here’s my response:

Hi *,
This is Kevin Pierce with Cascade Home Inspections. Small world huh? I comment on your AR blogs sometimes. Anyway, I did the inspection out at **** S Fawcett Ave this morning. K
mentioned that you would like a summary report of just the “major” findings. I’d be more than happy to send it over. This would fall under my “seller inspection basic” category. A “basic” category inspection for a 2,700 sq.ft. home is $299. Feel free to call me with any questions. Thank you!

Always good business. I have on occasion (knowing the clients concerns up front) and finding a major concern right off the bat, given them an opportunity to “walk” without me going further or deeper into the inspection. One client took me up on the offer and the few others insisted I complete the inspection. At least you gave them an opportunity to save some money and spend it on (and hopefully hire you) the next one.

Yep, after the offer she said she will definitely call me on the next one. If the client was there to begin with I wouldn’t have had to do the whole inspection but she didn’t show up until the end. Although, having completed it, I still have the option of selling it to the seller…even if I don’t get the $299 it would be pretty easy to slap together a summary of the majors.