How do you guys handle this situation

I run into this all the time, especially with electrical issues. I find a problem such as a dead outlet, dead light switch, I write it up as usual but then the realtor or the buyer then wants to spend the next half hour diagnosing the problem and even going as far as trying to repair it. I’m not talking about finding the outlet that the switch controls, I’ll take the time to do that.

What do you do? It’s a huge time suck.

I’m not there to diagnose. I’m there to report. If they wish to run around playing Mr(s)-Fix-It, that’s their biz. If they insist that I help diagnose, I charge $25 for every 15 minutes. I am unable to repair anything for 12 months as it is a violation of the SOP’s and Ethic’s I abide by. Make this well known prior to the beginning of the inspection. You must take control of the situation and those affecting your inspection. If you don’t, they will run you into the ground!

Just walk away :slight_smile:

It will keep them busy.

Lol, that’s what I do Juan

Lol it really does work.

New HI’s over-think. You report, let them figure it out.

Write it down, take a pic, say nothing and keep walking. Tell the buyer at the end on the final walk through.

For the Realtors,

I ask them if they are a licensed electrician.That ends any other electrical questions. Same with plumbing, HVAC, etc…

For my clients I will give them a brief explanation of the issue and how long it should take to repair and what the cost will be.

I had a Realtor, a long time ago, who was trying to correct a reverse polarity receptacle in the kitchen near the sink. I told him to please stop doing that…
After the ambulance left…:roll: :roll:

Yeah, being condescending will usually do the job too ;).

Happens to me all the time.
As I’m going over the findings at the end, someone always seems to run to the defect & start screwing around with it.
I keep going over the report, but sometimes have to wait for the commotion to be over…
until the next item & off they go again!
It does waste time.

I know that for the inspectors that are on the stopwatch, this can be very frustrating!

However, you may want to consider that the time you spend helping your client understand things holds a lot of weight in their opinion of you.

It’s one of those unspoken justifications that allow you to charge a higher premium for the services you provide based upon your past clients referral of the most thorough inspector they never encountered. The inspector that held my hand and spent time with me when I bought my first house…

I know most people don’t give a crap about Real Estate Agents, but they appreciate when you don’t just come up with a defect and leave everybody hanging as to what to do, without putting anything in perspective. Just that it is screwed up and has to be fixed (according to you).

The more time I spend with the client, the less time I have to spend writing. The less time I have to spend answering phone calls explaining things in the report that were written for some other house and doesn’t pertain to this situation because it’s a canned narrative.

Do what you want, just don’t perpetuate your Type-A personality on any new inspector who’s willing to spend the time with their clients (because they probably have nothing better to do anyway).

I did a home inspection for somebody last week that lasted from 9 AM to 7:30 PM. He bought me lunch. He bought me dinner. We actually had a good time! I knew going into it that this is how it was going to be, and for $1968 you can call me an idiot all day long!

Very well said!! Great work Dave A!!

I had a higher end home today were I was able to spend extra time with seller, agent, buyer and I was paid very well and was not in a rush to complete the task at hand. Everyone involved appreciates this service.

Seller knows what needs to be repaired, gave me coffee, enjoyed her company. I even gave her dogs some milk bones and this is a way to gain trust (with seller and dogs)

Here is a pic of the dog (not allowed to be upstairs)

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Way to go David Macy!!

When you can get along with the dogs, your on the right path (as far as I am concerned)…

That is why I endorse your company!

Many years ago only my female buyer and I were to be at the inspection. She expressed concerns about a big dog being on the property when we arrived. I told her I was a dog person and knew how to handle them, from monster dog to little yap yap dog.

We got inside the house and I looked out the glass door in the kitchen to the back yard. There were a dozen shoes and a few billion tennis balls. I opened the door, picked up a tennis ball, and threw it as far as I could. The dog took off, came back about 30 seconds later, and was the happiest dog in the world. I walked around kicking tennis balls to keep it happy for four hours.

Here’s the dog at the end of the inspection as I was gathering my tools:

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Looks like you wiped out the dog chasing tennis balls!!
Very cool pic!!

I also agree with David A on this. IMO it is important to treat your clients with respect and to teach them all you can. If I find a dead outlet or reverse polarity I let them know that ONLY an electrician can fix it. If someone starts to attempt to unscrew anything (with the exception of a light bulb) I remind them that the home in not yet theirs and that as long as we are there for the inspection I am responsible for the house and to please refrain from disassembling anything.


My unwritten thoughts on the issue as well. Thanks!

Remember, spending “time” with a client is verbal. Hearsay. I would hope a HI is documenting everything and then some and not “relying on” verbal conversations at an Inspection to accurately convey/describe his or her findings. A judge isn’t going to give a rip what was said at an Inspection, and only what is documented in the contract and report.

That’s a big, personal, written reporting problem then, IMO. Nothing to do with what was “said” at the Inspection. If your written report isn’t accurately conveying and documenting the information/defects/conditions at hand for the property you inspected, then that’s just plain asinine.
Good look with that in front of Judge Judy :D.

Joshua Esquire,

Who the hell called this a short cut? You?

The point, again, is that if your client “understands” and you have met their “expectations” because you weren’t on the damn clock…

They are not going to take you to the court if you have demonstrated due diligence in your inspection. Even if you screw up!..

It’s all about "perception, and I’d say you need to quit watching Judge fantasy

Judge Judy retired!!:wink: