I did an inspection 10 days ago on a home that the buyer had backed out of purchasing. I got a call today from a realtor i know asking if i could inspect the home. Not knowing this was the same home, i agreed and she texted me the address which was the same house. I do feel an obligation to tell her that i recently inspected it. Thoughts.
I would handle this as a new inspection.
You have no obligation to tell the Realtor anything. I may tell the client that they will get a very good inspection though being a second inspection. My price would remain the same.
In the commercial world, you might end up inspecting a property 3 or 4 times over the course of just a year or two. But be careful, you need to get permission from prior clients if you plan on referring to the past reports. If you don’t get permission, you can’t mention the prior.
Two weeks ago, I performed a Pre-purchase inspection of an (operating) 20-room Assisting Living facility at full capacity. During my due diligence with the Seller (no agents involved) I was instructed that I was to inspect under the guise of an Insurance Inspector, NOT for a purchase transaction.
As Darren inferred above, most times everything having to do with these transactions are confidential and frequently require Confidentiality Agreements be signed.
There is no reason that a Residential inspection should be treated any differently and with any less confidentiality, IMO.
I once inspected the same home 3 times. The house wasn’t really even in my coverage area so I was surprised that buyers kept finding me to do this house. Seller kept failing to disclose foundation issues. Walls were bowed so bad you can see it from outside, and a host of other issues. I own intellectual property of report etc. I own the report & can do with it as I wish, I have it right in the contract. I will usually tell the buyer if I have inspected the property beforehand. I charge the same amount & I use it as a guide to see if any of the problems found have been fixed, but I still perform inspection as it it was the first time because we all know anything could happen after an inspection. The seller was so mad that he called me & said that he doesn’t know how I keep ending up in his house, but he will make sure i don’t get in again. I told him maybe he should stop trying to be dishonest or Karma will keep sending me out.
It’s very simple… you have no idea what happened to the house from the time you left after the first inspection and until the day of the new inspection. I would treat it as a completely new inspection. Do not copy anything from the old report. There is no conflict here.
You have no idea if there has been work done to it since you were there last. Can’t assume everything is the same.
New job, new inspection. Things can change since you were there !
Don’t forget… you are not the only inspector out there. You assume nobody else has been in there since you. Anything could have happened. Anything is possible!!
The way I’m reading every reply here to inspect it again that says, “YEP!” is: “Ez $$ brah lol sur”
Seriously though, I think this is a ethical dilemma and my instant thought is, “Well, I will give them a hefty discount.” Then I would think, “But this shows, on record, I have performed an inspection twice and the reports differ. Is this legally dangerous for me?”
If it were me, and I had a good referral buddy, I’d forward it on and pass on the double inspection. Something just feels off about it. I don’t know. Thoughts?
As long as I keep getting requests to inspect the same home, I will keep inspecting the same home, repeatedly… WITHOUT disclosing that I have prior knowledge of the home.
IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!
As others have said, you are under no obligation to tell them anything, but I don’t think you would be wrong to do so. Over the years I have had the same situation, some houses have been inspected as many as 3-4 times. The last was just a couple of weeks ago. In that case I didn’t realize I had seen the house before until we were doing the initial walk around with the client. When we got to the deck (screen porch) and crawl space entry I stopped and asked if this house has a paved crawl space and all steel pipe columns for support. Yep. (Dream crawl space!) So I told him outright that I had seen the house about 8 years ago (before I started using ISN which would have given me a heads up). This was a repeat client, and he appreciated my willingness to be straight up with him instead of concealing something, and so did the realtor.
When you get one of these, as the other guys have said, always treat it as new work. You have no idea what could have happened since you left, so take nothing for granted.
Now, the part that can be worrisome, especially for a newer Inspector, is when you find something you know you missed the first time around or an attempted repair that has been botched. In that case all you can do is put it in the report just like it was new work and let the chips fall where they may.
I recall doing a repeat where a shingle was missing at ridge front left side of house. When doing the re-inspection, the missing shingle was replaced but when I pulled on it, it was not nailed. Much of the noted deficiencies in the first inspection were repaired that way! Client wondered how I knew which shingle to pull…
Thank you Fred.