Inspection Agreement Review Please

Hi Nick,

I would like to ask if you could please review my agreement . It is basically the InterNACHI standard agreement, but I had to add an arbitration clause, to follow my local home inspection association’s requirements.

I do have Joe Ferry’s CLAIM INTERCEPT program. I’m not sure if they can review for me or not.

Thank you!


The address of the property is: 123 easy street, no town, Maine 04000. Fee for the inspection is $325.00. INSPECTOR acknowledges receiving a deposit of $0 from CLIENT. THIS AGREEMENT made this February day of 9th, 2015, by and between Brightech Property Inspections, LLC (hereinafter INSPECTOR) and the undersigned (CLIENT), collectively referred to herein as the parties.
The Parties understand and voluntarily agree as follows:

  1. INSPECTOR agrees to perform a visual inspection of the home/building and to provide CLIENT with a written report identifying the defects that INSPECTOR both observed and deemed material. INSPECTOR may offer comments as a courtesy, but these comments will not comprise the bargained- for report. The report is only supplementary to the sellers disclosure.

  2. Unless otherwise inconsistent with this Agreement or not possible, INSPECTOR agrees to perform the inspection in accordance with the current Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) posted at Although
    INSPECTOR agrees to follow InterNACHIs Standards of Practice, CLIENT understands that these standards contain limitations, exceptions, and exclusions. CLIENT understands that InterNACHI is not a party to this Agreement and has no control over INSPECTOR or representations made by
    INSPECTOR and does not supervise INSPECTOR. Unless otherwise indicated below, CLIENT understands that INSPECTOR will NOT be testing for the presence of radon a colorless, odorless,radioactive gas that may be harmful to humans. Unless otherwise indicated below, CLIENT understands that INSPECTOR will NOT be testing for mold. Unless otherwise indicated in a separate writing, CLIENT understands that INSPECTOR will not test for compliance with applicable building codes or for the presence of potential dangers arising from asbestos, lead paint, formaldehyde, molds, soil contamination, and other environmental hazards or violations.

  3. The inspection and report are for the use of CLIENT only, who gives INSPECTOR permission to discuss observations with real estate agents, owners, repairpersons, and other interested parties. INSPECTOR shall be the sole owner of the report and all rights to it. INSPECTOR accepts no
    responsibility for use or misinterpretation by third parties, and third parties who rely on it in any way do so at their own risk and release INSPECTOR (including employees and business entities) from any liability whatsoever. Any third parties who rely on the report in any way also agree to all provisions in this Agreement. INSPECTORS inspection of the property and the report are in no way a guarantee or warranty, express or implied, regarding the future use, operability, habitability or suitability of the home/building or its components. All warranties, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are expressly excluded to the fullest extent allowed by law. If any structure or portion of any structure that is to be inspected is a log home, log structure or includes similar log construction, CLIENT understands that such structures have unique characteristics that make it impossible for an inspector to inspect and
    evaluate them by an exterior visual inspection. Therefore, the scope of the inspection to be performed pursuant to this Agreement does not include decay of the interior of logs in log walls, log foundations or roofs or similar defects.

  4. The Inspection and report are performed and prepared for the sole and exclusive use and possession of the Client. No other person or entity may rely on the report issued pursuant to this Agreement. In the event that any person, not a party to this Agreement, makes any claim against Inspector, its employees or agents, arising out of the services performed by Inspector under this Agreement, the Client agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Inspector from any and all damages, expenses, costs and attorney fees arising from such a claim.

  5. INSPECTOR assumes no liability for the cost of repair or replacement of unreported defects or deficiencies either current or arising in the future. CLIENT acknowledges that the liability of INSPECTOR, its agents and/or employees, for claims or damages, costs of defense or suit, attorneys fees and expenses arising out of or related to the INSPECTORS negligence or breach of any obligation under this Agreement, including errors and omissions in the inspection or the report, Shall be limited to liquidated damages in the amount of two-hundred percent of the fee paid to the INSPECTOR, and this liability shall be exclusive. CLIENT waives any claim for consequential, exemplary, special or incidental damages or for the loss of the use of the home/building even if the CLIENT has been advised of the possibility of such damages. The parties acknowledge that the liquidated damages are not intended as a penalty but are intended (i) to reflect the fact that actual damages may be difficult and impractical to ascertain; (ii) to allocate risk among the INSPECTOR and CLIENT; and (iii) to enable the INSPECTOR to perform the inspection at the stated fee.

  6. INSPECTOR does not perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, or any other job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the inspection is taking place, unless the inspector holds a valid occupational license, in which case he/she may inform the CLIENT that he/she is so licensed, and is therefore qualified to go beyond this basic home inspection, and for additional fee, perform additional inspections beyond those within the scope of the basic home inspection. Any agreement for such additional inspections shall be in a separate writing.

  7. Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to [the agreement/the relationship] including without limitation any dispute concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, enforceability or breach [of the agreement], shall be exclusively resolved by binding arbitration upon a Partys submission of the dispute to arbitration. [In the event of a dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to [the agreement/the relationship], the complaining Party shall notify the other Party in writing thereof. Within thirty (30) days of such notice, management level representatives of both Parties shall meet at an agreed location to attempt to resolve the dispute in good faith. Should the dispute not be resolved within thirty (30) days after such notice, the complaining Party shall seek remedies exclusively through arbitration.] The demand for arbitration shall be made within a reasonable time after the claim, dispute or other matter in question has arisen, and in no event shall it be made after two years from when the aggrieved party knew or should have known of the controversy, claim, dispute or breach.]

  8. This agreement to arbitrate shall be specifically enforceable. A Party may apply to any court with jurisdiction for interim or conservatory relief, including without limitation a proceeding to compel arbitration.

  9. The arbitration shall be conducted by [one/three] arbitrator[s]. If the Parties are not able to agree upon the selection of an arbitrator, within [twenty] days of commencement of an arbitration proceeding by service of a demand for arbitration, the arbitrator shall be selected by [the American Arbitration Association/the London Court of International Arbitration/a state/federal court judge in [Maine]] shall select the arbitrator in accordance with the terms of this agreement. [For three arbitrators, each party shall select an arbitrator within [ten] days of commencement of the arbitration who shall serve as a neutral arbitrator and the two designated arbitrators shall select a third neutral arbitrator within [twenty] days of their selection of the parties cannot agree on a third arbitrator. If the two arbitrators cannot agree on selection of a third arbitrator within [twenty days] of their appointment, [the American Arbitration Association/the London Court of International Arbitration/a state or federal judge in [Maine] shall select such arbitrator in accordance with the terms of this agreement.]

  10. The arbitrator[s] shall have [ten] years of experience in [designate a particular area] [and also shall have served as an arbitrator at least [three] times prior to their service as an arbitrator in this arbitration.]

  11. The arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with [the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association/the then existing rules of the Judicial Arbitration Group/the then existing Federal Rules of Civil Procedure/ the Healthcare Payor Provider Rules/the Rules of Procedure for Arbitration by the American Health Lawyers Association].

  12. The arbitration shall be conducted in [Portland, Maine].

  13. The laws of the [State of Maine] shall be applied in any arbitration proceedings, without regard to principles of conflict of laws.

  14. It is the intent of the parties that, barring extraordinary circumstances, arbitration proceedings will be concluded within [one hundred and twenty] days from the date the arbitrator[s] are appointed. The arbitrator[s] may extend this time limit in the interests of justice. Failure to adhere to this time limit shall not constitute a basis for challenging the award.

  15. Except as may be required by law, neither a party nor its representatives may disclose the existence, content, or results of any arbitration hereunder without the prior written consent of [all/both] parties.

  16. The Parties shall [not] be entitled to discovery in the arbitration [except that any Party shall be entitled to request [no more than [1000] pages of documents and to take [three] depositions not to exceed [eight] hours for each such deposition]. [Any Party shall be entitled to depose any expert who will testify in the arbitration proceeding but shall pay the regular hourly rate of such expert during such deposition.] [In addition to the foregoing, any Party shall be entitled to take the deposition of a witness who will testify at the arbitration but who is unavailable to testify at the hearing to preserve such witness testimony for the arbitration hearing.]

  17. The Parties shall exchange a copy of all exhibits for the arbitration hearing and shall identify each witness who will testify at the arbitration, with a summary of the anticipated testimony of such witness [ten] days before the arbitration hearing.

  18. The arbitrator[s] shall have no authority to award [punitive/consequential/special/ indirect] damages. The arbitrators shall [not] be entitled to issue injunctive and other equitable relief. The arbitrator[s] shall award interest from the time of the breach to the time of award at the rate of [3.13%] [prejudgment interest under Maine law.]

  19. The cost of the arbitration proceeding and any proceeding in court to confirm or to vacate any arbitration award, as applicable (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys fees and costs), shall be borne by the unsuccessful party, as determined by the arbitrators, and shall be awarded as part of the arbitrators award. It is specifically understood and agreed that any party may enforce any award rendered pursuant to the arbitration provisions of this Section by bringing suit in any court of competent jurisdiction. The parties agree that the arbitrator shall have authority to grant injunctive or other forms of equitable relief to any party. This Section shall survive the termination or cancellation of this Agreement.

  20. Each party shall pay its own proportionate share of arbitrator fees and expenses [plus the fees and expenses of the arbitrator it designated (if there are three arbitrators] and the arbitration fees and expenses of [the American Arbitration Association/the Judicial Arbiter Group]. The arbitrator[s] shall be entitled to award the foregoing arbitration and administrative fees and expenses as damages in his/her discretion].

  21. If any court declares any provision of this Agreement invalid, the remaining provisions will remain in effect. This Agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties. All prior communications are merged into this Agreement, and there are no terms or conditions other than those set forth herein. No statement or promise of INSPECTOR or its agents shall be binding unless reduced to writing and signed by INSPECTOR. No change shall be enforceable against any party unless it is in writing and signed by the parties. This Agreement shall be binding upon and enforceable by the parties and their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees. CLIENT shall have no cause of action against INSPECTOR after one year from the date of the inspection.

  22. Payment of the fee to INSPECTOR (less any deposit noted above) is due upon completion of the on-site inspection. The CLIENT agrees to pay all legal and time expenses incurred in collecting due payments, including attorneys fees, if any. If CLIENT is a corporation, LLC, or similar entity, the person signing this Agreement on behalf of such entity does personally guaranty payment of the fee by the entity.

  23. If CLIENT requests a re-inspection, the re-inspection is also subject to all the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement.

  24. This Agreement is not transferable or assignable.

  25. Should any provision of this Agreement require judicial interpretation, the Court shall not apply a presumption that the term shall be more strictly construed against one party or the other by reason of the rule of construction that a document is to be construed more strictly against the party who prepared it.

  26. Thermal imaging is a technology that allows the InterNACHI INSPECTOR to show you things about your home that no one can show you using other inspection methods. Thermal imaging produces images of invisible heat energy emitted from objects and systems in the home and allows us to measure it. Thermal imaging helps to diagnose the problem rather than merely identify symptoms and can sometimes, but not always, identify and document: Electrical faults before they cause a fire, overloaded and undersized circuits, circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement, missing, damaged, and/or wet insulation, heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, water and moisture intrusion that could lead to mold, possible pest infestation, hidden roof leaks, before they cause serious damage, air conditioner compressor leaks, under fastening and/or missing framing members, structural defects, broken seals in double pane windows, energy loss and efficiency, dangerous flue leaks, damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems, unknown plumbing leaks, overheated equipment. These color images can then be included in the inspection report providing supporting documentation to the report. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  27. INSPECTORs liability arising for any damages allegedly arising out of any aspect of the thermal imaging service shall be limited to the additional amount paid for the thermal imaging scan. CLIENT voluntarily waives any claim for consequential, exemplary or incidental damages to the fullest extent allowed by law.

  28. The thermal imaging scan will be limited in scope to the equipment used by INSPECTOR. The inspection will be a non-invasive and non-destructive examination of the visible, safely and readily accessible portions of the interior and/or exterior of the structure for atypical temperature/thermal variations. NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES REGARDING FUTURE USE, HABITABILITY, OPERABILITY,SUITABILITY, OR MERCHANTABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBJECT PROPERTY ARE PROVIDED.

  29. Thermal imaging services do NOT include any inspections, examinations, testing or evaluations for harmful, dangerous, or toxic substances or materials or environmental hazards including but not limited to: mold, bio-aerosols, radon, lead, asbestos, non-biological airborne particulates, contaminants, petroleum products, petrochemicals, radioactive materials, electromagnetic radiation, plant, animal, or insect secretions or excretions. Infrared cameras are not moisture meters but can aid in identifying areas that warrant further investigation. If INSPECTOR offers any information or opinions about any of the forgoing, this information shall be deemed to be informational only and supplied as a courtesy to the CLIENT and shall not be deemed to be an amendment to this addendum or the inspection agreement.

  30. CLIENT agrees to indemnify and hold harmless INSPECTOR, its agents, employees, and inspectors for the presence of any harmful, dangerous, or toxic substances or materials or environmental hazards including but not limited to those listed in part 4 of this addendum as well as for any and all damages and liability for any mitigation, construction, or any other costs associated with the presence of any such hazards or substances or materials.

  31. If CLIENT desires to obtain information regarding the presence of any harmful, dangerous, or toxic substances or materials or environmental hazards including but not limited to those listed in part 4 of this addendum, it is solely the responsibility of the CLIENT to contact and engage the services of qualified individuals or companies that specialize in the areas of specific interest or concern.

  32. CLIENT agrees to the use of all pictures taken at the inspection that do not contain personal information of the client or property, can and will be used by INSPECTOR for marketing purposes.

  33. CLIENT understands that under the “We’ll Buy Your Home Back” Program, InterNACHI purchases the home not the INSPECTOR. INSPECTOR’s role is limited to his/her participation in the “We’ll Buy Your Home Back” Program, but InterNACHI purchases the home. CLIENT understands that INSPECTOR has no obligation to purchase the home under the “We’ll Buy Your Home Back” Program, and CLIENTs sole remedy for any failure to purchase the home is against InterNACHI.

  34. All of the other terms of the Agreement (Inspection Contract) are incorporated herein by reference.


Paragraph #1 there is an extra space after the hyphen in

Paragraph #2: I realize it is in the InterNACHI agreement but the beginning of the sentence that reads

is unnecessary. You can take it out if you want to. We have it in there as a softener. We already state that we are following the SOP in the sentence before.

Delete the following paragraphs altogether:

Paragraph #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20.

Agreeing to arbitration encourages complaints. Everyone wants to play Jude Judy on the cheap. Why allow them to cause you grief and pretend they are Johnny Cochran. If someone has a legitimate complaint, make them pony up, hire a real lawyer, file a real lawsuit, and beat you in a real court with real rules of evidence. Forcing them to put up the money to sue you for real eliminates 9 out of 10 complaints right off the bat.

Delete paragraph #26. It isn’t delineating terms of an agreement. It’s more of an article about thermal imaging.

In paragraph #27, delete the words I’ve bolded:

The client is voluntarily entering into this agreement with you and so doesn’t have to voluntarily agree to voluntarily waive something. You can delete the word “voluntarily.” And everything one agrees to waive is “to the fullest extent allowed by law” (you can’t ask someone to agree to something illegal anyway) so you can delete that part too. Unnecessary.

Paragraph #28 is really two clauses that have no connection to each other. I’d separate the lower case (first half) from the upper case (second half) and make them two separate paragraphs. If you insist on the second paragraph, it seems more natural to put it near the end of your agreement.

Also, you refer to it as a “thermal imaging scan” in the beginning of the paragraph but then refer to it as “The inspection.” I would stick with “scan” so as not to confuse it with the home inspection. It is something in addition.

Paragraph #29 has this within it:

I’d be careful with that sentence. A sharp plaintiff’s attorney will point to it and argue that your IR camera should have aided you in identifying areas that warrant further investigation by YOU. Is that what you meant? If you meant to say that it aids in identifying areas that warrant further investigation by someone other than you… then you need to make that clear. I just don’t like the sentence. It’s a lose-lose IMHO.

Also, it says:

What addendum? A clause within an agreement isn’t an addendum to an agreement.

Paragraph #30 reads:

Part 4 of what addendum?

Paragraph #31 reads:

What addendum?

Also, remove the bolded part of the first sentence:

Regardless of whether or not they are “present” I’m going to assume that you want your client to contact someone other than you about these issues.

Finally, you should title the agreement “Home Inspection Agreement” or something at the top.

All done.

Disclosure: I’m not an attorney, I only play one on InterNACHI’s message board.

As always, I’ll gladly pay the hourly fee of any attorney who would like to come on this message board and reveal his/her thinking, especially if it conflicts with mine.

Thank you for your time Nick. It is very much appreciated.

Thank you Tim Bright for posting this and Thank You Nick for taking the time to respond with this point by point breakdown. I have been racking my brain on how to come up with an Inspection Agreement that won’t leave me open for litigation.

I use InterNACHI’s insurance. They gave me a state specific one their lawyer drew up for clients. Easy way to get one that has been reviewed by a lawyer (without lawyer costs).

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