Mystery caller

So my wife answers this phone call and on the other line is a woman who she describes as having “attitude” about a home inspection I had done earlier n the week. Keep in mind that this is still the beginning stages for me. She hangs up and proceeds to tell me about how this lady wanted to know when my business was established, what credentials I carry, etc. And tells me that the situation doesn’t look good. I have to say I’m a bit concerned about who this mystery lady is…possible seller not being to fond of what I came up with in the home inspection. Also keep in mind that the home inspection wasn’t had by her, but by a man who in turn decided against buying the house. I called her back but no answer so I let a message. Herein lies my concern. Should I be stressed before she calls back?:neutral:

Nope. No stress. You did the job you were hired to do by your client.

If you want to do something productive, go back over your report and review the language you chose to use Otherwise, don’t dwell on it.

Nope. Do not make assumptions about anything. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a return call either. If it was the seller, you have no duty to them, and (possibly) should not be talking with them about the report anyway. Let it go until you have actual details.

PS… please update your profile with your location… thanx.

Many people just need to blow of steam .
Her home did not sell and she is upset .
She has had her say and now can relax.

As a friendly suggestion, in cases like this, your wife should not field the call. She should either take a message, or forward the call to you directly. She wasn’t there, she doesn’t know who it is, she doesn’t know what you said or didn’t say at the inspection, and she doesn’t know what SHE should or should not say or tell the caller.

Possible response: “Oh I’m sorry you aren’t happy. I’m sure that Shannon, the owner of our company, would be more than happy to discuss this with you personally, and give you any appropriate information that he can. Can I get your number and have him call you back.”

This was probably just a pissed off RE agent who lost out on her listing commission and is now trying to smooth things over by telling the client you didn’t know what your were doing. Don’t let your wife inadvertently give her the ammo she needs.

I could say: “Don’t sweat it” or “Don’t loose sleep over it.” But you will anyway. These types of calls are scary. Just know that if you’re doing your job right, you’re going to get these once in a while…

Unlike the common myth to the contrary…you actually do have a duty to the seller. You have a duty to be accurate in your description of the conditions of the home.

If you are wrong with your “facts” and your error causes the buyer to walk, the seller can successfully sue you for tortious interference with the sale of the house.

That is why you never use words like “mold” (unless you have actually had the organic substance tested and proven to be mold), “code” (since the AHJ could have actually approved the “violation” you are observing which legally brings it into compliance), or other statements that are outside of your scope and ability to prove.

New inspectors, especially, often feel a need to try to impress their clients with their excessive knowledge and can easily end up painting themselves into a corner.

When your client decides to walk away from a deal based upon your report, you want to make darn sure that your report is an accurate and unbiased description of the property in every sense. If not, you could very well end up buying yourself another house.

hmm it all depends, do you enjoy being stressed??? :smiley:

Call back and use *67.

The only complaint I’ve had to the BBB was about 3 years ago from the vendor when my house inspection broke the sale.

@#$$%%^*&^%&… then the BBB hounded me with a letter and a call to try to get me to join their scam on the public!!..“the info would show up online as unresolved…this would turn a potential client against me…you really should join and get this resolved so we can give you a clean record” They will not resolve the complaint unless you pay them by joining!!! A bunch of low lifes!!

The buyer was the 1st cousin of the RE agent and thanked me graciously for the thorough inspection…we found the cousin a much better fixer-upper a few days later. The real client was very happy!!

When someone who we are not sure about calls the office, I nor the inspector is hear to answer any questions. They take a message, find out who it is or what the issue is and then I call them back. This gives me a chance to review their question and develop a proper answer BEFORE talking with them. It makes for a must easier conversation. It is just a good way of doing business.

When this happens to me, I first think Dan Bowers is just pulling another prank.

Dan is good at telemarketing. So are disgruntled home owners who lose a sale.

I get calls frequently asking where we’re physically located; when I started business; if I have insurance; how much; what my credentials are; how many I do a day; how many I do a year; etc. I pretend like I’m an attorneys office AND turn it around and start asking them questions.

We’re not the public library. Who are they? Is it pertinent info?

Do I feel the need to provide the info?

Its like tracking for a Bill Collector. I can’t tell you how many people just open their mouth like a downhill slide and give ANY total stranger almost any info they’re asked about.

Oh no!
Are you recommending we be concerned about “recommending further evaluation” on issues that have not been substantiated as requiring repair?

Requiring electrical service panel replacement because of the name attached to it when it’s operating perfectly fine?

Require replacement of appliances on the basis of its date of manufacture?

Require repair of code violations that were not in existence at the time of construction?

I wonder how many people ever read the second paragraph in the NACHI standards of practice?

Fortunately for most inspectors, sellers have too much on their mind and too much going on to pursue these issues. They simply want “out-of-town”! They don’t want to be tied up in a court case that will bring them back.

Thus, you get these phone calls in the night so they can “vent”.

Contrary to the convictions of some inspectors, just because you haven’t been called on it yet doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. The more you do it, the greater your chances become.

I never require anything.
I recommend.

Big difference.


my state law requires “requires”! :wink:

Sounds like a code inspection.
They would not like that around here.

Confirmed it was the seller and she was to say the least angry.I tryed to talk to her in a rational way but that wasnt working. In the end I told her that maybe she should have an inspection so she knows the current condition of the home she is selling and I offered my services.Whether or not she liked to hear that I dont know and dont really care I went in and did my job The End.

Depending on where you are at. All you put into your report now becomes disclosure for whomever is selling the house. No need for her to have an inspection she just did.


Jim warns:

I can envision a scenario in which an inspector’s report contains so many material errors that a seller would try to sue an inspector using this type of theory, but this would be a tough case to win. The seller would have to prove a few things, the most difficult of which is that the inspector *intentionally *caused the buyer not to perform under an existing contract. Negligence alone, isn’t enough. The general rule is that a professional (such as a home inspector) owes no duty to third parties. See, for example, Section 552 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts. “One who provides information in a commercial context is not liable to third parties are neither the beneficiaries of, nor parties to, a contract.” See, for example, Bily v. Arthur Young & Co., 834 P.2d 745 (Cal. 1992).

An inspector might owe a duty to a third party such as the seller of a home, but only if the inspector and buyer/client intended to make the seller a third party beneficiary of the contract. In general that will not be the case because the inspector is performing the inspection solely for the buyer that hired him and often has no intention of sharing the inspection report with the seller or of conferring any benefit on the seller. So I don’t see how a home seller would be able to successfully sue an inspector hired by the buyer on a negligence theory.

I came up with another way a seller might be able to successfully sue an inspector, and that is under a defamation or similar theory: if the inspector made false statements of fact about the property. I just don’t know of any case where something like this has ever even been attempted. The only case I know of is one where I (personally) sued a credit reporting agency for giving their clients incorrect information about me on a defamation theory. The credit reporting agency quickly stopped defaming me. In other words, I got them to stop telling strangers lies about me via the credit report they were issuing. The credit reporting agency in this case would be similar to a home inspector (both issue reports to their clients about 3rd parties). And I would be similar to a seller (being defamed by an inaccurate report). Again though, this is only a theory of mine which I used once against a credit reporting agency (which settled quickly), and I don’t believe it has ever been used against an inspector.