Question: What do you do if the utilities aren't on.

Wise decision, the few returns you will make for free will come back ten fold with more inspections for you when the grateful clients tell their friends about you.

Jerry, I would have done the same thing. Consider it the best $100 or marketing you have spent so far.

I have always done it that way. My philosophy is that I am not going to penalize my Client for something that they had no control over.
Unlike some, I do not view my customers as ATMs.:roll:

Same here simple and every one is a wins

I send out an email to my clients and Realtor before the inspection, I emphasize that all utilities need to be on for full inspection. If I have to come back for a re-inspection I charge $40. It covers my gas and I don’t feel like I am over charging my clients. Now, if gas goes up to $5.00 a gallon by summer as reported, I will have to raise my fee for re-inspection.

My contract specifically states…

I agree and understand that it’s the client’s responsibility to ensure all utilities are activated.

Now I do remind my clients however they can tell their own RE agent. Their RE agent can deal with the sellers agent. I think what your doing is great “above and beyond” it’s just something I have no interest in doing.

I don’t know about Missouri but Texas sales contracts state:

…and I expect them to abide by that. I can’t think of a more negative marketing ploy than to penalize my client for something the Seller/Seller’s Agent is responsible for.

Well, Mike…next time someone hires me to do an inspection and I can’t finish it because there is no water, gas and/or electric turned on…I’ll tell them to call a seller in Texas and get them to pay to have me return. ;-):smiley:

In my state, the relationship between a buyer and his home inspector is strictly that and does not compel the seller to even agree to an inspection if he doesn’t want to…and he is certainly under no obligation to pay the home inspector for anything.

And there’s the compelling difference. Without some ‘legality’ I would likely do as you guys do.

Really? I am not compelled to charge anyone for the power and water off scenario and it actually happens about 4 times a year. I consider it the cost of doing business. As long as no malicious intent was present. I just don’t see holding someone financially accountable for something they have no control over…

Individual preference I guess. What works for some may not work for others.

As stated earlier most contracts state it’s the sellers responsibility. I tell the client up front there would be an extra charge BUT, I never actually charge. I just want the client to realize he got a deal. Too many take it for granted otherwise.

I tell the buyer, I can inspect the home with the utilities off or you can pay for a trip charge and I can come back. Everybody seems to understand. Just as Bushart says, you get paid for what you are worth. If your time is not worth anything then you should not charge anything for the inspection either.

I believe the good will generated is worth more than the trip charge.

That’s an interesting take on it Mike. I don’t see anything that says responsibility reverts to the Home Inspector if the utility turn on doesn’t get taken care of between the buyer and seller. The inspector has even less control over this

Most of the times I find utilities turned off it’s on a bank owned property and I don’t think they use the standard sales contract (I may be wrong as this is not my field of expertise). I know the don’y use typical option periods. I usually advise my client and their agent to seek reimbursement for the return fee from the seller/listing agent. I usually have over 2hrs drive time in an inspection so I don’t do return trips for free, unless I happen to be in the neighborhood. If the client can’t get reimbursed by the seller, I will typically waive half of my reinspection fee of $200. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often

Chuck, I’m not following that line of thought so I’ll have to think about that some more. :slight_smile:

Heck Russell… it happens 1-3 times a week here…

“And someone always confirmed that all the utilities were on from the SELLERS AGENT”

Buyer and Buyers agent make the calls confirming water, gas and electrical are all on…

You get there… and well, you can guess. It’s usually 2 out of 3.

If it’s local, I’ve gladly gone by, and if it’s not imposing too much, I’ve done it pro bono.

When it’s "Tim, it needs to be done and your report amended by tomorrow afternoon, I say “sure, that’ll be $XX” Unless I was gonna be around the corner.

And if it’s a rural area, all that I have in a day is time… and someone is going to pay.

What it comes down to is a mixture of Customer Service and a balance of your time as a business. Simple.