I inspected a house last week with serious issues with the electrical panel. [FONT=Arial][size=3][FONT=Arial][size=3]Panel# 1 Had Double taps present, subpanel grounds and neutrals should be separated, missing wire connectors, panel breakers not properly labeled, open knock out holes, missing sheathing around wires at top of panel. Panel #2 Had Double taps present, Open “knock-out” hole- insert, “blank-out” cap to close off opening,[FONT=Arial][size=3][FONT=Arial][size=3][FONT=Arial][size=3]overheating (burnt) wires on breaker #21, Breakers not properly labeled. I recommended a licensed electrician to evaluate and estimate repairs. Now the buyers buyers are asking me to come and re-inspect the panel (the homeowner is a retired electrician that done the repairs) The most serious would be the burnt wires. How would you feel about reinspecting this panel ?
Fine. I’m no less capable of finding defects in a reinspection than in the original inspection.
Of course there would be a fee, because if I’m good enough to inspect it a second time, I’m good enough to be paid to inspect it the second time. I also have some disclaimers specific to reinspections, not the least of which is that I do not certify or warrant the work performed by others. The client should obtain any code or permit compliance certification and warranties from the person or entity that performed the work.
So why don’t you have them for new construction and renovations? I presume that in those cases you also are not certifying or warranting the work of others and that the Client should get all the receipts and such from the Seller.
I agree with the thought on the disclaimers… I “feel” that there is more liability involved in a re-inspection.(at least in the emotional world of the client, assuming that once I look a second time that what I see is exactly what they’ve got - no room for error)
I’ve only done one re-inspection and have gotten screwed on it (Realtor said these buyers didn’t have any money and asked me to do it for $75). Hour drive to the home, about 45 minutes to re-inspect (around 12 specific items, including walking the roof, crawling in the attic and crawlspace), hour drive back and sitting down now to write a report. Any suggestions on the format of a re-inspection report?
How much would you charge for the re-inspection I just described?
It depends on what the original charge was because I charge a minimum of 50% of whatever the original charge is. I state this as one of the first items in my report so they kind of have to see it. I also require 72 hours notice for re-inspections. So the drive time is part of the original inspection. I say “minimum” because I have made exceptions with higher prices. For example, if the home was a scraper and was three hours from me, I’m probably going to charge at least 75% for the re-inspection.
I’m going to stop doing re-inspections for free. I advertised re-inspections for free because I thought the clients would see value, and appreciate my returning to check repaired items for them. Occasionally the seller would want something in writing to say I checked the repairs, and I would charge a small fee, to the seller.
I found some shingles had been poorly installed, it looked like the shingles in a small 3 feet by 3 feet area were just put on top of old shingles. I said it looked shoddy, but I couldn’t find evidence of leaks or damage. There was also a gutter that had fallen down and needed re-attached. This was in May. I returned in July, and it looked as if they had properly installed the shingles, and re attached the gutter, so I (verbally) told my client it looked okay.
Fast forward to October: The client has sent about 1/2 dozen emails to me. Seems as though the repaired spot has been leaking, and caused some sheathing damage. The gutter has fallen down again. Her email stated that a “contractor” discovered they re-used old shingles, because he could see the nail holes in the nailing tabs when he removed them. The gutter was attached with spikes, and they evidently just used the old holes, and re drove the spikes in. He told her “the inspector should not have missed this”. I explained it is not normal for me to pull shingles off and inspect the attaching methods, I just verified the shingles looked okay to me on my return trip. Why didn’t I see the damage to the sheathing? I explained, and provided pics, that There were 3 layers of batt insulation in the 2 foot high (at peak) attic space, no walk boards, so I didn’t traverse the entire attic. This is why, I explained, I recommend a qualified roofing contractor to make these repairs. A qualified roofer would have seen any damage when he removed the shingles. The “roofer” was her brother in law’s friend. After the 6th email from her, I finally said “look, I’ll refund the entire re-inspection fee for you. Matter of fact, I’ll double the amount I charged you for the re inspection. 0 dollars times 2 is 0 dollars. Next time, you should really get a legitimate contractor to make these repairs”. I explained at least a dozen times that it is impossible for me to see a leak when it’s not raining. She can’t understand why she has to pay a contractor to fix something I said was “okay”. I should buy a new roof, and pay for new gutters and installation, because, according to her out of work can’t get a job brother in law alcoholic friend who installed shingles as a summer job in high school 15 years ago, the inspector “dropped the ball”! lol
I’m done. I will start charging at least 1/2 of the original inspection fee for re-inspections, and will work on a liability release letter.
I should also state that the same information about re-inspections is Item #1 in the home inspection report. Thus, it’s going to be the first item they read. They are forewarned.
I do re-inspections on 34.9% of my inspections (October 15, 2001-present), and the re-inspection fee is added to the cost of the original inspection since they both are for the same Client and the same property. That’s part of the reason why my average inspection fee for 11,800+ inspections is $688.41 as of yesterday’s inspection.
You do keep some very detailed information. Is this on Excel or another spreadsheet? My data for the past three years is in ISN. They have many different reports and I could tell you what my average is for any time period while with ISN. My first three years I used a spreadsheet. I had a different one for each year. I don’t have all of the historical data merged like you do. I should work on that.
I do charge for re-inspections. A minimum of $150.
My wise old grandmother taught me tracking way back in 1966 when she helped me set up my first company. She also told me why tracking is important. I’ve done it with every company I have ever been affiliated with, either as the owner or as an employee.
I started with those graph sheets that we used in K-12 classes. In college, I graduated to a very powerful and expensive TI calculator. Then it was on to Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, and Excel. My whole life is run by Excel, so much so that friends who know me well and have seen my Excel spreadsheets call me ART for short. It’s an acronym for Anal Retentive Tracking.
My greatest success with tracking was on April 15, 1993. My main company at the time was Just Your Type, a word processing company dedicated to students and staff at Texas A&M University, my alma mater. Just Your Type was the business that I started in 1966 with my wise old grandmother’s help. I continued it throughout junior high, high school, college, and post-college.
A five-year customer of mine, Larry, at the A&M location had a very rich father, which is why Larry never typed his own papers. When he graduated, his father commented on how much money he had spent having papers typed, which gave Larry the bright idea of opening a competing word processing company. Eventually, Larry took Bryan and north College Station. I had south College Station, all the way to Houston where I was doing business with Fulbright & Jaworski, one of Houston’s largest law firms; Fulbright was Leon Fulbright of Special Watergate Prosecutor fame.
Larry had been trying to buy my company for five years so he would have all of the Bryan/College Station market. Finally, we both were standing in line at the Bank of A&M on April 15, 1993, both transferring money from our savings to checking accounts to pay our IRS tax burden. Larry asked me jokingly, “Well, are you going to sell to me today?”
I was having a midlife crisis and told him, “Come on by the office and we’ll talk about it.” He waited outside the bank for me and followed me over to the office. He asked what I wanted for the company. I told him. He was shocked, asking if I could prove the company was worth that. I took him into my storage room where I had 27 years of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual records, including tax returns, cool graphs, accounting sheets, clients’ names, addresses, and phone numbers…
He sat in my storage room going over records for over four hours, came out, expressed his amazement at my anal retentiveness, and wrote me a check on the spot. Later that evening, I loaded up the Saleen Mustang GT with a week’s worth of clothes, 100 CDs (all of the The Beatles), $5,000 in cash, and took off. Drove north to Fargo, west to Seattle, and south to San Diego. Wound up staying in San Diego and never went back to Texas. Two of my office managers, both graduating seniors, helped Larry merge Just Your Type with his business, Copy Corner, and sold my collection of 15,000 vinyl albums, 400+ CDs, the Mercedes, the motorcycle, the properties, etc. It took them all summer to do that but they continued to get a weekly paycheck, and when all was finished, they both got 10% of the proceeds from the sales. David went to Europe and Nick got married. David is still in Europe and Nick is still married.
When my husband got his real estate license in 2005, I convinced him to keep track of things, especially open houses, things like hours of the open, attendance, weather, what else was going on (Raiders are playing the Chargers here today), etc. That way he could pretty much predict the future whenever he wanted an open house. That has proven to be true. If it’s raining, have an open house. We are so used to sunshine that when it rains we don’t know what to do, so people love to go to open houses. If the Raiders are playing the Chargers, advertise that the game will be on at the open house and you’ll have people coming by because only so many people can fit in the stadium, especially at those outrageous prices. Etc.
Lately I have been writing very lengthy posts for this Message Board. Note that I do very little typing in my old age. It’s 99.9% Dragon Naturally Speaking…