Looking for thoughts, We did an inspection on a house a couple of weeks ago. After much deliberation, the buyer walked away from the house for various reasons, (nothing to do with the report). Now we are being contacted by another agent that just “wants to have a look at the inspection”. We are still growing our business and want to help the agent but do not want to just give away our work. Also note that we are doing inspections in Mexico. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
This has been discussed several times on the forum. Bottom line is the report is the property of the client who paid for it.
I would tell them they need to pay for another inspection to keep you out of legal hot water.
Plus, anything could have changed in 2 weeks
What has the agent done to help your business? Have they provided any marketing or provided you with any leads?
If you provide them with your report this is exactly what you’re doing. The inspection report is for the day of inspection only. It is for the client who paid for the report only. Stay on this course and you’ll probably be out of business.
Agree with Daniel.
They can reach out to your client to view it, however make it clear that you cannot be held accountable for a report done two weeks ago. Check your state regs as well. Some states do not permit sharing the report without permission from the original client. Either way, they need to know that the report was only valid on the day of the inspection. Refer the agent to the buyers agent for contact with the original buyer. Don’t hand them your clients info.
That said, chances are that little has changed. However, HVAC systems stop operating many times without warning, pipes develop a leak, a breaker can fail. Think of it as a flat tire. Often, if not most, you don’t get a warning. The tire was fine when you parked it, next morning it is flat. You can offer a reduced price for the inspection if you like, since you have the bulk of the info you need, but that is your business choice. You still need to report on everything and create a report.
Edited to add…
Chances are the agent is trying to save the client some money in order to look like he/she is really working for the customer. I always ask …how much of your commission are you giving back to the buyer? That usually stops the “I’m trying to save them money” ruse.
Yes, this agent has provided us with several leads for inspection. Actually, during this thread conversation we just got another referral from the agent. We feel it could be important to help, but certainly appreciate all the thoughts!
I have a hard policy not to share without written permission from the client. I would tell the agent that. If you want to reach out to your customer for permission to discuss the report on behalf of your “referral honey pot” that is up to you.
My contract states I own the report not the client. If the deal falls through I offer to sell the report at a discounted price, but the person buying the report has to sign a hold harmless agreement.
I also must have written permission from client. I send them an email asking for permission. There reply is my written authorization.
This has been in my report for very many years…
"THE INSPECTION AND REPORT ARE PREPARED FOR
THE SOLE, CONFIDENTIAL, AND EXCLUSIVE USE AND POSSESSION OF THE CLIENT ONLY. NEITHER THE REPORT, THE CONTENTS OF THIS REPORT, NOR ANY REPRESENTATION MADE HEREIN ARE ASSIGNABLE OR TRANSFERABLE WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN PERMISSION OF 1ST PRO INSPECTION. "
I like that idea.
Thank you for the information.
That in interesting, thanks
This is a long shot. But what if the seller finds out you are distributing a report to people other than your client? In effect, stigmatizing their home as not suitable for re-sale.
I dunno, it seems like there is very little upside for you.
Thank you for the information.
Our verbiage is much more simple: PREPARED EXCLUSIVELY FOR:
We will review to make some changes.
Just curious randy, that agreement states that the report is for the USE of the client ONLY. But then it says you own it… just wondering how a lawyer would view that if you sold it to someone else when the original client has sole ‘use’.
I can let you use my truck but I still own it. I only sell it when the buyer backs out of the deal, then he has no further use for it.
One ~ The Inspection Report is delivered to the customer that paid for the job, then he can do with it whatever he/she wants, but…
Two ~ You are only liable to the client that hired you = paid you! However, if the Purchasing Agent/Realtor was the one that put you in front of such client, it is seldom confused that the Realtor hired you… NO…!
Three ~ In that situation you usually out of kindness and good manners, ask “the client” for authorization to email a .pdf copy to the Realtor. Still, there is only one origin of the Inspection Report and the intended recipient/owner is the cloró buying the house.
Four ~ The Inspection Report is a “Time Sensitive Document” and it’s contents, notes, observations and professional opinions are only valid “at the time of the inspection”. It won’t do much good to the Realtor or other person to make decisions on an ‘expired’ document.
Five ~ growing one’s business is important and necessary and it is critical to keep those business relationships alive and healthy, therefore DO NOT be rude to the Realtor, simply explain the above listed facts and make a wise business decision. You can always ADD a Fade-out Stamp diagonally across the report (All Pages) stating “PRELIMINARY” or “SAMPLE” or “NOT AN OFFICIAL COPY”. Or “COURTESY COPY, NOT INTENDED FOR FINAL DETERMINATION” or “VALID ONLY IF USED BEFORE 22JUL22 = THE INTENDED DATE” (Like Milk in a Carton)…!
At the end, You will be giving away the most important part of your job… Your Knowledge and Wisdom to see and determine things no one else can see…!! Do it at will, but do not compromise your liability.
My ‘elegant’ and professional way out is to understand that the customer may have invested in vein his $400, therefore I present a discount for the follow up job into the next property. That shows my business goodwill…!
I contact the buyer to give them contact info and have them sell or give it to whoever. Some get full price.
Bad idea, and the agent already knows this. Refer them back to the other buyers rep to get in touch with the buyer and that is the person who can provide the report. Again, the agent already knows this and probably has approached the other agent and buyer (your former client) and been told no. In my state i could lose my license for doing this, or at the very least be reprimanded.