Realtor Issue with Safety Call

Originally Posted By: mlong
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Just got off the phone with a realtor who was a little perturbed that his clients just walked out of a deal on a house that I had inspected.


His main point of contention was, that I had pointed out that the garage door leading into the house didn't have spring loaded hinges to automatically close the door. (There were some other issues, but this seemed to be his main hang-up) He said that he had already contacted local officials who stated that this was not a local code requirement.
I tried to explain to him, that I don't necessarily inspect to local codes, but inspect in general to the IRC and generally accepted building practices.

He doesn't want to accept this, and is demanding that I supply him with documentation that supports that this is a requirement to have a self closing door on the garage door leading to the house.

The crazy thing is, that this repair is a very minor repair, just a matter of changing the hinges. The door was already a fire rated door.

Any thoughts on how to handle this and try to diffuse this situation?


--
Mark Long
Peace of Mind Home Inspections
http://www.pomhi.net

Originally Posted By: jkormos
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Hi Mark, it seems that there would be more to a customer walking from just door hinges, why wouldn’t the seller opt to pay for them to save the deal. It seems as if the potential buys were just looking for any out to get out of the deal, door hinges on a already fire rated door seems to be a week argument for dumping a deal. If I were the realtor I would be looking to the buyers to see how I could make nice with them. icon_wink.gif


Originally Posted By: mboyett
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Self Closing Door Hinge ]


I agree, no one would let a deal fall thru for a $13.68 Home Depot item. I suspect the buyers got cold feet also.


Regarding thoughts on how to diffuse this…maybe consider buying the hinges to give to the Realtor or your client. Write it off as ‘good will’. I’d continue to explain how you inspect for safety & common sense items. I’d also confirm with your local AHJ that the self-closing door is not required. The Realtor might just be blowing smoke.



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: rcloyd
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You should state that self-closing hinges are recommended for added safety but not necessarily required. IRC does not require this and apparently local code does not. I can’t understand why this small item would kill a deal eusa_think.gif



Russell G. Cloyd


Intra-Spec Home Inspections


& Code Consulting, LLC


859-586-4591


www.intra-spechomeinspections.com

Originally Posted By: wdecker
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You are, in no way, required to justify yourself to the Realtor, any more than if the Realtor put a 5 day inspwection window clause in the contract and you challanged it becasue you happen to like 7 day windows.


To be sure, you should get some form of documentation and present it to her (him?) so as to educate, but her calling you for your wasnting to keep the buyer safe is just plain arrogant. I would report her to the local Realtors Association.

More likely. She is just looking for a scapegoat and you were convienient.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: bsmith
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Rest assured that there were other issues besides a $12 spring. The buyer wanted out and the Realtor is just venting his frustration your way.



Bill Smith


www.SmithHomeInspection.com


“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” A. Einstien

Originally Posted By: jpope
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Where is the IRC reference for self-closing doors?


It is a UBC requirement, but it's not required by the IRC.

If you reported it as a "required" system/device, you may need to back step a bit. Offer to pay and have it "professionally" installed. Explain to the client why you feel it's important.

If you reported it as a "recommended" system/device, tell the agent to pound sand and install the hinge on his own dime.


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: mlong
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jpope wrote:
Where is the IRC reference for self-closing doors?

It is a UBC requirement, but it's not required by the IRC.

If you reported it as a "required" system/device, you may need to back step a bit. Offer to pay and have it "professionally" installed. Explain to the client why you feel it's important.

If you reported it as a "recommended" system/device, tell the agent to pound sand and install the hinge on his own dime.


I'm probably going to have to step back, a bit. Unfortunately, I used the wording "should" have a self closing device, and "should" be installed, instead of "recommend". I'll have to watch that. It's actually worded this way in the Report Host Template. And though it may not in fact be an IRC requirement, nor a local requirement, it is in fact a local code requirement in the county next door to where this inspection took place, which is where I used to be a building contractor, so it's just stuck in my head. That aside, I still feel it's a good recommendation.

I have spoken further to the realtor about all of this, and I think we're OK, now. He admits and understands, that there certainly was more going on with this situation than just the few little things that I called out on this house. He just initially focused on the hinge thing for some reason. And as it turns out, my wording may have been overly strong.

Anyway, live and learn. Thanks for all of the input, guys!


--
Mark Long
Peace of Mind Home Inspections
http://www.pomhi.net

Originally Posted By: lkage
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I use “recommend…for enhanced safety” regularly.


I seems to go over well because I'm looking out for their safety and they can take it or leave it but at least I recommended it.


--
"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."
Galileo Galilei

Originally Posted By: mlong
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lkage wrote:
I use "recommend...for enhanced safety" regularly.

I seems to go over well because I'm looking out for their safety and they can take it or leave it but at least I recommended it.


Good wording. thanks, Larry!


--
Mark Long
Peace of Mind Home Inspections
http://www.pomhi.net

Originally Posted By: lkage
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My pleasure. icon_wink.gif



“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”


Galileo Galilei

Originally Posted By: dbowers
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- they always say “Damn, that inspector killed my deal”. Probably makes them feel better to blame someone else - other than own up to their lack of skill.


Originally Posted By: wdecker
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The thing we have to remember is that a home inspector has absolutely no authority to require anything. We only inspect, describe abd recommend. No one, niot the realtor, the seller or the buyer has to follow our recommendations.


The problem is that they don't know this. ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: mlong
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



wdecker wrote:
The thing we have to remember is that a home inspector has absolutely no authority to require anything. We only inspect, describe abd recommend. No one, niot the realtor, the seller or the buyer has to follow our recommendations.

The problem is that they don't know this. ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)


This is so true, and I am, and will be continuing to take this opportunity to educate this particular realtor. And he actually seems amenable to this.
I'm also taking this opportunity to write a Preamble to my SOP and Reports, that more or less states what you've stated above, except with a little more elaboration.


--
Mark Long
Peace of Mind Home Inspections
http://www.pomhi.net

Originally Posted By: dbowers
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I start every inspection out with a little here’s what I do, here’s what I don’t do, here’s what is included and heres whats not spiel.


Part of the spiel is:

"I'm in the opinion business and when spending your money I'm very conservative. I render opinions but this is not a passing or failing report. You're the person that passes or fails conditions that I bring up. Whether something I've discussed gets done or not done AND by whom is up to whatever is negotiated between you and the seller".

"I'm not the code inspector - if I tell you that there should be a handrail at the basement stairs, I'm recommending that to protect your family's safety and well being. It may or may not be a code requirement. If you want to know that, you should call the city or county and ask them".

"Please remember that home inspectors are like guard dogs without teeth. We bark and growl BUT we have no authority to make anybody do anything".

This has seemed to work fairly well for me the past 26 years or so.


Originally Posted By: jkormos
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Dan, very nice icon_biggrin.gif


Originally Posted By: wdecker
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Good points, Dan! Can I steal this?


My speil gors something like this:

There are three parties to this transaction, from your point of view. You (the buyer), me (the inspector) and the state (lawyers, mortgage companies, local code authorities, etc).

First, I protect you from me. I have E & O insurance to protect you from me if I make any mistakes. I also have general liability insurance to protect you from me if I happen to damage the property I am inspecting. I also have a fidelity bond to protect you from me if some of the owner's property goes missing. First I protect you from me.

Second, I protect me from you. Here is my inspectin agreement whuch the state and my insurer requires that I have you read and sign. It makes sure that you know what it is I do and what I don't do. (Insert your verbiage here, Dan).

Third, I protect you and me from everyone else. I write down everything that I inspect and describe it, both the defects of the property AND the good qualities of the property. If the pipes are old and rusted, I describe that. If the drain and vent pipes are copper (which is exceptional), I also describe that.

I make recommendations as to what, in my opinion, you should do or have done about the real or possible defects. Because I am limited, by state law and what the properties owner will allow me to inspect, on some things I am giving you my best guess based upon my experience.

It is YOUR responsability to read my report (and I will be happy to help you understand it, in fact I will NAG you to make sure that you do) and to go over what I find with your lawyer (or Realtor, in some areas where lawyers are not involved in the transaction) and you two will be equipped to negotiate with the seller and, between all of you, decide what the next step will be.

That is my job. I have the responsibility to inform and educate you and YOU have the responsibility to make the decisions on what do do with that education. I can (and will!) advise, but YOU must make the final decisions.

Hope this helps.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: jkormos
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Good morning Will icon_biggrin.gif


Originally Posted By: wdecker
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Top of the morning to you!


Happy Dance Time!!!!


![eusa_dance.gif](upload://s9dv24YwSSRLNpgOOSxL1BkwUQ9.gif) ![eusa_dance.gif](upload://s9dv24YwSSRLNpgOOSxL1BkwUQ9.gif) ![eusa_dance.gif](upload://s9dv24YwSSRLNpgOOSxL1BkwUQ9.gif) ![eusa_dance.gif](upload://s9dv24YwSSRLNpgOOSxL1BkwUQ9.gif)


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com