Reusing an inspection report

I had an agent call and ask me to do a re-inspection on a previous inspection I did for a different agent and buyer that backed out. How do you handle this?

I’ve also had agents ask to use a home inspection report I did for a different buyer that backed out of a deal. What do you do here? Do you charge them the inspection fee?

Inspection reports are good for the day of inspection only. They are only good for the client who paid for the inspection and who’s name appears on the report.

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You need to charge for your time and effort, of course. So, you might base it on what you think your time and travel costs will be. My report-writing software has a function for doing re-inspections, yours might as well. Obviously, you are confirming which defects are still present, which have been addressed, and any new defects you discover.

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Re-inspect full fee. Do not reuse old photos from the previous report. Do not assume anything is the same. Conditions change.

This is what I do.
I review my old report at the end of my new inspection to ensure I did not miss something I called out before and go back and verify the condition still exists.

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A “re-inspection” for a NEW client is a NEW inspection. NO exceptions!

I’ll answer your question with a question(s)…
Q: What do you think your LIABILITY will be for this NON-client using an old report you generated for a PRIOR client??
Q: Why would you do this??
Q: As a “favor” to the agent, hoping do get more business from them??
A: DON’T DO IT !!!

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These are the answers I expected to hear. Thank you all for your quick response. I feel better about the way I handled it. Agents can sometimes be hard to please.

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Can you imagine the terror of discovering that the surgeon about to cut you open is relying totally upon information obtained from an old lab report from last year’s physical exam?

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One ethical thing to ask yourself; Is it fair that your previous client paid for an inspection for someone else?

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The only way to handle this is to start over and charge your regular fee. Anything else is inviting trouble.

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Brian, this is a great point…! (Do not use previously taken pictures)…!

A re-inspection is a new inspection all over from the beginning.

Just to share a personal experience: just last week, I did a seller’s pre listing inspection. The buyer’s Realtor hired another inspector as expected. This fellow inspector submitted his report and such report was passed to my client, the Seller, who in turn pass it over to me (.pdf) over an email. Full circle…! I was able to get “a second opinion / a second set of eyes” on a job I just finished. Despite the fact we both are Licensed Home Inspectors in Maryland (same minimum standards), you will be surprised of the discrepancies. No wrong or right, but you can create some unnecessary confusion just for the way the wording was different. Conclusion: New inspection = New Report = New Fee…!! :rofl::joy:

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This comes up every once in a great while. I let either the agent or new buyer know that the report is the property of the client that purchased it and I am unable to share the information. The client may be willing to share it and more often than not they do. When the previous buyer does not share the report I often will discount another inspection as I have already been to the property and have a better idea of what to look for ( This has only happened once and was just a couple of days after the previous inspection). Sometimes they will get the report from the previous buyer, decide against the property, but like the report and contact you for the next inspection. I have met agents, got re-inspections and new inspections from this. You cannot just hand out other people’s reports but you can help facilitate other options that may help increase business rather than just saying sorry can’t help ya and losing potential clients.

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LOL…if that isn’t the understatement of the year, I don’t know what other would even come remotely close.

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I will contact my past client to see if they are interested in selling the report to the inquiring party/parties. I always tell them to charge full price or more, and many do.

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How exactly do they accomplish that?

IMO, that is unprofessional and unethical.

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What happens when the Second Buyer (not your client) want’s to file a claim for something you missed? If they can prove (actually just show) you advised your client to forward the report (with your blessing), You have not only doubled your risk, .But your E&O is going to be null and void because you did not get a PIA signed by those You, by proxy, performed an inspection and provided a Inspection Report.

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It’s been my personal experience that for the most part realtors rarely ask, they just give your inspection report to the next client so they can close a sale. So, because they asked I would be suspicious that there may be some issues in the report that need to be sorted out, I’d be cautious moving forward.

“The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.” ~ Lao Tzu

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Good point, I would not provide anything. Therefore, if someone gets their hands on your report they are not your customer. But if you hand it to them or provide them with the report, that is a different story IMO.

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It is a good point. One I hadn’t though of before. Even if you don’t sell them the report, if you facilitate them getting the old report, it could be viewed as the same thing. Best to stay out of it all together.

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I suppose by email? Never really asked. Guessing it has something to do with sellers and buyers agents communicating with one another.

Justin Kirch
Pro-spection Home Inspections