Seller is trying to bully me because I advised my client to get a structural engineer

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Can we get a little more detail? Really you shouldn’t even speak to the seller, unless your buyer gives you permission. That big angled crack is MORE than enough to warrant a structural engineer. Tell him to pound sand.


Hi David,
Below is the email I received from the seller (I did not give my report to the seller…but my client did give my report to the seller as he backed out of the purchase). Again, below is the email I received:


I am the owner of xxxxxxxxx Road, Cumberland Furnace, TN. On July 18th, you conducted an inspection on that property for the Buyer and your report referred to cracks in the foundation that may be a structural issue. A Structural Engineer was asked to visit the site on July 25th. His report is attached and clearly states that your conclusions were wrong. You mentioned a bulge in the floor was caused by a cracked foundation wall. The cracks in that wall are 8-10 feet away from the bulge, and per the Structural Engineer’s report, that wall is not even a supporting wall!

As a result of your report, the sale that was scheduled to close on August 12 was terminated, costing me a very good sale. I expect you to remit payment to me for $365, as reimbursement for what I paid the Structural Engineer. Payment is expected to be received by September 4th. If it is not received, I will then reach out to area realtors and the state home inspector oversight board.




Ignore the seller. Photos say enough.


He says you claim the crack caused the bulge, I dont see that in your pictures. Did you write it somewhere else in the report? You were concerned about bulging and cracks and reported as such. Also, he is going to have to deal with this at the next sale when it gets inspected.


Thank you Christopher! The seller was belligerent with me on the phone as well.This is a house that he is flipping. He told me he has been in the construction business for a long time and I should know it’s okay.

I told him that I am not a structural engineer and that it was not my scope of practice to make a structural judgement. In my report I advised my client to have a structural engineer assess the cracks (there were many more pages of cracks throughout the crawlspace).

Just ignore him as Christopher said. You reported what you saw and gave your recommendation.


Telling him fine. I’ll show them All of the photos I took of the Huge cracks in the foundation wall(s),.
Majority of Realtors in my area would stay far away from a house with that problem.


I don’t see where you came to any conclusion what caused anything.

Just a mentally challenged ass that’s all emotional, shooting the messenger.
You have no duty to him & I would never speak to him again.
If he chooses to slander you he may pay dearly for his indiscretions.


The seller paid for his own structural engineer to evaluate after my client backed out of the deal (my client said after seeing that many cracks he didn’t want to buy the home and didn’t want to pay for a structural engineer to look at it).

The seller has since sold the house to somebody else. Because the structural engineer said it was okay. The seller thinks I should pay the $365 dollars he had to pay to show the other buyer everything was okay.

Thanks Marc! You’re right…I never made any conclusions, that’s why I recommended a structural engineer (because it’s not my scope of practice to make structural conclusions).

I’m glad everyone here is supportive. This is the first time I had a client (buyer) give the seller a copy of the report. Is that normal?

So the common theme in your feedback is to ignore him. You should also refuse to discuss details with him because he is not your client and you have an obligation to maintain confidentiality, even if your client gave him the report.


Thank you everyone, I will take the advice to ignore him.

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Dear Seller:

As I’m sure your own real estate agent has already told told you, you are not my client. When we do an inspection we observe and report, which I did. In MY opinion based upon the visual evidence present, I felt it would be prudent to have a licensed engineer review the cracks AND movements.

Apparently you did so of YOUR own free will. I’m happy for you that YOUR engineer (so you tell me), decided in HIS opinion it was NOT significant. This has apparently led to a quick 2nd buyer for you.

Thank You for the opportunity to PAY for YOUR voluntary decision to hire an engineer BUT at this point I think I’ll pass.


The Inspector


To other Inspectors … My above reply would have me BEING nice. AFTER that one time I get real rude


Thank you Dan! Your email reply example is perfect! If I decide to respond to his email, I’m definitely going to use your example.

Tell him you’ll send the report over to the “home inspector board” for him. Beat him at his own game. Just like a bully, if you make fun of yourself, a bully has no ammo.
Tell that guy to read a book.

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The Seller May not have even read or had access to your report, but instead is going off what his agent told him, of what the buyer’s agent told him, of what your client told his agent. I see no problem with how you worded the report and certainly you have no obligation to give that seller anything. You did your Job and protected your client.

And one other thing, The Seller may not be relaying what the Structural engineer reported about these Defects…May not have even have had an engineer evaluate it.

I had a seller gripe and complain in the same manner about loose toilets “That killed The Sale of His Home”…(gave me a negative google review). The dink, was just a liar and I turned that negative review into a customer magnet.

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Not that it’s yours to determine, that is likely from all the blasting that went on out there.

A crack that big needs to be documented as it is beyond the scope of any HI.

Your client didn’t ask for the engineer so you have no connection with that transaction.

I would not communicate any further with this seller. The more you talk, the greater your potential liability.