Just got a call from the seller of a home that I inspected. I inspected the home for the buyer (the buyer is my client), and I do have the buyer’s permission to talk to other people about the inspection.
Anyway, the seller would like me to come out to the house and show him the things that found in my report. The seller has a copy of my report, which he received from my client.
Wondering what anyone else would do/has done in this situation. Part of me it tempted to just tell him that my findings are all in the report, as I am pretty busy and don’t want to freely give away my time to show him everything that I found. Never mind that I don’t really feel like talking to a guy who probably isn’t the happiest to begin with.
I’m careful to explain where the defects are located in my report narratives and include lots of photos as well. I don’t mind answering questions from sellers for clarification and my PIA gives me the right to do that, but I’m not re-visiting the property for anyone without compensation.
You don’t need to show him the problems. He’ll want an explanation of what needs to be done to fix it so he can do it himself.
Just ask him if he wants to pay your fee on top of the contractor’s fee that he needs to call out.
Last week I did an inspection and found the flashing was installed wrong and the thermal camera showed me 2 leaks not visible with my naked eye yet, verified with a moisture meter. The seller wanted me to show him since he did not believe he did the flashing wrong. Lucky for him I was a block away at another home so I stopped by and he was grateful to see the leak. I did this so they would know where the problems was. No charge just good word of mouth advertising, and not out of my way too bad or i would have not done it.
I would say “No” as well. As Juan said, he can hire you to do a full inspection if he chooses. The reason I would not go back is because you contracted with the buyer only and I’m sure your contract includes verbage to that effect. The buyer is the only one who is supposed to rely on the report and the report only addresses the condition of the house that day.
Going onsite with someone else you have no contract with and giving advice specifically from that report has too many potential liabilities. A good lawyer could argue you are condoning his reliance on that report. Furthermore, what if there is something you missed or something that has changed which you see while you are there? Do you mention it to the buyer? The seller? And before someone jumps down my throat about being a nervous Nellie, I say this all the time and I’ll say it again, it costs you money if someone even files a lawsuit. They don’t have to win it.
I would talk briefly on the phone only and encourage him to get qualified contractors to follow up on the recommendations. Protect yourself first. Talking gets inspectors in trouble that’s why we have written reports.
In this scenario, Tom is not liable for anything, anymore than he is with his client, the seller wants clarification of his report. No PIA is needed, and I wouldn’t want one. Having a PIA *would *make me liable.
Not to infer that Tom is anything but a good inspector, but GOOD! If the inspector (in general) cannot stand-up for and defend with facts what his report states, it all should be held against him. Perhaps this is needed to weed out the low-life inspectors that do crap work. Licensing does nothing, but a lawsuit or two will sure clear out the ranks of thoses that don’t belong here. This is how we ‘policed our own’ before licensing came about. Lawsuits, peer pressure, quality work and ‘Handshake’ marketing.
I have no problem talking to the home owner (provided my client has given permission), but I’m not going back to the property to “explain” or “show” them anything - not even for compensation. The inspection was not performed for their benefit.
I will, however, return to the property for a paid re-inspection at the request of my client.
Jeff… not being argumentative, just curious. (Assuming, without full details)… the client is still under contract to purchase the home, so would it not be in your clients best interest for the inspector to assist the homeowner with clarifying the report so the transaction can move forward? The client has already provided the report, and his permission to discuss. Perhaps the report specifies (example) missing or bad flashing on the roof, but a roofer claims no, and the seller want’s to be certain any necessary repairs are made. Not all sellers are trying to get away with crap. Many want to do the right thing.
While I understand the point of providing full service to your client, I have to make a “Jonas type” comment here and say… Our job is not to help guarantee a transaction moves forward.
I liked what you guys said before, clarifying in your report the location of an issue is key. Photos accompanied by clear directions are more than enough to identify an issue. Contractors will always argue with the inspector, but they can’t argue with clear documentation. I’m cool with discussing the report but not showing up at the property. Besides, the only snapshot of the home which matters is the one in the report, not what it looks like a week later.
And you’re going to have to include a bridge or some swampland to your claim that having a PIA has more liability than not having one before I’ll buy it.