To Many People?

I am the inspector’s wife that is dealing with “Too Many People” issue. Recently, Nathan did an inspection where a total of 9 people attended the inspection of a 6 plex 1 bedroom apartment complex. An argument broke out in one of the apartments because 9 people were in the tenants small one bedroom apartment, and he felt violated. (Some of the people did not take off their shoes!) After this fiasco, when I answer the phone, I tell the clients, “To get the full benefit of your home inspection, the inspector asks that you bring a maximum of 2 people to the inspection.” It is also stated in our auto email that is sent to the clients and their agents when an inspection is booked. Needless to say, Nathan did an inspection tonight that had 7 people attend! He is fit to be tied. Dads with flashlights, people going through the sellers personal things, in the fridge offering drinks to one another, etc… He felt like he was babysitting more then inspecting. Inspectors all know the more people at the inspection the easier it is to miss something.
With all this said, would it be unethical to put verbage at the end of the report stating that the inspection was compromised by the amount of people that attended the inspection and the inspector is not responsible if something is missed? The clients were asked verbally and in email not to have so many people at the inspection. We would like everyone’s input.
Thanks! Gloria
PS This board is great! We have learned so much.

Nine? That’s all? It’s not uncommon for 15-40 people to attend inspections near the border here. Certain cultures bring everyone they know to celebrate their new home. Perhaps the inspection is not the right time for that celebration, but knowing that it happens, when it does, I usually contribute to the celebration. I carry a ton of candy in my car, and whenever too many people show up, or whenever the little rugrats start asking me if I can give them a piggyback ride like their daddy does, well, it’s time to bring out the candy. It never fails to get all the attendees back to one area (the kitchen) and “off my back” so to speak. I get candy in bulk at Costco, Sam’s Club, and on sale whenever possible.

Not unethical, but perhaps in a more subtle way. I do it by getting the names of everyone who attends, even if just first names. I sometimes also count the number of children running around, etc. Then, in general information in my report, something like this gets included. So then, if I get to court, I have something that indicates that inspection conditions were not optimal, and it was the buyer’s own fault for making them so.

On my inspections, normally the average home buyer has 1 to 4 people tagging along. I don’t mind this at all. I love answering questions.

But when it comes to numerous people walking around the house, I inform my buyer that if there are any questions, I will answer to my Buyer only. I recall one inspection where the buyer brought at least 12 people along. Everyone was asking me questions all at once and I started to get really perturbed. So I had to politely tell everyone that I had other appointments to keep that day and in order to keep questions to a minimum, I would answer to my client only.

Then when the homeowner arrived, the shi+ hit the fan. He demanded everyone to leave the house except for the buyer.

I didn’t blame him one bit.

Ain’t the “protectors” fun!:twisted:

Did an inspection for an Italian family, fathers, mothers, sisters brothers, cousins etc. 12 in all.

Everytime I turned around I had to wait for someone to get out of the way.

Dad wanted to go up on the roof with me. (I don’t think so…)

(2 bedroom 800sf bungalow)

I had a conversation with the client and told him I have a specific routine that I follow so that I don’t miss anything. I asked him to round them all up and I would take them on a guided tour (the education part of the inspection) when I was finished.

That worked.

I have started asking the buyers agent to keep them occupied for a while.

Like suggesting places for the furniture, planting gardens and stuff like that.

Keeps the client out of my hair and the agent as well. Now the agent doesn’t follow me around spinning everything I say



I have a problem with people running loose in an occupied house and no Realtor is present. If something goes missing, guess who’s gonna get blamed.

If no Realtor is present, I flatly tell the Client that he has to be in my presence during the inspection for liability reasons. If the number were greater than 1 or 2, I’d ask the others to wait outside.

LOL!! Try it with a Korean family sometimes! Koreans are wonderful people, and I love them, but it seems that Korean men are often pathological about proving that they are the protector and “the man”, so they feel the need to “confirm” for the family every little item, so they often wind up getting in the way. I’m fully aware of the cultural reasons for this, so I try to be as patient as possible. But sometimes, it makes me feel like this: ](*,) !!!

Relatives, or friends, of the buyer are not allowed on my inspections unless they have proof of permission from the owner.

If there is any question about it, I ask which of them owns the house…(none)…then on what premise does anyone have the right to allow anyone other than the buyers, Realtors, and the inspector into someone else’s house?

One nice thing about being old–I don’t have to kowtow to anyone for a buck. And I will not subject myself to any liability more than is absolutely necessary.

“Okay everyone, let’s all gather around for a group picture!” :smiley:

If my inspection is at 2:00 I encourage my customers to meet me at the home around 4:30 for a post inspection consultation. I go over all my findings and answer any questions they may have. This allows me to focus more on inspecting their home and saves them from having to wait around for 3 hours. Of course if they want to be there the entire time they are more than welcome to, either way I educate them on their prospective new home and help in any way I can.

The more people there are on an inspection, the greater the chance of something being damaged. And someone suggested that it’s not inspector’s responsibility–I think there is more liability than one might suspect for the inspector.

“You know that POS crappy beer mug cousin Jim gave us for a house warming present? (He got it at a garage sale for 75 cents.) Well, it got broken yesterday during the inspection. Ohh…how I loved that dear old mug. It has such sentimental value…”

Of couse, you don’t believe it’s valuable, do you?

But the judge might…

I’m am in no way responsible for any individual who enters a property I’m inspecting.

In Massachusetts there will always be a Listing broker on site to allow everyone to enter. If he/she allows numerous individuals into the home, it’s their responsibility. Not mine.

Very seldom is there a Realtor at my inspections–just me and the buyers. Sometimes the sellers are there and generally keep out of the way.

If extra people show up after the Realtor has let us in, or after the sellers have let us in, and they have dissappeared for other appointments, then I discuss the liability problem with the buyer and ask them how much blame do they want to take?

I’m not insured for this, the buyer isn’t insured for this, the extra people are probably not insured (and if they were not invited, they might be guilty of trespassing), and the seller might not be really pleased if something happened and they weren’t informed of this many people being there.

It is not my house–it is not the buyer’s house…and though we were allowed in for the inspection there is no tacit approval to bring in the hordes of friends and relatives.

I respect the owner’s property (and his privacy) and expect everyone else to do the same.

Despite laughing at RR’s comment, and the image in my head of the “family Photo”, I agree. I am there by invitation, to do a job, and quite often - because I am respected and trusted enough by realtors and homeowners alike (I guess I give off a friendly vibe… I dunno…) - the homeowners and realtor head off into the sunset and leave me on my own to inspect. I appreciate the respect and trust, and respect the owners property in the same way… and if the extended family and their neighbor’s kids all show up for the “We wanted to take another look because we didn’t look long enough when we went through with our realtor”, tour, well that is not something I feel comfortable with, because I KNOW that if **** hits the fan it’s going to be on me. I would feel terrible plus it proably wouldn’t bode well for my reputation.

Like another poster said on this thread in its parallel universe, don’t be afraid to take charge.

What if the agent says, “Hey Dave… I’ve got to run out for a minute and drives off.”

“Always” isn’t always always, in my experience.:shock:

I always discuss with my Client, during the initial phone visit/scheduling process, that I have a routine for inspecting a home and I work best if I’m left alone, for at least the 1st hour or so. I suggest they give me a good 1-1.5 hr. headstart before showing up to meet me and give me a check. By that time, I usually have something to talk to them about.
I’ve never had the problems that I have about here. I’d probably “Go Postal” if a crowd like y’all describe showed up.
I’ve had H/I’s with maybe 3 people before, but after introductions, I’ve excused myself and gone to work, and can honestly say that I have had virtually no problems or only minor interruptions. I guess I’ve been lucky…

Always is always in my experience.

Listing agents will never take off. They are on site for the entire inspection, because the Seller is entrusting them with their home.

I will not enter a home without the Listing agent, unless of course the home is a FSBO. Then the Seller is usually present.

In which case the seller or agent would assume the duties of “gatekeeper” and determine (and be responsible for) who enters.

Like I said–usually there is no Realtor after door is opened and/or no seller present.

There have been occasions when the sellers planned to leave because the buyer’s agent told them she did not want the sellers there during the inspection.

The buyer’s agent??? How does she determine who does what in someone else’s house???

I usually discuss a situation like that with the buyers, the sellers, and anyone else who might have an interest—usually the sellers stick around, but don’t get in the way. And everybody’s happy.

After all, the sellers may be looking for a good home inspector soon, ya’ know.

Your right on the money Jae.

About half the time, R/E Agts. show up at the beginning, and then leave it with me. The Client will show up with a CHECK, and then will normally leave and come back later, after I’ve had time to get aquainted with the property, or will wait for my call to say the report is ready for delivery,email, fax etc. the next day. ALWAYS THE NEXT DAY, NEVER THE SAME DAY.

I get, in fact I depend on additional work from the out going Sellers. I bet I picked up 50+ additional H/I’s in 2006 from my work on the houses being sold. The Seller almost always gets a copy of my report on their house.
My Client (normally the Buyer) typically asked if I will available to speak directly to the Seller if they have any questions concerning the report on their house. I always say YES. It allows me to communicate with another potential Client. The Sellers aren’t always happy with me after receiving my report, but usually when we get finished discussing my point of view, and review the CD of pictures together, more times than not, I got myself a new Client. Cost of developing new business just dropped dramatically and I usually will pick up new R/E Agt. contact. too.

My retention and/or growth of Client-R/E Agts. is not as good as my retention & growth of Client-Buyers & Sellers.

I guess I’ve been pretty proactive with my approach with my Clients, and Lucky too.

I guess I neglected to say that I take a lot of group pictures. Quite often I’ll put a picture in the report since that then encourages them to keep the report beyond the so-called usefulness of the inspection report as a snapshot in time of the condition of the property. Then, when next they need a home inspector, they’re likely to call me. It’s all about marketing.