To move or not to move

Do you ever pull out the refrigerators to see behind them. Found this last night. This was a fully new renovated place, new drywall the whole nine yards.




Well now you have violated the SOP and and your insurer will not cover any claims against you if you have damaged the floor.:roll:

It is amazing how often one finds a defect by simply pulling the fridge out a foot or so!:wink:

I don’t disagree but we are being told that your insurer may not cover you if you damage something in the process while exceeding the SOP.

Like everything else in this business, it is incumbent upon the individual inspector to determine whether the risk of doing anything outweighs the risk of not finding something.

I recently had a buyer and their agent move a freezer (it was blocking the furnace enclosure) and they put a huge tear in a brand new vinyl floor!

Glad it wasn’t me. (I didn’t even know they were doing it).

Nice find.

I would suggest that if you do this once, you continue to do it. I’d hate for something to be missed at a later date from not doing something that you have done in the past. JMO

Michael I totally agree with your thoughts on the other thread. But why bring it here. No need to constantly be a pot stirrer. I am sure you are smarter than this. The guy just asked a simple question. No need to start spreading your wisdom of what not all over about the SOP. Like I said, I agreed with you on that thread but leave it in that thread please.

Sorry Ian. It seemed like a good fit.

Stirring the pot a bit makes people think. And hopefully they will offer their own opinions and thoughts on a subject.

It should help clarify issues for all of us.

I thought he meant the damage caused by peeing on the floor after he moved the refrigerator and seeing what he saw…

As I tell my Clients when I manage their expectations:

Russel, managing Clients’ expectations: “I am a home inspector, not a mover. I don’t know any movers who are home inspectors. They are two different professions. If I were to move something and damage it, or something else in the process, the sellers are going to want someone to pay, especially if you decide to cancel the purchase. If you and your Realtor used the standard purchase contract provided by the California Association of Realtors (Realtor nodding his head “yes”), it states that you are responsible for fixing or paying for any damage I cause. Do you mind if I cause any damage while I’m here?”

Clients: “We sure do. We’re paying enough for this house without you causing us to pay more.”

Russel, continuing to manage his Clients’ expectations: “No problem then. I’ll be as careful as I can, even around the plain old cardboard box since it might have a priceless antique from Great Grandma’s journey to America back in 1908 (Clients chuckle). I’ll let you know about potential problems in areas that I can’t see or don’t have access to, both here today after the inspection and in the inspection report you’ll get tomorrow. I’ve been in real estate for over 40 years, so I’ve seen a lot of interesting stuff and can make some pretty valid assumptions about a lot of things.”

Clients, after having had their expectations managed by Russel: “Thanks very much, Russel.”

If you, your attorneys, and your insurance providers decide that you will or won’t do something, can or cannot do something, make sure that you have an answer for the Client who asks about it. For example, if you walk the roof:

Client: “Why do you put yourself at risk by walking on a roof that is only one year old?”
Home inspector: “Because I grew up in Texas, am very macho, and have to prove to you that I have balls.”

If you don’t walk the roof:

Client: “Why don’t you walk the roof since it’s almost 100 years old?”
Home inspector: “Because roofing contractors are licensed by the State of California and home inspectors are not. Therefore, I don’t have insurance to pay for disability or a funeral if I get injured or die from falling off a roof. Roofing contractors do. Interestingly, though, the insurance companies don’t seem to mind if I place a ladder on top of my car to look down on the roof. They’ll pay. So I’ll go to great lengths to see what I can. I’ll climb trees, fences, etc. I’ll even walk around the block to that propety up there, knock on the door, and ask them if I can look down on your roof from their back yard with these 75x binoculars, but I just can’t walk on the roof. If I see anything problematic, then we can get a roofing contractor out here for a more detailed inspection of the complete roof.”
Client: “Good. Thanks, Russel.”

Exceeding SOP’s [](javascript:void(0):wink:

No just doing a good job…

So now I can see new clauses in inspectors’ contracts which read: “The inspector will not move the refrigerator, so there may or may not be a section of unfinished wall behind it which will not be visble to the inspector, and therefore the inspector makes no representation that the wall behind the refrigerator is completely finished to the extent that adjacent walls may be finished, and the buyer, by purchasing the property, assumes the responsibility for the presence or absence of a fully-finished wall behind the refrigerator, and shall hold said inspector harmless ahould any part of any wall which lies behind any refrigerator be found to be unfinished. Uh, and same goes for the range.”

Inspectors may feel free to adopt this verbiage as they see fit. :wink:

Or, you can inform your clients that if you can’t see it you can’t inspect it.
Or, you could move refrigerators, ranges, couches, etc.
It’s a business decision, IMO as long as you’re consistent, you’ll be fine.
I’ll bet the client’s were glad Mark moved the fridge.

What’s the big deal—it’ just a hunk of drywall :slight_smile:

Very nice!

However, you could generalize it, and thus shorten it, for any area that is not visible or is not accessible:

“The inspector will not move any items that do not belong to inspector, so there may or may not be problems concealed by items that were not moved because those problems were not visible; concealed problems are not within the scope of the home inspection.”

If I moved things in one area, or at one inspection but not another, what should I do here?

If I were to injure myself moving something that did not belong to me on someone else’s property, I’d be on my own since my insurance specifically states that it will not pay under such circumstances. Ditto with AD&D and life. Not to mention not being able to work.

Bingo! But make sure your insurance policies will cover you if you start being a mover since the moving profession and the home inspection profession are two different professions.

Doug look at picture #2. That’s my beef. Not the missing drywall however it is funny.

Yes they sure were. Except that was nothing compared to the rest of the inspection. Newly remodeled home with one big missing disclosure. The house flooded due to a busted pipe two weeks ago and wasn’t disclosed until after I found the moisture in the walls and the mold growth.:wink:




Stick the camera at the back edge and take a pic or two. I do this behind any in-place appliances, including the washer, dryer, large appliances, etc. Can see on the digital screen if one pic is sufficient.