To provide or not to provide

Green inspector here needs advice. So the buyers agent for a home I inspected last week sends me a text today. He said, "Need a favor from ya. The listing agent for the home at ??? is going to be calling you shortly. We need a little clip from your report but it needs to be separate. She’ll explain. She calls me and asks if I can provide a clip from the report about the write up I did on the water in the crawlspace. The crawlspace had a trench dug around the perimeter of the crawlspace about 18 inches wide and a foot or so deep. All of the perimeter piers were located within the space of this trench. The trench was full of water and all the piers were under water. My report on this section was video documentation of the presence of this water not the source. My recommendation was further evaluation by a qualified professional. I am seeking this advice because I feel it is the best course of action before doing anything. She also sends one text to me and said, “Please check your report to make sure it says the source of the water. I guess they want to know there are no major leaks”. She says this is for the Underwriter. We have had rain here in Macon Ga almost every other day for the past two months. Based on the water marks on the piers, looks like the water has been up and down.

First decide if you have any further information to provide about the water problem or source. You might not be able to see the source, so it would not be a good idea to speculate on that. Second, only provide information to your client. Then if the client chooses to share that info with someone else, like the listing agent, that is their choice not yours. I like what you said about the water level appeared to have gone up and down, and I like what you said recommending evaluation by a qualified professional, such as a drainage contractor. Just be careful not to speculate about the source if the source was not visible.

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What James said. I wouldn’t try to determine the water source. That’s what the professional you referred job is.

Tell the agents your client, the buyer, has the full report they can get what they need from them.

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Also, just as a general practice: Providing a bit more information after the report is okay if you state that it is just clarifying or restating what was already in the report. But providing a lot of new information seems to imply that the original report was incomplete. That would be a bad idea, unless the original report was indeed incomplete

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I’m thinking that the only thing I didn’t say was that the source of the water is unknown, which was implied by the recommendation of further evaluation of a qualified professional.

Interesting that the buyer’s agent refers to himself and the seller’s agent as “we”. I would provide no more info than what is already in the report and let them get that through your client.

You could reply that inspector report defects not the cause of the defects. That is why we refer it out to a qualified professional for their expertise.

It is like a MD general practitioner hearing a sound in your heart but not knowing what is causing it, specifically, referring you to a qualified cardiologist.

Hope this helps. :smile:

P.S. Also, I would make a note that this a only a section of the report NOT the complete report.

P.S.S. You will need permission from you client to send this information from their report.

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This is important;

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Thanks for all the advice my fellow inspectors. I will discuss this directly with my client before any further action is taken. I’m thankful for the rain but C’mon man.

Sounds like the agent wants something from you, you cannot provide. Probably somehow, wants more info for mortgage and/or insurance, or to satisfy the buyer so they can $$close the deal.

Somehow you politely can tell 'em you recommended further evaluation… . …
DON’T tell me I need to make sure it says the source of water, I’m not altering the report for your $$commission. :cowboy_hat_face:

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Thanks again everybody. What an awesome resource to have.

Great post/replies

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Your not required to “find the source” of water. For all you know someone could have dumped buckets back there to in hopes of…?

Your only obligated to share the information with your client, if they want to request information from you and they want to forward it on, that’s up to them. Unless you can identify where the water is coming from, I’d leave your comments as is. That’s why your recommending further evaluation, right?

Exactly. This has been a good teachable moment for me and I believe I have made good solid decisions in this matter thanks to the help of my fellow inspectors and Internachi. Such a valuable resource.