Home Inspection Payouts/Buyoffs

July 11, 2005 · Print This Article

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection Nothings ever a 100%, my business philosophy for home inspections is to pay anytime a client has a complaint whether I’m at fault or not if its under $500.00. This does three things, first it protects my referring realtor from any negative backlash and second, it allows me to immediately move on mentally instead of brooding, thirdly I won’t have negative comments being made about me. Mostly, I like to think about the payouts as a type of positive advertising in the relatively small community of realtors that I work with. This policy has gained me several realtors who actually told me the reason for choosing my company was exactly that. They heard I would take care of most anything complained about. Yes, that means I pay for things outside the scope of a home inspection. Yes, it means that I pay out if someone “feels” something should have been discovered even if covered. So I pay promptly and admit that the condition might have been discoverable or the lapse in communication was my fault. Which brings me to today’s post.

Received a call from a very distraught and upset client, I posted on his case in “Being Right” just a week ago. So, the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say, goes like this. The realtor calls and gives me a verbal tongue lashing for giving into the customer’s demands so easily as this has emboldened the customer into thinking that he might be able to get some funds out of the other parties involved in the transaction. Namely him. The client may not be particularly rational in his demands, according to him, he “felt” as if the realtor made light of what was needed to bring the house up to his “standards”. He went on to tell me all about the “perfect” house they sold to move here. So, if I’m hearing this correctly, the reas0n the client is upset is that the house needed more work and money that what the realtor had told them to expect. This would be a somewhat valid complaint if your “standards” were perfection and quality. They basically gutted the house as nothing could be saved. This cost more than the repairs that were suggested by the realtor and my report. G0 figure. The report did list all the defects, minus one that was covered by vegetation, however the client felt that the realtors and I conspired against him in the estimates for repair. Of course I never give estimates for repair or replacement for that matter and reminded him of that at our last meeting, not that it mattered to him.

This was a 30 year old home and my client told me that I had failed to mention that the roof had been patched in the home inspection. He told me that he would not have bought the house if he had known this all important, crucial fact. Not that it leaked or anything its just that the interior ceiling patch was noticable. And this failure has caused him great pain and suffering. He actually said that. Like that would have been the reason to pull out and not the other 25 defects listed in the summary. I have since started noting in my report (not in the summary) any obvious patching to the interior ceilings and roofing materials.

So what I gather from the realtor is that the client is writing letters to the better business bureau, the board of realtors and has consulted his lawyer. I’m sort of out of this I hope, thanks to my business policy. Can’t wait till he signs the wavier and release form so there’ll be an end to this story, at least for me.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

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