Home Inspectors Don’t Have To Be Right

June 29, 2005 · Print This Article

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionCustomer compliant calls are probably everyone’s least favorite call to take. They usually start off with “you should have seen this or you missed this”. Be careful, humans have a tendency to parrot/copy the conversational tone or style of the person there talking to. Just listening to someone who is pissed off and making acqusations raises your response level and/or anxiety level.

So my day starts with one such call. Bob you should have seen that the entire wall stucco was deteriorated and falling off, I had a guy here who tells me the whole wall may need to be replaced. He says that the wood frame is most probably all rotted. Ok, ok, I did your home inspection when? Oh, about 3 and a half months ago, and just where is the location of the wall. Oh, you mean the wall that was totally covered by vines and azaleas. Yeah, that’s the one, I just had it all removed like you suggested. You do realize that my home inspection was a limited visual inspection right? We don’t want to hear any excuses, this is going to cost big bucks and your responsible, we never would have bought this house, yadda, better business bureau, yadda, state complaint, yadda, yadda. Ok, I’ll be out tomorrow at 8:00am to have a look and see what we can do for you.

Well I can say the rest of the day was shot, just thinking about the call kept my blood up. Long story short, I arrive the next morning with my best face on only to be greeted by the client with a scowl and the words, “I’ve spoken with my attorney” yadda, yadda. Well let’s just have a look shall we. The entire wall turned out to be two very small patches at two locations where irrigation emitters were placed. The paint had blistered and some of the stucco had turned to powder. Probably about a hundred to two hundred dollar repair if you paint the whole wall in the process. I suspect that the drip irrigation heads had popped off and the wall was wetted at these locations every time the system came on.

I make a practice out of making sure all parties are happy if reasonably possible. This was a no brainier; I informed my client that while there were limitations to the visual inspection, it is “possible” that it could have been discovered during the inspection. There’s no percentage in being right, I did however point out my limit of liability to the inspection fee paid, however, I went on to explain that in all cases that require less than $500 to repair that our company would take care of the invoice. This client actually thanked me for being in his opinion “the only reputable person in the transaction”.

You don’t always have to be right; the right thing to do more often than not is to “let” someone else be right. I’ll be using this example/story to show other realtors why they should use me instead of the other guy even if my prices are higher. This is the best advertising you could possibly do in a small community of realtors.

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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