A Home Inspector Client’s Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish Decision

A Client's Pound-Foolish DecisionI remember the advice I received from a savvy real estate investor as I was about to purchase my first house.

It was listed at $29,000, and I inquired about whether I should offer $28,000.

The investor told me, “If you like the house, don’t lose it for $1,000. Do you know what $1,000 is? It’s $6.00 a month for the life of the mortgage.”

When broken down into those terms, who wants to lose a desirable home for $6.00/month? You can use the same logic when trying to convince possible clients NOT to go blindly with the low-ball home inspector.

I discuss this mindset in this week’s video blog.


Extinguish All Reputation-Damaging Home Inspector Threats

Extinguish Reputation-Damaging Home Inspection ThreatsBy the time a home inspector contacts me, he or she has already made exhaustive attempts to explain to an irrational client why a leak in a roof six months after it was reported as “near the end of its life expectancy” in an inspection report is not grounds for a claim against the home inspector.

At this point, the client’s Rage-O-Meter is near the top of the “shouldn’t exceed” zone. There is no logical discussion that can change the client’s mind or mission to make you pay. While there may be no logical discussion on your end, the firm and steady end of a competent legal counsel can make that claim disappear.

In this week’s video blog, I discuss how to extinguish all of these reputation-damaging threats.


All About Arbitration – Who Should Pay?

Tip 44 - All About ArbitrationA Connecticut home inspector recently wrote to me about a “finding” he heard at a local law course, in which he has told that the American Arbitration Association (AAA) is now looking at DEFENDANTS for a substantial sum of money when a claim initiates.

This law course “professor” instructed the students to specify arbitration using an attorney qualified to arbitrate and with related experience.

He asked for my opinion – henceforth this week’s video tip!

I believe the AAA is feeling the financial pinch just like the rest of us and believes pushing the financial burden to the defendant is just what the doctor ordered to gin up a slew of new arbitration matters by removing the financial disincentive to the filing of ludicrous claims.

Home inspectors can head off this change by inserting key phrasing in their pre-inspection agreement. Watch the video tip below to find out the exact verbiage plus listen to why I believe the “professor” was wrong in saying that inspectors should demand an arbitrator have home inspection-related experience.


Underbussing is Now a Reality TV Show!

HGTV Show Underbusses Home InspectorsThere is a current television show whose host maligns home inspectors for not discovering defects he was only able to discover through using a sledgehammer and other intrusive means.

Home inspectors were immediately taken aback by the show’s message, and rightfully so. Several asked me to watch a few episodes to gauge how the show would play in the meritless claim game.

After watching a few episodes, and switching between disbelief and comedic release at the host’s house destruction, I came to a firm conclusion.


Don’t Get Caught in Pre-Sale Inspections Trap

Pre-Sale Inspection Trap - Tip 34Sellers are encouraged to obtain home inspections prior to listing their house for sale.

That said, home inspectors MUST be aware of exposing themselves to liability to non-client third parties.

Home inspectors run into problems when someone with whom the home inspector does not have a contract claims to have been warned by the alleged negligence of the home inspector.

In this week’s video tip, I discuss why home inspectors like you should not get caught in the pre-sale inspection trap, illustrate how you can avoid it and detail an example from a case I recently handled.



Store Your Home Inspection Reports in The Cloud

A home inspector recently asked me, “Joe, how long should I keep my inspection reports?”

Home Inspection Report StorageInstead of using a lot of paper, rely on an electronic version for your own records. There are various free electronic storage options that are beneficial to home inspectors, who are looking to store 250-plus inspection reports, along with corresponding photographs.

I look at these storage options and the benefit of using electronic storage in this week’s video blog.