That Dang Inspection Agreement

By
Home Inspector with PWC Inspection Service

Ya' know...  one of the tougher parts of this job has been insuring that every Client gets the opportunity to read and fill out an inspection agreement (http://pwcinspsvc.googlepages.com/InspectionAgreementHighlited.pdf). 

I try to insure that each client knows to go to my web site, read one over, fill it in, sign it and fax it back.  I'm surprised at how many clients don't send one back and don't show up at the inspection with one.  Or, they return it un-signed.  Then they are surprised to find out that without it... there will be no inspection. 

We (I) get a lot of flack about the language used (probably because I go over it with them "word-for-word").  There is a lot of misunderstanding about the reason for it.

As a small business owner I would be nuts to operate a service business and not have a signed agreement from all parties as to what the service did and did not include.  I would be risking my families home every time I did an inspection.  As for my insurance provider... they will not cover the inspection if I do not have a signed inspection agreement.

Inspection agreements... can't live with'em, can't survive in business without 'em.

It's Good to be Me!

PWC

Comments (9)

Shawn Martin
Crosby Inspections - Vancouver, WA

Paul,

Like you I don't do an inspection without the signed agreement in hand.  Just too much liability at stake. No signed agreement No inspection

 

Shawn

Jun 15, 2007 09:03 AM
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
I always send a personalized inspection contract via email to the client along with instructions about printing, signing and bringing it to the inspection along with a check.  This is after I have already told them on the phone that I would be sending them one.  Double instructions, verbal and email, have always worked for me.
Jun 15, 2007 12:21 PM
Jim Watzlawick
Watz Home Inspections - Algonquin, IL
Watz Home Inspections
here in Illinois we are required to have an inspection agreement signed.
Jun 26, 2007 07:28 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Paul I send them a copy ahead of time,but most clients are not going to want you telling them they need to go through the trouble of faxing it to you ahead of time.

Why don't you just bring a copy with you.?

Jun 26, 2007 01:39 PM
Vicki Watzlawick
CORE Realty (The Watz Team) - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team
I don't think I have EVER seen an inspection done without an agreement.  But I also know a few Home Inpsectors send these to their clients BEFORE the inspection and all that legal mumbo jumbo is enough to scare anyone!  That's why I assume most of our inspectors explain them on site.  And also..why would you want to give someone a copy of your agreement BEFORE you even meet them...so they can fax it to the competition?  Food for thought guys!
Jun 26, 2007 02:15 PM
Mitchell Captain
AllSpec Professional Property Inspections Inc - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Home inspections in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach

I will admit I do not use a agreement for my home inspections. I did but I no longer feel it is necessary. I do the best job I  can for my client . I don't require them to  be at the inspection, but I tell them to understand the house they should attend.

I have made mistakes and have return a few inspection fees and only one was legitimate. I have had three lawyers letters  and have replied to all of them I have convinced them that if their client had read the report it would show them I was correct in my findings and limitations. Never heard back from any of them. 

BTW I am going on my eleventh year of solely home inspections. 

Jun 26, 2007 02:30 PM
Bruce Pinel
S & B Services LLC - North Kingstown, RI
Mitchell, do you carry E & O, if so, what is the company?
Jun 27, 2007 09:47 AM
Mitchell Captain
AllSpec Professional Property Inspections Inc - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Home inspections in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach

Bruce

As far as I know, if you have E&O they will not cover you unless you have a signed contract.  And if I did have it or didn't have it and a client asked if I had E&O I most likely would be booked for the next three weeks.

Jun 27, 2007 10:13 AM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

If you think your "legal mumbo jumbo" is scaring the client, perhaps you should rework your agreement.

Clear communication solves a lot of problems.  That includes ensuring your client knows what you are going to do and what you are not going to do.

Jul 01, 2007 06:44 AM