A listing agent called the other day and asked for a price to do an inspection the same day. I replied that I would get back to them within 5 mintues. After checking my schedule, travel time and the location I called back to confirm that I could indeed be there later that afternoon.
In this case the the listing agent was also going to acting for the buyer. Since the property was being sold for well over a million, the buyer did not want to pay for the inspection and expected the agent to cover the cost. I had previously met the agent but we had no prior associations.
Initially the agent wanted a quick one hour walk-through of an inspection. Could I do it? I replied that my professionl association has Standards of Practice that clearly indentify what is and is not covered in an inspection. I could not possibly do any inspection within a hour and still call it such. For that particular house it would take me at least two and a half hours. After which I do a client walk-through review. The report is then prepared back at the office and issued within 24 hours.
The agent then told me his price, no quibbling, that I he was prepared to pay for the inspection. It was substantially less than my rates, even after discounting as I sometimes offer. However since I value relationship building, I considered it worthwhile to accept.
I arrived at the house. The agent told me where to find the hidden key and after a few minutes of hide-and-seek, I found it and let myself. The agent was busy elsewhere. The house was not occupied but staged professionally. I went about my work and completed the inspection in due course. The agent called several times to see how I was doing and advised that they would not be present for the walk-through review at the end of the inspection. I due course I finished the inspection and sat in my vehicle in the driveway and called to give the agent a verbal summary, as there was some urgency in knowing the findings. Back in my home office, the report was completed and issued later that night.
The next day I received an email from the agent thanking me for the report but asking me to return to the property to do an in-person review of the findings with them.
My reply was as follows:
"...Telephone consultations on any completed inspection are always welcome and at no charge. Unfortunately the client walk-through applies to when the inspection is performed. I can return to the site of course but this is extra work and I would have to charge for a second visit."
So what do you think? As agents, do you expect this level of service at no charge?