What I'm Seeing Now

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"I'm Calling To Say You're An Idiot"

On inspections, I often leave my card and write something on it. 

Sometimes it says, "The ice in the bin was not made by your ice maker, shame on you."  But that was another story in another post.

Usually it just says, "Please call me with any questions."  Not all home inspectors would invite this.  I do.

This practice has gotten me other inspections in the past with either the sellers or agent of the property I inspected.

This time it got me a call. 

"Is this the inspector?"  "Yes.  This is Jay."  "I'm calling to say you're an idiot!"

This I had to hear!  With a big smile, I simply said, "Go on."

"You say there's rotting on my bay window!?  I went outside and there is none!  NONE!!  You inspectors just say things to say them!  You have no business reporting things that don't exist!  You haven't been in business very long, have you!?  And you won't BE in business very long because you're an idiot!"

I could have heard him from across the room.  There is a bay window on each side of the house.  My report clearly pointed out the bay window behind the bush and beside the telephone equipment, to distinguish it from the bay on the other side of the house...

So I thought I'd have some fun with it.  "Did you read my report?"  "No, all I have is a faxed copy of the addendum and they are asking that the bay window be fixed!"  "Sir, I reported rot because there is rot.  But I'll tell you what.  I will pay you $1000 toward repairs on your house if you go back outside and find no rot."  "I'LL TAKE THAT BET!  AND I WILL PAY YOU $1000 IF THERE ISN'T ANY, HOW'S THAT!!??"  "Fine.  And be sure to check the bay I mentioned in my report, the one behind the bush and next to the telephone equipment, on the other side of the house.  Please call me back!"  "I WILL!"

This is what he saw:

 

See the bush to the left?  And one of the two phone boxes to the right?

Of course my pen wasn't there.

I could have stuck my pen all the way into the house!

He never called back.

And I am still waiting.

I'm sure he'll call any minute now.

The episode reminded me of a saying in Spanish - Mucho tacto y mucho ojo ántes que se meta la pata.

That means, essentially, to have tact and keep your eyes open before you stick your foot in it.

I cannot tell you how tempted I was, and I mean with a bad angel on each shoulder (!), to call him back and yell (like he yelled):

WHO'S THE IDIOT NOW!!

But I won't.

My recommendation:  Show some upbringing and use some tact when you call a home inspector! 

Sometimes we actually know what we are talking about...

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 28 commentsJay Markanich • March 02 2010 06:43AM

Comments

Jay, your good advice applies to anyone in any circumstance who puts their mouth in drive before engaging their brain...

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 10 years ago

True Brian, true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Hey Jay, do you think the check is in the mail?

Posted by Lee Floyd (Race City Inspections Inc) over 10 years ago

Amazing what some people will do.  I bet you see and hear all sorts of things.  I liked your post.  Great catchy intro.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 10 years ago

Unfortunately we have at one point or another done just that.

Call him back and just tell him he hit the lottery , you have chosen to forget the $ 1,ooo

odds are he wouldn't answer anyway once he saw your #.

enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 10 years ago

I am sure when the guy looked behind the bush he felt like a idiot.  He just opened his mouth up and removed all doubt. LOL

Posted by Diane Williams over 10 years ago

I got a call from someone who said that their friends house for sale was inspected by me. They were impressed with the job I did and recommended me. I bet that happens to you more often than the genius who called you an idiot.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 10 years ago

People always seem to think they know more than the professional!

Posted by Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR (Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA) over 10 years ago

I find my seller's anxiety level is at its highest after a contract is signed when they are A) waiting on the inspection report, and B) waiting on the appraisal.

Anxiety can do strange things to people.  I usually give them a bye if they speak before thinking.  I'm sure they're quite pleasant people when they're not trying to sell a home!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) over 10 years ago

I am sure he will call any minute or he may be on his way over to you right now with check in hand...Thanks for what you do...

Posted by Pat O'Reilly (RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth) over 10 years ago

Hi Jay.  I side with the seller.  I am sure the window was in fine condition until you damaged it with your pen.

Posted by Glen Fisher (National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay,

I rarely get calls from sellers but when I do, they usually think they know more and seldom do.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Jay, I am sure----in fact possitive---the check is in the mail---just be patient.  If it isn't I will split half of it with you:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

I guess you showed him...It's nice that you didn't rub it in.

Posted by Mike Gillingham (Eastern Iowa Inspection Services LLC) over 10 years ago

Lee - um, no.

Thanks Paula.  I understand people enough to know when they deserve a break.  Like I said, I wanted to have some fun.

We have Don!  I had some fun with the experience.  He didn't ruffle me...

Diane - he probably picked his jaw up off the ground and did not tell his wife about the phone call!

Like you probably do James, that is how I pick up most of my new realtor clients.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

And it doesn't matter the discipline either, does it Pam?

I deal with that seller's anxiety every day, Richard, and understand it completely.

Pat - I'm waiting by the phone even now!

Glenn - I could have stuck my pen into the living room and used it there!

Steve - like you, I get remarkably few.  But those I do get are usually very memorable!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

I'm looking so forward to it too Charlie.  And thanks for the offer!!  I'll take it...

I'm a Scoutmaster Mike and being friendly, courteous, and kind are important!  Actually he didn't ruffle me at all and I did have a little fun with him!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay- Self restraint is the golden rule in the home inspection profession, nice going!

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Yeah, Eric.  I am no Machiavelli.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Yeah...that ego offense/defense thing,,,,or the people who comment on blogs without knowing...or asking...the entire story...and want to hear their own voice....that's adult, mature, professional...oh not.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

Mr. Jay, I'll call him for you. If you will leave the details up to me, I'll get the 1000 bucks for you. Ms. Kate

Posted by Kate Kate over 10 years ago

S&D - interestingly, there are two sides to a house!  Pretty much the same with people too...

Kate - thanks, but just knowing that I am due the money is enough for me (;>).  I really was just having fun, as you know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

So Jay, if he continues to avoid you, remind him to hold up his end of the deal by adding him to the official Billy Jays promotional email list.

Posted by Kate Kate over 10 years ago

Woulda, coulda, shoulda have his email Nana!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay - that was very nice of you to tell him where the rotted window was.  I don't know if I would have had the patience.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 10 years ago

Reuben - when I suggested he check the bay on the other side, he did go silent for a second and probably had a small chill go up his back.  He still came back with the "I will!"  So, who's the idiot now?   ;)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Mr Jay,

Perhaps I should fly out and determine who is the idiot. I can pick them.

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Nutsy - you may!  Just remember, he called me and not the other way around.

Be sure to wear your jersey.  It might help bring spring here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

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