What I'm Seeing Now


"All Repairs Done By Licensed Professionals, With Receipts Provided"

Pick your phrase when a sales contract's addendum identifies something and the seller agrees to get it done - all repairs done by licensed professional, with receipts provided."

It doesn't matter how you word it.  This phraseology is to prevent Uncle Bob from coming over and "fixing" something wrong.


Incredibly, you might be thinking you are looking at the same "repair."  NO!  These are two different "repairs!"

This roofer is consistent however - they look remarkably similar to three more "repairs" on this same roof.

If you think I am kidding, or joking, or did this myself to set up a blog post - YOU WOULD BE WRONG!  THIS IS A ROOFER WITH A LICENSE TO DO BUSINESS AND WITH A COMPANY NAME!

Here is the problem we have around here.  May I paint the picture:

  1. Bambi works for Pinocchio.  
  2. Bambi "learns" the business from Pinocchio.
  3. Bambi wants to strike out on his own.
  4. Bambi doesn't speak English.
  5. Bambi wants to get a license.  At this point refer to #4.
  6. Pinocchio knows someone in the very modern-thinking and multi-cultural County office who speaks his and Bambi's language.  (In fact, they employ people in that office that speak every language imaginable, well, except English it seems.  Just call them on the phone, you'll find that out...)
  7. Bambi brings Pinocchio to the County office to explain that Bambi doesn't understand English.
  8. Pinocchio asks his friend in the County office if he can translate the test for Bambi.  Bambi, of course, will honestly answer the questions.
  9. Bambi hears the County official say, "Of course!" in his own language.
  10. Bambi, amazingly, passes the test with flying colors!

I don't know about where you live, but this is happening in all the trades around here.


My recommendation:  see if you can find out who the "licensed professional" is before any work is done.  That might be hard to do!  And if it's sweet, innocent, very cute and harmless little Bambi, with no track record of any kind, BEWARE!




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 25 commentsJay Markanich • July 27 2012 03:30AM


Whew, what a mess.  I'ts also disgusting that work goes on by unlicensed contractors who don't carry workers comp or liability insurance.  They undercut the ones that are legitimate.

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay,

In our contracts it specially states a licensed person who normally does the work needs to complete repairs and provide receipts. I agree always ask for references and then call them!! Better yet call friends or neighbors and ask if they have any referrals for roofers, etc.!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 8 years ago

This guy was legitimate in every way required by law Wayne!  That's my problem here.  You should have seen some of the electrical and plumbing repairs!

That phrase was satisfied by this "pro" Dorie!  How do you avoid Bambi?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I also have seen this kind of stuff from licensed contractors.  A license doesn't ensure good work or good service.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

That is EXACTLY right Randy!  And that includes everything - school teachers, dentists, auto mechanics - well, you name it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

This is truly awful.  You try to protect your buyers by the language in a contract and then you get this?  Shocking!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 8 years ago

Too bad some folks just don't care about rules and regulations.  The school of hard knocks is a good teacher, it's just that the tuition is prohibitive.

Nice post Mr. Jay.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay.  This one is really an eye opener!  The fact that this person has a license to do the repairs (and does it as pictured) is frightening.

Posted by Linda Blumenthal, NYS Licenced Real Estate Salesperson, CBR (Hampton Crossing - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - 631-466-4087) about 8 years ago
Jay, you can not be serious. Best to hire your local trades who take pride in their work and back it up.
Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 8 years ago

Morning Jay Uncle Bob again if the people will follow your instructions it will put Uncle Bob out of business which is a good thing.  Enjoy the day

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 8 years ago

One of my buyers was presented with a receipt for a repair to an A/C system that didn't cool in the home inspection. Temperature would go below 89 degrees.

At the pre-settlement walk-through, the temperature still wouldn't go below 89 degrees. 

What good was the paid receipt.

That contract fell apart.  The buyers were NOT going to buy a home with no A/C.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Darn, looks like he used the wrong color shingles, and not enough nails.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 8 years ago

I think Jeff is right... but needs more caulking too.  Bambi likes caulking.

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) about 8 years ago

If you were the seller, would you not hire the cheapest contractor you could find to do the repairs? You get what you pay for. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay, That guy works in my area also ; ) This is one issue with having repairs being done by owners. Sometimes it would be best to get a credit and control the repair yourself.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay. I honestly thought you were kidding around. Yikes. I would have to contact the local building department and inquire if they know this person and if not let them know about this person. I guess from here on out it will read "repairs to be made by a licensed professional and must be accepted by buyer prior to close". It makes me feel a little better knowing this guy is probably a few states away.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 8 years ago

This is a really good point Jay; the statement, "all repairs done by licensed professional, with receipts provided" is simultaneously vague and 'kinda-sorta' convincing, without lying...but certainly not guaranteeing the quality of work.

Isn't it funny that we tend to assume that a 'licensed professional' would do a good job?  Ahh, the language of possible deception.

Posted by Karl Hess, on The Jersey Shore (Keller Williams Shore Properties) about 8 years ago

Jay -- I agree with Donald (#15) as to it being better to get a credit and then have full control of the repair.  Elsewise, one might have to add to the qualifications: "Done in a professionally acceptable and workmanship manner."

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 8 years ago

Hi Jay,

Looks like we finally found Uncle Bob's nemesis the guy who can't speak a word of english.

And I thought we were the only ones with this problem. LOL

Terrible job. I mean terrible try at it. All you can do is cringe.

Have a great day in Virginia.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 8 years ago

Jay it would appear that someone stole the doctors prescription pad :)

And of course I agree with the Don of Wenatchee #19

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 8 years ago

Jay, Every Tom, Dick and Harry say they are professional but most don't have the license to prove it.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 8 years ago

Kathryn - the attempt was to truly protect the buyers!  And well, this is the result.  And not the only thing!

Ken - life experience is surely a cruel, but effective, teacher.  And expensive!

Linda - I hate to say it, but this ain't all!

David - a local trade got this job, but, as you can see, someone lost out in the end!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

James - I think Uncle Bob is preferable to this guy!

Lenn - gee, that's the best time for a deal to fall through...  this is one unpredictable business!

Jeff - obviously all that is a matter of opinion!

Jim - personally I was disgusted by the lack of duct tape.  But that's just me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jim - depends on how you define cheap!  It's going to get another go round, and not only this "repair" but a few others!  He saved all kinds of bucks!

Don - this guy's work here is classically similar to his work nationwide! 

Randy - his friend at the County office will help him out!

Karl - agreed, licensed professional may or may not indicate professionalISM!  The agent was trying to protect the buyer, but alas and alack, not this time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Steven - that's surely one way to approach it!  It works well if you know the extent of the problems and will get no surprises later.

Not so Clint - this is a HUGE problem here and has been for many years!  And it won't get better.

Shadow - this guy's work was eerily and consistently similar all over the roof!  Classic!

Debbie - obviously it isn't the license that proves professionalISM!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

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