Why You Need Your Contract Accepted Before the Inspection – Part One

Home inspectors need contractual agreements with their clients. These agreements set out the rules of the game. Good contracts align client expectations with the scope of work of a home inspector. Contracts explain what the home inspector can and cannot do, and contracts allow the client to decide whether they want that service at the quoted fee. With new technology like Horizon home inspection software, managing contracts has never been easier.

Someone Else Should Set the Rules

Contracts typically refer to a Standard of Practice to make it clear that the home inspector is not creating their own set of rules, but is following an industry-wide guideline. That makes the contract more defendable. The Standard may be set by a professional association or licensing body if applicable.

The Home Inspector Has the Advantage

Home inspectors are familiar with their agreement, and clearly understand the rules of the game. Clients are generally unfamiliar with home inspection and with the agreement. Courts do not like it when companies take advantage of consumers. It’s important to level the playing field and make sure the client understands the rules before the game starts.

The Client Needs Time to Review

Clients should be given an opportunity to review the agreement and the Standard of Practice. It’s important that the client understand and accept the terms of the agreement. Most would agree that giving the inspection agreement to the client at the end of the inspection is not fair. Many also say it’s wrong to ask the client to accept the agreement part way through the inspection. This happens more often than one might think. It is common for the client to arrive late for the inspection. The inspector has already begun his work when the client is presented with the agreement. Clearly the client is under pressure to allow the inspector to continue, and may be more inclined to accept the terms of the agreement than they otherwise might be.

Join us again at Part Two where we conclude by looking at the last (but definitely not least) reason to get your contract into your client’s hands before the inspection. See you at Part Two!

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