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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In many complaints or claims against home inspectors the real culprit may be the seller of the subject property. Many times the seller, in an effort to get the maximum price for the property, may omit disclosure of certain defects or in some cases (gasp) may even have tried to hide a defect or two to make discovery by the inspector or buyer more difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes this happens with the help of the listing agent and one or two local contractors.

The failure to disclose or even the occasional intentional deception may not be discovered until months or years later...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
First, it is gratifying to know you are actually reading what we write and release. We know this is true because a little over a year ago, we received very few questions about subpoenas and today, after writing a little warning piece on the now infamous FDIC subpoenas being issued to appraisers by a private law firm, we get lots of questions. In fact, we get so many we decided to put together a short follow-up piece on different kinds of subpoenas and how to handle them. These are presented in ascending order of concern with the final one being the most dangerous....
Monday, November 11, 2013

“I was just asked by an AMC to get a background check. Do I have to comply?”

As risk management advisors for Appraisers and Inspectors, this is one of the questions we hear over and over again.

Let’s face it -- appraisal fees are lower than ever before. Essentially, AMCs are asking you to do the same amount of work for less pay. In some cases, they’re even asking you to do more work....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. The following email was forwarded to us by one of our members who wanted reassurance that just saying “no” was the right answer. Boy, was it ever!

This just proves that in spite of all of the reform and new regulations, there is nothing better than money to cloud someone’s judgment. 

Hi XXXXXXX-

Thanks again for the re-cert on this file but I’m coming to you again...

Monday, November 11, 2013

If you set some big business goals for this year -- such as securing more clients, earning additional income, and scaling up your business -- chances are good that your insurance needs might have changed as well. 

We're almost to 2014, so now is a perfect time to conduct a coverage review if you haven't already done so. It will help you to protect the investment of time and money that you are making in growing your business this year. 

Here are some tips for reviewing your E&O insurance coverage:

    ...
Monday, November 11, 2013

1. Ask a friend who knows nothing about a home inspection to read your pre-inspection agreement and tell you what they think you will be inspecting. You may find your pre-inspection agreement needs to be revised so your clients clearly understand what a home inspection really covers.

2. Be sure your report clearly and prominently calls out any serious problems which may be a threat to health and/or safety as well as those which will cost a lot of money to resolve. If your report doesn’t...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

If you know FREA, you know it's not simply insurance brokers or salespeople pushing E&O insurance coverage. FREA is a true risk management organization which offers substantial benefits to its members and also provides the entire marketplace with timely and factual advice on a variety of topics of interest to all appraisers and Home Inspectors.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Home inspectors are by nature a very industrious bunch and as a profession have become quite adept at selling additional services as well as breaking ground into new markets. One of the new markets inspectors have long dabbled in is commonly referred to as a construction inspection. This kind of inspection gives E&O insurance carriers fits and here are just a few of the reasons why.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

According to the Appraisal Institute’s recently published 2013 Real Estate Appraisal Outlook, U.S. appraisers anticipate that litigation valuation/forensic appraisals will be one of the top five areas of growth in the next one to two years in both commercial and residential appraisal. Indeed, approximately 33% of surveyed commercial appraisers anticipate more demand from law firms and lawyers in the near future, with 24% of those surveyed expecting an increase in valuation consultation and studies in support of litigation. The appraisers’ prediction may be spot on the money as at least one U.S. municipality has begun to implement a plan to seize hundreds of underwater mortgages through its power of eminent domain, potentially paving the way for a steady demand of litigation-related appraisals.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fannie Mae Form 2075 (aka the “Desktop Underwriter Property Inspection Report”) seems innocuous enough when you pick it up and look at it. After all, it’s only a single page with just one-half page of instructions.