Why You Should Not Rely On A Foundation Repair Contractor – Contractural Issues

Why You Should Not Rely On A Foundation Repair Contractor – Contractural Issues

Why You Do Not Want To Use A Foundation Repair Contractor In Lieu Of An Engineer

The Story
Every week I get a least one call from a seller who needs a foundation inspection from an engineer. The problem is that a buyer had a foundation repair contractor look at the house and he wrote up a proposal to repair the foundation. The buyer typically has terminated the contract.

The seller now believes that he is obligated to disclose the repair proposal to future buyers and therefore he needs an engineering report to give a more realistic view of the situation.

Inevitably the seller is frustrated, angry, hurting, uncertain about how he will ever sell his house – just generally mad at the world, sometimes including his agent.

In his mind, there is no need for foundation repair – so why should he have to spend 0 or more to counter a report, just because of a stupid situation that he regards as completely unjust? .

This not only kills transactions. In many cases it damages the trusting relationship between the seller and his agent.

There’s a very simple solution that I think will almost always avoid this situation. Now you’re going to know the secret.

The Secret

The secret is reading and understanding the standard TREC approved contract. The secret is found in section 7-A. Here is the exact wording:

Buyer may have the property inspected by inspector selected by buyer and licensed by TREC or otherwise permitted by law to make inspections.

This clause is clearly met to restrict who the buyer can retain to inspect the property. Obviously, the buyer can select a TREC licensed inspector.

But it’s also true that he can retain someone as inspector if they meet the qualification of being permitted by law to make the inspection. I think this is where a lot of people begin to get tripped up.

What does the phrase permitted by law mean? Simply that the person has a legally valid license to make the inspection.
What are examples of licensed trades and professions that would qualify? Licensed engineers and licensed architects for sure. But licensed electricians, licensed plumbers, licensed heating and air conditioning people can all inspect within the limits of their license. Don’t forget licensed termite inspectors.
How does this apply to foundation repair contractors? Foundation repair contractors are not licensed to make inspections. They may have a business license, they may have a drivers license, they may have a registered DBA. But they do not have a license to make an real estate inspection. The reality is this: if unlicensed contractors were allowed to make inspections for a real estate inspection, then the clause that restricts who the buyer could retain would be meaningless. And that is false on its face.
What does this mean to you? Foundation Repair Contractors have no place in the inspection phase of the transaction.

If the buyer wants someone who will make a more in-depth evaluation of the foundation, he or she should retain a Texas Professional Engineer who specializes in this area of expertise.

The sales contract bars buyers from retaining a foundation repair contractor, or any other unlicensed person, to make an inspection.

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