Send You Off The Rails

| Nashville, TN, USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

(I am self-employed in the real estate appraisal business. I have made an FHA appraisal of a home that needs some minor repair. Once the repairs have been made, it will be necessary for me to re-inspect the home to make sure that the repairs have been satisfactorily completed. In this case, I have required that railings be installed around the front porch and stairway because they are several feet above the walkway. Shortly after submitting the appraisal and repair list, I received a call from the seller’s realtor.)

Realtor: “I want to talk to you about the repairs you required. Why do we have to put up stair and porch railings?”

Me: “It’s an FHA requirement. When a home sells with FHA financing, it has to meet minimum safety standards set by FHA.”

Realtor: “Well, I don’t see why they’re necessary. The house already has an FHA loan. Why weren’t the railings required when my client bought the house?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe the other appraiser wasn’t paying attention.”

Realtor: “Why can’t you just look the other way?”

Me: “I’m sorry. That’s not the way I do business.”

Realtor: “We’re not going to put up the railings. And that’s that.”

Me: “I understand your frustration, but it seems to be a shame that you’re going to allow this sale to be killed over a few hundred dollars.”

Realtor: *long pause* “Okay, but you can’t charge for the repair inspection.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Realtor: “I mean if we’re going to pay for a repair that’s clearly not necessary, then the least you can do is waive your fee for the repair inspection.”

Me: “Let me call you right back. I’ll have to talk to my supervisor about this. I don’t know what he’ll say.”

Realtor: “Okay. That will be fine.”

(The realtor doesn’t know that I’m self employed. I wait ten minutes and call the realtor back.)

Realtor: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello. I just spoke to my supervisor and he got mad as h***. I argued on your behalf and he finally agreed to a 50 percent discount on the fee. This is the best I can do. He’s really upset with me.”

Realtor: “A 50 percent discount? Okay. That will be fine.”

(The realtor and seller were good to their word and quickly had the railings installed. On the invoice to the mortgage company, I charged full fee, but wrote in blue ink, ‘This fee represents a 50 percent discount.’ I later did several more appraisals for that realtor. He thought he had gotten the best of me!)