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Thread: A/C inspection prior to sale, problem months later

  1. #1
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    A/C inspection prior to sale, problem months later

    Possibly worse case scenario, did an inspection of two systems three months ago. Gas furnaces, and condensers.
    All was well at that time. Thorough inspection, heat worked well, refrigerant pressures OK as one can diagnose straight a/c in winter time. No complaints as to its performance in the past. Capacitors, contactors, ect.
    We all know the general run down.
    Actual Home inspection was also done, by someone else.

    Now, months later, buyer has some issue with A/C and probably other unrelated things, which I do not know specifically what he's been told is wrong. He's contacted another contractor.
    Buyer is threatening to hold me, and/or real estate agent, seller, home inspector, responsible for some unknown issue that his contractor has informed him of.
    How do I know his service tech isn't just raking his equipment through the coals to replace the entire system?
    Has anyone experienced this?

  2. #2
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    CYA
    Documentation including pictures would be your savior.

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  3. #3
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    For sale of home can bite you no matter what you do.

    Did one a couple months ago and HO had no clue what was required. I did a full service per her request.

    The furnace is 20+ years old and there was a 35+ year old heat pump, used as a/c only. Neither had been serviced recently and only repairs done per the stickers on the furnace.

    Now there is an issue with the invoice being too detailed.
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  4. #4
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    Pic and paperwork.

    Personally once someone else touched it I think your clear.

  5. #5
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    "Everything is in acceptable working condition at this time" Date and sign. An inspection is just a snapshot of the equipment as it is today if you did the inspection months ago that is a few months more mileage on it I would tell the customer to pound sand especially since he called somebody else in to look at it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sooty View Post
    "Everything is in acceptable working condition at this time" Date and sign. An inspection is just a snapshot of the equipment as it is today if you did the inspection months ago that is a few months more mileage on it I would tell the customer to pound sand especially since he called somebody else in to look at it.
    Final lines of my invoice were " At this time all equipment working safely. Too cold to properly check a/c."
    It was 58° outside and 68° inside.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  7. #7
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    Personally once someone else touched it I think your clear.[/QUOTE]

    My thoughts (and hopes) exactly.

    I like to use " operating properly at this time"
    And " no repairs needed currently"

    in fact I used both on this service report.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sooty View Post
    "Everything is in acceptable working condition at this time" Date and sign...

    I would tell the customer to pound sand especially since he called somebody else in to look at it.
    One of my "Top 3" pet peeves...people buying old houses and wanting new house condition. The HO threats may be just that...empty words to intimidate everybody. And if he thinks somebody owes him something, he ain't rational and might try to sue but surely a lawyer would tell him he ain't rational. If not the lawyer, a judge for sure.

  9. #9
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    I accepted a couple jobs thru a realtor. One was a boiler that had limed up and needed replacement.The buyer was a lawyer with buyers remorse. The house was older, about 10 years. He had an early version of under floor heat and he had heard of failures with these systems but his was still ok. I had bid the work to replace the boiler but that was all. I had begun some disassembly. Because of his petty nature and over the top phone calls, I told him to find someone else.


    About 2 years later I got a call from another lawyer he had hired to sue any and all who had ever touched the system. That included the original contractor, one other before me, my company and maybe more. It was a legal shotgun approach that is done to limit the work of finding any an actual guilty party and just sue all of them. He wanted an entire system replaced.
    I told the lawyer he was backing the wrong horse and I fine tuned the conversion to have him conclude if he persisted I would develop a memory problem and deny I had ever done a thing to that boiler.
    Thing was the system worked but the owner was trying to find a life time warranty at every one's else expense.
    It's hard these days because no one seems to want to be responsible for their crap. When I install a piece of equipment, a customer needs to understand it's theirs. Don't call me and say YOUR a/c isn't working. Not mine. You bought it, it's yours.
    If your innocent of wrong doing just stick to your guns. Give them the impression your immovable. If necessary hire or name drop a lawyer so they know your not budging.
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  10. #10
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    A/C inspection prior to sale, problem months later

    It was 3 months ago. How long do you guarantee your service work. “The actual repair you did” ours is 30 days. Only on what we touch. Further more you have previous owners signature on your paperwork stating everything you did and condition of equipment/ what could only be physically be done per the outdoor temp. I call bs. Hold strong on your opinion and don’t let them push you around. I’m not going to sue the mfg of who ever makes the oil filter on my truck because my battery dies right? Just someone looking for nothing. And further more in 99% of home inspection paperwork they spell it out they aren’t liable for anything they missed or anything that fails after. Your good. Keep us updated.

    Home inspectors don’t know shet anyways.

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  11. #11
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    Thread Starter
    Great input, thanks guys.
    Metalman0880 good point, the customer signed agreeing that work was done to satisfaction and accurate. And yes labor is warranted for 30 days.

    The equipment in question is 10 year old Goodman, probably like 10 seer, bare bones builder grade. So if this guy called a white shirt company they'd probably have a list long as my arm of why he should replace the entire system. When he might need a $ capacitor replacement.

    These HO's can't be expected to understand how hvac equipment works, or fails, and certainly not how to fix it. But I wish they'd take responsibility for it being THEIRS. It does not belong to the guy who worked on it.
    Lord knows we've all got our own shit to keep up with.
    Last edited by beenthere; 05-17-2019 at 05:19 AM.

  12. Likes Metalman0880 liked this post.
  13. #12
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    His lawyer would have called you sooner, but he's been in the hospital recovering from running into the back of that ambulance he was following.

  14. #13
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    I would send a registered letter with a copy of the invoice, showing your wording.

    CC your legal professional on the letter. Or, have him write it.
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  15. #14
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    with buyer/seller inspections I use my testo smart probes. It allowed me to simply upload the report that I did not have any ability to manipulate. I stipulate on the top of hte insepction report that this is how I found the system and I have no knowledge as to previous services or refrigerant added.

    Most of the kids running around throwing freon in systems are overcharging, you can usually tell if somebody gassed it up.

  16. #15
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    I have done many home inspections. Just because of issue like this. I document all readings and take pictures. I document any defects. Most inspections are done for the buyer, in my contract I have two clauses. 1. Inspections are no more than a snapshot at the time it was inspected all defects or excpetions for conditions beyond your control will be documented in the as found conditions. Any defects or damage that can be attributed to my negligence the liquid damages are llimited to the cost of the inspection contract. I charge a simple service call for this kind of inspection. Exceptions meaning ambient temp too cold, hopuse temp too warm, no power on, etc... 2. When I review the findings with the buyer or realtor their signature of acceptance of the report is also a liability relase for the work I did. When you have data and pictures it's nearly impossible to claim negligence.

    Sounds like you have the issue covered with the documentation you have

  17. #16
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    Document everything. Did I understand you were actually working for seller & they paid the invoice, if so you owe the new owner nothing.
    On the other hand could be a simple fix and you might gain a life long customer that is your best cheerleader, but he has already shown he is a ahole

  18. #17
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    Many times during home inspections the buyer's inspector will say: Have the furnace and or air conditioning inspected by a "Licensed HVAC Contractor". Because the compressor was noisey, or the coil appears dirty, or fins need straightening, or it was too cold to run AC........ Then it is up to the buyer to ask the seller via the Realators to do that. If the agree the seller has that done and then provides the report and or invoice from the HVAC professional proving that the inspection has been completed. Then if any repairs are needed that then becomes negotiable.

  19. #18
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    For me I make sure to confirm what is wanted; service it or just check it out?

    My nightmare call, the HO had no clue what they wanted so she had me do both.
    Realtor calls and complains about the cost. Told her that's what I was told to do.

    Funny that both seller and buyer's realtor work in the same office and they are both b!tching about the invoice and what it means.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

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