THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into by and between Fidelity Home Inspection LLC referred to as Inspector, and the individual "Client" for whom the inspection service is performed and who has indicated agreement to this Terms Of Service by checking the box that states "I agree to the Terms of Service", entered their name and email address and pressed submit on the collection page at fidelityinspect.com/e-sign or executed the agreement in writing.
In consideration of the promise and terms of this Service Agreement, the parties agree as follows:
The Inspector will perform a visual inspection and prepare a written report of the apparent condition of the readily accessible installed systems and components of the property existing at the time of the inspection. Latent and concealed defects and deficiencies are excluded from the inspection.
The parties agree that the Standards of Practice (the Standards) shall define the standard of duty and the conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the inspection and are incorporated by reference herein. If the State/ Province where the inspection is performed imposes more stringent standards or administrative rule, then those standards shall define the standard of duty and the conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the inspection. The report provided is only supplementary to the sellers disclosure.
Unless otherwise indicated in writing, we will NOT test for the presence of radon or harmful gas. Unless otherwise indicated in writing, we will not test for mold or for the presence of or for any potential dangers arising from the presence of asbestos, lead paint, soil contamination, or other environmental hazards or violations. Unless otherwise indicated in writing, we will not test for compliance with applicable building codes. Although we may advise you on compliance with certain building codes, the inspection is a general building practices inspection and is not designed to be a "code" inspection. If any structure you want us to inspect is a log structure or includes log construction, you understand that such structures have unique characteristics that may make it impossible for us to inspect and evaluate them. Therefore, the scope of our inspection will not include decay of the interior of logs in log walls, log foundations or roofs, or similar defects. Unless otherwise indicated in writing, drain lines for the washing machine will not be inspected. Drain lines at washer should always be connected to main drain and function with the main drain system. A plumber may be contacted to inspect drain lines at washers and laundry rooms. Unless otherwise indicated in writing, bathtub, shower, sink/vanity or other type of overflow drains are not tested during the course of this inspection. Unless otherwise indicated in writing, 220 volt dryer or specialty component receptacles will not be tested.
You give us permission to discuss our observations with real estate agents, owners, repair persons, or other interested parties. We are not responsible for use or misinterpretation by third parties, and third parties who rely on it in any way do so at their own risk and release us (including employees and business entities) from any liability whatsoever. If you or any person acting on your behalf provide the report to a third party who then sues you and/or us, you release us from any liability and agree to pay our costs and legal fees in defending any action naming us. Our inspection and report are in no way a guarantee or warranty, express or implied, regarding the future use, operability, habitability or suitability of the home/building or its components. We disclaim all warranties, express or implied, to the fullest extent allowed by law.
The parties agree and understand that the Inspector and its employees and its agents assume no liability or responsibility for the costs of repairing or replacing any unreported defects or deficiencies either current or arising in the future or any property damage, consequential damage or bodily injury of any nature. If repairs or replacement are done without giving the Inspector the required notice, the Inspector will have no liability to the Client. The Client further agrees that the Inspector is liable only up to the cost of the inspection. This clause may be contrary to local law. Please verify applicability.
The parties agree and understand the Inspector is not an insurer or guarantor against defects in the structure, items, components, or systems inspected. INSPECTOR MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE FITNESS FOR USE, CONDITION, PERFORMANCE OR ADEQUACY OF ANY INSPECTED STRUCTURE, ITEM, COMPONENT, OR SYSTEM.
Professional home inspection services means the non-invasive visual examination of the readily accessible installed systems and components of a dwelling, as identified and agreed to in writing by the client and home inspector prior to the inspection process, performed for a fee and the written home inspection report generated.
Professional home inspection services do not include:
1. Any architectural or engineering inspections or services or opinions pertaining to the adequacy of any structural system or component; or
2. Inspections performed for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with any laws, codes or regulations; or the failure to inspect for, discover or disclose any noncompliance with such laws, codes or regulations.
This Agreement, including the terms and conditions, represents the entire agreement between the parties and there are no other agreements either written or oral between them. This Agreement shall be amended only by written agreement signed by both parties. This Agreement shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State/ Province of Texas, and if that State/ Province laws or regulations are more stringent than the forms of the agreement, the State/ Province law or rule shall govern.
If Client is married, Client represents that this obligation is a family obligation incurred in the interest of the family.
Client has read this entire Agreement and accepts and understands this Agreement as hereby acknowledged. If no State/Province regulations apply, this report adheres to the Standards, which are available upon request, systems, items, and conditions which are not within the scope of the building inspection include, but are not limited to: radon, formaldehyde, lead paint, asbestos, toxic or flammable materials, molds, fungi, other environmental hazards; pest infestation; security and fire protection systems; household appliances; humidifiers; paint, wallpaper and other treatments to windows; cosmetic damages; cosmetic damages to interior walls, ceilings, and floors; recreational equipment or facilities; pool/spa water purification systems (ozone generator/saltwater, etc.); underground storage tanks, energy efficiency measurements; motion or photo-electric sensor lighting; concealed or private secured systems; all overflow drains; heating systems accessories; solar heating systems; heat exchangers; water softener or purification systems; central vacuum systems; telephone, intercom or cable TV systems; antennae, lightning arrestors, load controllers; trees or plants; governing codes, ordinances, statutes, and covenants; and manufacturer specifications, recalls, and EIFS. Client understands that these systems, items, and conditions are excepted from this inspection. Any general comments about these systems, items, and conditions of the written report are informal only and DO NOT represent an inspection. Unless specifically asked for by client and pricing quoted, the following systems are not included; sprinkler systems, water well pumps and equipment, ice makers and other appliances, interior condition of HVAC ductwork, plenums and vents, and septic systems.
The Inspection and report are performed and prepared for the sole and exclusive use and possession of the Client. No other person or entity may rely on the report issued pursuant to this Agreement. In the event that any person, not a party to this Agreement, makes any claim against Inspector, its employees or agents, arising out of the services performed by Inspector under this Agreement, the Client agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Inspector from any and all damages, expenses, costs, and attorney fees arising from such a claim.
The Inspection will not include an appraisal of the value or a survey. The written report is not a compliance inspection or certification for past or present governmental codes or regulations of any kind.
Not all items contained in the report will be listed in the summary or recommendations section of the report. It is suggested that entire report is reviewed to be fully informed about your real estate purchase.
LIMITATION ON LIABILITY AND DAMAGES. We assume no liability for the cost of repair or replacement of unreported defects, either current or arising in the future. In all cases, our liability is limited to liquidated damages in an amount not greater than the fee you paid us. You waive any claim for consequential, exemplary, special or incidental damages or for the loss of the use of the home/building. You acknowledge that this liquidated damages is not a penalty, but that we intend it to: (i) reflect the fact that actual damages may be difficult or impractical to ascertain; (ii) allocate risk between us; and (iii) enable us to perform the inspection for the agreed-upon fee.
We do not perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, or any other job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the property is located.
If you believe you have a claim against us, you agree to provide us with the following: (1) written notification of your claim within seven days of discovery, in sufficient detail and with sufficient supporting documents that we can evaluate it; and (2) immediate access to the premises. Failure to comply with these conditions releases us from liability.
You agree that the exclusive venue for any litigation arising out of this Agreement shall be in the county where we have our principal place of business. If you fail to prove any claim against us, you agree to pay all our legal costs, expenses and attorneys fees incurred in defending that claim.
If a court declares any provision of this Agreement invalid, the remaining provisions remain in effect. This Agreement represents our entire agreement; there are no terms other than those set forth herein. All prior discussions are merged into this Agreement. No statement or promise by us shall be binding unless reduced to writing and signed by one of our authorized officers. Any modification of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by you and by one of our authorized officers. This Agreement shall be binding upon and enforceable by the parties and their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees. You will have no cause of action against us after one year from the date of the inspection.
Past-due fees for your inspection shall accrue interest at 8% per year. You agree to pay all costs and attorneys fees we incur in collecting the fees owed to us. If the Client is a corporation, LLC, or similar entity, you personally guarantee payment of the fee.
If you request a re-inspection, the re-inspection is subject to the terms of this Agreement.
You may not assign this Agreement.
If a court finds any term of this Agreement ambiguous or requiring judicial interpretation, the court shall not construe that term against us by reason of the rule that any ambiguity in a document is construed against the party drafting it. You had the opportunity to consult qualified counsel before signing this.
If there is more than one Client, you are signing on behalf of all of them, and you represent that you are authorized to do so.
In the event of a claim by the Client that an installed system or component of the premises which was inspected by the Inspector was not in the condition reported by the Inspector, the Client agrees to notify the Inspector at least 72 hours prior to repairing or replacing such system or component. The Client further agrees that the Inspector is liable only if there has been a complete failure to follow the standards adhered to in the report or State/Province law. Furthermore, any legal action must be brought within two (2) years from the date of the inspection, or will be deemed waived and forever barred.
This inspection does not determine whether the property is insurable.
Exclusions of systems normally inspected Pressure Relief Valves on water heaters have been excluded because of their tendency to fail after testing resulting in water damage to surrounding surfaces. In addition, any and all valves that may be mechanically operated.
Apparent Condition: Systems and components are rated as follows:
Satisfactory (Sat.) Indicates the component is functionally consistent with its original purpose but may show signs of normal wear and tear and deterioration.
Marginal (Marg.) Indicates the component will probably require repair or replacement anytime within five years.
Poor Indicates the component will need repair or replacement now or in the very near future.
Significant Issues A system or component that is considered significantly deficient, inoperable or is unsafe.
Safety Hazzard Denotes a condition that is unsafe and in need of prompt attention.
Installed systems and components: structural components; exterior; interior; roofing; plumbing; electrical; heating; central air-conditioning (weather permitting); insulation and ventilation.
Readily accessible systems and components: only those systems and components where Inspector is not required to remove personal items, furniture, equipment, soil, snow, or other items which obstruct access or visibility.
Any component not listed as being deficient in some manner is assumed to be satisfactory.
PURPOSE, LIMITATIONS AND INSPECTOR / CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES
This home inspection report may include an inspection agreement (contract), addenda, and other information related to property conditions. If any item or comment is unclear, you should ask the inspector to clarify the findings. It is important that you carefully read ALL of this information.
This inspection is subject to the rules (Rules) of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), which can be found at www.trec.texas.gov.
The TREC Standards of Practice (Sections 535.227-535.233 of the Rules) are the minimum standards for inspections by TREC- licensed inspectors. An inspection addresses only those components and conditions that are present, visible, and accessible at the time of the inspection. While there may be other parts, components or systems present, only those items specifically noted as being inspected were inspected. The inspector is NOT required turn on decommissioned equipment, systems, utility services or apply an open flame or light a pilot to operate any appliance. The inspector is NOT required to climb over obstacles, move furnishings or stored items. The inspection report may address issues that are code-based or may refer to a particular code; however, this is NOT a code compliance inspection and does NOT verify compliance with manufacturers installation instructions. The inspection does NOT imply insurability or warrantability of the structure or its components. Although some safety issues may be addressed in this report, this inspection is NOT a safety/code inspection, and the inspector is NOT required to identify all potential hazards.
In this report, the inspector shall indicate, by checking the appropriate boxes on the form, whether each item was inspected, not inspected, not present or deficient and explain the findings in the corresponding section in the body of the report form. The inspector must check the Deficient (D) box if a condition exists that adversely and materially affects the performance of a system or component or constitutes a hazard to life, limb or property as specified by the TREC Standards of Practice. General deficiencies include inoperability, material distress, water penetration, damage, deterioration, missing components, and unsuitable installation. Comments may be provided by the inspector whether or not an item is deemed deficient. The inspector is not required to prioritize or emphasize the importance of one deficiency over another.
THIS PROPERTY INSPECTION IS NOT A TECHNICALLY EXHAUSTIVE INSPECTION OF THE STRUCTURE, SYSTEMS OR COMPONENTS.
The inspection may not reveal all deficiencies. A real estate inspection helps to reduce some of the risk involved in purchasing a home, but it cannot eliminate these risks, nor can the inspection anticipate future events or changes in performance due to changes in use or occupancy. It is recommended that you obtain as much information as is available about this property, including any sellers disclosures, previous inspection reports, engineering reports, building/remodeling permits, and reports performed for or by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers, and appraisers. You should also attempt to determine whether repairs, renovation, remodeling, additions, or other such activities have taken place at this property. It is not the inspectors responsibility to confirm that information obtained from these sources is complete or accurate or that this inspection is consistent with the opinions expressed in previous or future reports.
ITEMS IDENTIFIED IN THE REPORT DO NOT OBLIGATE ANY PARTY TO MAKE REPAIRS OR TAKE OTHER ACTIONS, NOR IS THE PURCHASER REQUIRED TO REQUEST THAT THE SELLER TAKE ANY ACTION.
When a deficiency is reported, it is the clients responsibility to obtain further evaluations and/or cost estimates from qualified service professionals. Any such follow-up should take place prior to the expiration of any time limitations such as option periods.
Promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188, (512) 936-3000 (http://www.trec.texas.gov)
Evaluations by qualified tradesmen may lead to the discovery of additional deficiencies which may involve additional repair costs. Failure to address deficiencies or comments noted in this report may lead to further damage of the structure or systems and add to the original repair costs. The inspector is not required to provide follow-up services to verify that proper repairs have been made.
Property conditions change with time and use. For example, mechanical devices can fail at any time, plumbing gaskets and seals may crack if the appliance or plumbing fixture is not used often, roof leaks can occur at any time regardless of the apparent condition of the roof, and the performance of the structure and the systems may change due to changes in use or occupancy, effects of weather, etc. These changes or repairs made to the structure after the inspection may render information contained herein obsolete or invalid. This report is provided for the specific benefit of the client and is based on observations at the time of the inspection. If you did not hire the inspector yourself, reliance on this report may provide incomplete or outdated information. Repairs, professional opinions or additional inspection reports may affect the meaning of the information in this report. It is recommended that you hire a licensed inspector to perform an inspection to meet your specific needs and to provide you with the most current information concerning this property after repairs have been completed.
WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
There may come a time when you discover something wrong with the house you purchased, and you may be upset or disappointed with your home inspection. There are some things we'd like you to keep in mind.
Intermittent Or Concealed Problems:
Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house. They cannot be discovered during the few hours of a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people are in the shower, but do not leak when you simply turn on the tap. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets are lifted, furniture is moved or finishes are removed.
These problems may have existed at the time of the inspection, but there were no clues as to their existence. Our inspections are based on the past performance of the house. If there are no clues of a past problem, it is unfair to assume we should foresee a future problem.
We Always Miss Some Minor Things:
Some say we are inconsistent because our reports identify some minor problems, but not others. The minor problems that are identified were discovered while looking for more significant problems. We note them simply as a courtesy. The intent of the inspection is not to find the $200 problems; it is to find the $2,000 problems. The following sections represent what we find to be the most common elements that affect a purchasing decision.
A common source of dissatisfaction with home inspectors comes from comments made by contractors. Contractors opinions often differ from ours. Dont be surprised when three roofers all say the roof needs replacement when we said that the roof would last a few more years with some minor repairs.
Last Man In Theory:
While our advice represents the most prudent thing to do, many contractors are reluctant to undertake these repairs. This is because of the last man in theory. The contractor fears that if he is the last person to work on the roof, he will get blamed if the roof leaks, regardless of whether or not the roof leak is his fault. Consequently, he wont want to do a minor repair with high liability, when he could re-roof the entire house for more money and reduce the likelihood of a callback. This is understandable.
Most Recent Advice Is Best:
There is more to the last man in theory. It suggests that it is human nature for homeowners to believe the last bit of expert advice they receive, even if it is contrary to previous advice.
As home inspectors, we, unfortunately, find ourselves in the position of first man in and consequently it is our advice that is often disbelieved.
Why Didn't We See It?
Contractors often say, I cant believe you had this house inspected, and the inspector didn't find this problem. There are several reasons for these apparent oversights:
Most Contractors Have No Clue Whats Inside or Outside The Scope Of A Standard Home Inspection:
All of our inspections are conducted in accordance with the Standards of Practice of The Texas Real Estate Commission. The Standards of Practice specifically state whats included and excluded from the standard home inspection.
Most contractors have no clue this document exists and many of them have a tendency to blame the Home Inspector for any issue found, regardless of whether the issue is within the scope of the standard home inspection.
Conditions During The Inspection: It is difficult for homeowners to remember the circumstances in the house at the time of the inspection. Homeowners seldom remember that it was snowing, there was storage everywhere or that the furnace could not be turned on because the air conditioning was operating, etc. Its impossible for contractors to know what the circumstances were when the inspection was performed.
The Wisdom Of Hindsight: When the problem manifests itself, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight. Anybody can say that the basement is wet when there is 2 feet of water on the floor. Predicting the problem is a different story.
A Long Look: If we spent half an hour under the kitchen sink or 45 minutes disassembling the furnace, wed find more problems, too. Unfortunately, the inspection would take several days and would cost considerably more.
We're Generalists: We are generalists; we are not specialists. The heating contractor may indeed have more heating expertise than we do. This is because we are expected to have heating expertise and plumbing expertise, structural expertise, electrical expertise, etc.
An Invasive Look: Problems often become apparent when carpets or plaster are removed, when fixtures or cabinets are pulled out, and so on. A home inspection is a visual examination. We don't perform invasive or destructive tests.
In conclusion, a home inspection is designed to better your odds of not purchasing a money pit. It is not designed to eliminate all risk. For that reason, a home inspection should not be considered an insurance policy. The premium that an insurance company would have to charge for a policy with no deductible, no limit and an indefinite policy period would be considerably more than the fee we charge. It would also not include the value added by the inspection.
This section is for those who wish to appear on the Find It, Fix It program or would like to give permission for a photo to be taken in the event that a photo is required or desired.
With indication of agreement to this terms of service I hereby authorize Fidelity Home Inspection, LLC. and those acting in pursuant to its authority to:
(a) Record my likeness and voice on a video, audio, photographic, digital, electronic or any other medium.
(b) Use my name in connection with these recordings.
(c) Use, reproduce, exhibit or distribute in any medium (e.g. print publications, video tapes, CD-ROM, Internet/WWW) these recordings for any purpose that Fidelity Home Inspection, LLC., and those acting pursuant to its authority, deem appropriate, including promotional or advertising efforts.
By participating in the Find It, Fix It program, you agree to release Fidelity Home Inspection and those acting pursuant to its authority from liability for any violation of any personal or proprietary right I may have in connection with such use.
You understand that all such recordings, in whatever medium, shall remain the property of Fidelity Home Inspection, LLC. and that I have read and fully understand the terms of this release.
RESALE OF INSPECTION REPORTS
Inspection reports may be sold by Fidelity Home Inspection, LLC. to the listing agent or seller parties, or another unlisted party if the home is not purchased within the "option period" or if the contract is terminated. Under these conditions, Client hereby releases all rights to reports they have purchased for resale by Fidelity Home Inspection, LLC.
Clients agreement of these terms is indicated by the electronic signature, initials, or checkbox on this form.
You may print and sign this Agreement for your records and bring it to your inspection if you are so inclined.
The terms and conditions herein must be agreed to, signed or signed by electronic signature or checkbox before work can begin.