image of attic that has some leaking from the roof during a real estate appraisal

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State Board Complaint Frustrations

Q: "A first-time homebuyer recently filed a complaint against me with the state licensing board, alleging that I failed to conduct a “thorough” inspection of her attic. According to her, had I fulfilled my responsibilities, I would have detected roof leaks, allowing her to address the issue with the sellers prior to close of escrow. Consequently, she is now stuck with the repair expenses, and she's blaming the entire problem on me.

It's worth noting that she opted not to get a home inspection, as she believed her real estate agent's assertion that the FHA appraisal is “just as good”. However, the agent has clarified to me that she did not say that. The buyer justified forgoing an inspection by claiming her father, a handyman, could fix anything. My question is why do the State Boards deal with this kind of thing? This is not a USPAP violation?

The investigator has tasked me with answering a set of questions, submitting my report and work file, and has given me a tight deadline of 10 days. But she also warned me against expecting a prompt response, suggesting it could take as long as 6 months to a year.

Do you see this sort of thing often?"

A: Yes, we see this “sort of thing” several times each month. Any time you receive a complaint filed against you with the licensing board, it can be incredibly frustrating. Preparing a response can be time-consuming, but unfortunately, you have no choice but to do so. Taking out your anger on the investigator is not in your best interest.

Remember, investigators don’t create the rules; they simply follow them, just as you must. While there may be matters they’d prefer to skip over, the boards have no leeway. They are obligated to open a file and investigate any issue brought to their attention.

Ideally, more states would implement a screening process to filter out certain complaints and reduce backlogs. Unfortunately, that’s not the current reality. Your best course of action is to adhere to the rules and maintain patience. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved soon.

Would you like Claudia to manage your liability concerns?