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Inflating Invoice  

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LRDay
Posts: 2676
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Client asked me for the invoice so he could have it paid through the closing.  Invoice was due on receipt.  No contract for "paid at closing".  Just finishing the survey so no time lost here.

Apparently client though they would pay him for the survey and then he'd pay me.  I never thought that, been paid a few times from a closing, know how it works.  So he rewrites the invoice someway and sends it in.  I should have got wise when I asked if I should send it to the title company and he said just send it to him and he'd get it to them.  I didn't even know what title company it was.

Buyer got wise.  If not I'd got a bigger payment from the title company.  Wonder if he'd then asked me for a refund.  Probably was an interesting day at the closing.

Might be good it happened this way. If the title company had paid him this sort of guy probably would have tried to stiff me.

You guys are a tough bunch today, sort of wish I'd kept this to myself.  I think I still have my license but you never know!

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holy cow
Posts: 15213
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One time the real estate agency paid me out of the earnest money when the sale failed to close.  Only one time in 30+ years where the closing agent had to do that.

On the other hand I have had plenty of clients who never got around to paying the invoice until they had the money to do so, which was after closing.

One time I had a fellow call to find the corners I had set a couple years earlier for a different fellow.  Turned out this was the buyer from that sale.  He had merely speculated on the tract and was selling it to someone new who had insisted they wanted to see the corners before closing.  Somewhere in the conversation he commented that he thought my bill from earlier had been too high.  The client had paid me in full, so I didn't see what the problem was.  Turns out my client had modified my invoice to be exactly double what he had paid me.  When they split the modified invoice he got every penny back.  To tell the truth, I was amazed the client had enough intelligence to figure out how to do it and not get caught.  He was one of those guys I would describe as being "as sharp as a stick of butter".

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A Harris
Posts: 8045
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It has become necessary to create a document that has some security items that can not be scanned and recreated, altered and such for a long time.

A unique design, coloring, watermark or some embedded pattern that can not be captured and reprinted.

I get drawings and property descriptions of mine and others from clients and interested parties that are incomplete and do not contain the proper preamble or closing statements. Also, use a specific way of saying things that most people can not grasp using and still relay a completely understood description.

I have had to pull out the original many times dealing with shady people that try to get away with altering my work to suit their own desires at the title company and to new buyers.

 

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MightyMoe
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Every one of my "paid at closing" events happened because the seller or his agent had hired me to cut out a parcel of land for them to sell. Never was being paid at closing a part of the contract, it's has always been a good time to settle up the bill and if the sell falls through, I still have been paid, it usually takes a bit longer.

 

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Lookinatchya
Posts: 111
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(@lookinatchya)
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A bit off topic but reminded me of a situation I discovered several years ago. I came across an invoice from a now deceased surveyor who was one of my main competitors. He itemized the invoice for a small subdivision plan. $xxxx for the survey and plan, $xxxx for the local review fees and recording fees. He inflated the review fees and recording fees above the actual costs. Doing this he was able to reduce the cost of his survey work and pocket the amount he overcharged for the other fees. This made it possible to under bid the cost of his survey work.

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Duane Frymire
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If I'm the seller, why should I care about (or pay for) appraisals, inspections, surveys?  I'm moving on.  The inspectors and appraisers are controlling their market by working for potential buyers and getting paid immediately for the work they do.  Sale falls through due to appraisal/inspection, another potential buyer comes along and they do it and get paid again.  They also charge more per hour than surveyors. 

The ethics I see involved are that surveyors are harming their own livelihood, hence the existence of the profession by accepting terms such as paid at closing.  Course I do it all the time; too common and expected around here to fight it.  And not sure how/why it would change my opinion of the boundary.  Even if I survey my own land I want it to be right and stand up in court if necessary; same with the appraiser or inspector.  I don't see the incentive to avoid problems thing.  Like I'm going to risk my license for a fee from a property survey?  Course maybe some of you are actually making some real money from those things that you could retire on one or two; not in this neck of the woods.

And yeah, I charge $50 to file a map; filing fee is $10.  If takes my time, I'm charging for it. So there.

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Dave Karoly
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Posted by: Duane Frymire

If I'm the seller, why should I care about (or pay for) appraisals, inspections, surveys?  I'm moving on.  The inspectors and appraisers are controlling their market by working for potential buyers and getting paid immediately for the work they do.  Sale falls through due to appraisal/inspection, another potential buyer comes along and they do it and get paid again.  They also charge more per hour than surveyors. 

The ethics I see involved are that surveyors are harming their own livelihood, hence the existence of the profession by accepting terms such as paid at closing.  Course I do it all the time; too common and expected around here to fight it.  And not sure how/why it would change my opinion of the boundary.  Even if I survey my own land I want it to be right and stand up in court if necessary; same with the appraiser or inspector.  I don't see the incentive to avoid problems thing.  Like I'm going to risk my license for a fee from a property survey?  Course maybe some of you are actually making some real money from those things that you could retire on one or two; not in this neck of the woods.

And yeah, I charge $50 to file a map; filing fee is $10.  If takes my time, I'm charging for it. So there.

The house we sold last year had 3 home inspections all paid for by the buyers.  At least 2 appraisals were paid for buyers.  First buyer backed out before inspections.  Second buyer backed out as a result of inspections, didn't ask for anything.  Third buyer back out (2nd inspection) because the Feng Shui of the house was wrong; that one really pissed me off, lost a better offer because of those idiots, couldn't they see that at the first showing? But I'm not bitter.  Forth buyer had inspection no. 3 as a result of which they asked for a credit which we agreed to (finally someone with common sense).  Forth buyers closed escrow, they are a 20 something couple, both Civil Engineers.

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