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Old 04-11-2018, 05:48 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
29,956 posts, read 34,568,659 times
Reputation: 35960

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Spiderman, you always give good advice. Please copy and save this so that every 6 months when there is a thread about low life Realtors recommending crooked Inspectors it will save a lot of time.

Great post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
I admit I did not read all of the comments on this thread, so if I repeat - sorry.

I've been an inspector for 29 years, with over 10,000 inspections under my belt. Do I get Realtor referrals? Of course I do. I have a great reputation, so it would be strange if I didn't get recommended for jobs.

Do I alter my inspection or report to help get referrals, or stay in good favor with Realtors? Of course not! I want happy CLIENTS! Clients are a much better referral base than Realtors. The other side of it, is I obviously don't want to be sued. I can't think of any profession that wants to be sued. For someone to insinuate that "not wanting to be sued" is a negative feature, or somehow equal to being corrupt, is very mistaken, and possibly delusional.

How do I keep from getting sued? By doing the best job I can, and produce the most accurate inspection report I can. There is nothing in it for me to ignore something on a house. A lawsuit could wipe out the equivalent of dozens and dozens of inspections, and I could possibly lose my license. I try to document everything I can in the house. Some small stuff, some big stuff.

Kill a deal? Nonsense! What could the incentive be for me to try to kill a deal? The more things I find in a house means the more work for me to write the report. I would love it if every house had zero defects. Much less work for me, and everyone is happy. There is absolutely no basis for the argument that "Inspector has to find stuff to justify their fee". My fee is set long before I step foot in the house, and many times I'm paid before I even show up. The fee is the same if I find 150 things wrong, or zero. Finding stuff wrong just adds time to the job, and a lot more work.

I have Realtors that give out a list. I have some that tell their clients, "here is a list, but this guy did mine". I have Realtors that use me for their own homes, but have never referred me to their clients. I have a lot of sellers of homes I inspected call me to inspect the one they are buying, even when my client didn't buy their house. I get referrals from Realtors I don't even know. They refer me because a Realtor in their office referred me.

I have had sellers throw me out of their house during an inspection, then call me a week or so later to do the home they are buying. They get mad at me, then cool off and realize the quality of the job I did, and want that quality.

I know hundreds of inspectors all over the country. Less than a handful would be what I consider "ethically challenged" (just like any profession, bad apples). They all take pride in their work, and view themselves as very ethical, and conduct themselves in a professional manner. We have a Code of Ethics that we adhere to. There are a couple home inspector professional organizations, and they both have a Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics. All licensed States have a SOP and COE as well. With a few exceptions, they are all basically the same.

Should someone take a Realtors referral for a home inspector, or mortgage company, or Title company, or fill in the blank? Maybe yes, maybe no. It all boils down to if the client trusts their Realtor, and the Realtor is ethical.

Sorry this is so long. Off soapbox now.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:15 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 728,033 times
Reputation: 2062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
I admit I did not read all of the comments on this thread, so if I repeat - sorry.

I've been an inspector for 29 years, with over 10,000 inspections under my belt. Do I get Realtor referrals? Of course I do. I have a great reputation, so it would be strange if I didn't get recommended for jobs.

Do I alter my inspection or report to help get referrals, or stay in good favor with Realtors? Of course not! I want happy CLIENTS! Clients are a much better referral base than Realtors. The other side of it, is I obviously don't want to be sued. I can't think of any profession that wants to be sued. For someone to insinuate that "not wanting to be sued" is a negative feature, or somehow equal to being corrupt, is very mistaken, and possibly delusional.

How do I keep from getting sued? By doing the best job I can, and produce the most accurate inspection report I can. There is nothing in it for me to ignore something on a house. A lawsuit could wipe out the equivalent of dozens and dozens of inspections, and I could possibly lose my license. I try to document everything I can in the house. Some small stuff, some big stuff.

Kill a deal? Nonsense! What could the incentive be for me to try to kill a deal? The more things I find in a house means the more work for me to write the report. I would love it if every house had zero defects. Much less work for me, and everyone is happy. There is absolutely no basis for the argument that "Inspector has to find stuff to justify their fee". My fee is set long before I step foot in the house, and many times I'm paid before I even show up. The fee is the same if I find 150 things wrong, or zero. Finding stuff wrong just adds time to the job, and a lot more work.

I have Realtors that give out a list. I have some that tell their clients, "here is a list, but this guy did mine". I have Realtors that use me for their own homes, but have never referred me to their clients. I have a lot of sellers of homes I inspected call me to inspect the one they are buying, even when my client didn't buy their house. I get referrals from Realtors I don't even know. They refer me because a Realtor in their office referred me.

I have had sellers throw me out of their house during an inspection, then call me a week or so later to do the home they are buying. They get mad at me, then cool off and realize the quality of the job I did, and want that quality.

I know hundreds of inspectors all over the country. Less than a handful would be what I consider "ethically challenged" (just like any profession, bad apples). They all take pride in their work, and view themselves as very ethical, and conduct themselves in a professional manner. We have a Code of Ethics that we adhere to. There are a couple home inspector professional organizations, and they both have a Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics. All licensed States have a SOP and COE as well. With a few exceptions, they are all basically the same.

Should someone take a Realtors referral for a home inspector, or mortgage company, or Title company, or fill in the blank? Maybe yes, maybe no. It all boils down to if the client trusts their Realtor, and the Realtor is ethical.

Sorry this is so long. Off soapbox now.
I believe that for most inspectors, agent referrals are much more important than any one client's referrals. A single agent can refer many clients per year (10, 20, 30, 40+). I think you'd struggle to find a single client who can even come close to this. So I think it's a difficult argument to say that the importance of referrals is greater for client's than agents. If you have data, let us know.

You really don't understand the arguments, which ever side of the fence you are on. The 'deal killers' argument is that agents avoid referring inspectors who become known as deal killers due to reporting too many or too severe defects or explain them in too severe a way. Therefore, your idea that there is no incentive to kill deals shows complete misunderstanding of the issues being discussed. of course there is no incentive to kill deals. The incentive is not to kill deals (i.e. killing deals can kill agent referrals). And which ever side of the fence you sit on, these issues are well discussed in the industry and you lose credibility if you fail to understand what is being discussed on this topic.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:12 AM
 
2,488 posts, read 1,730,437 times
Reputation: 4256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
How objective is a home inspector that relies on Realtors for referrals? I would assume most of an inspectors business comes from Agent referrals. As an Agent who has spent considerable time making a sale how would you feel if the inspector is too picky and your sale doesn't occur because of it? Since the inspector may only be liable for the return of their fee, isn't it batter to walk a fine line between ignoring potential sale killing problems and keeping your referrals coming vs finding every single issue?

Some years back I purchased a home. I noticed a sheet of plastic covering an entire wall of the basement. Of course I was concerned and repeatedly asked the agent and the inspector about it and they said it wasn't an issue. The agent told me an structural engineer/basement specialist would charge 5K to inspect it. I did not want to spend that kind of money so moved forward with the purchase. Some weeks later I was talking to one of my employees and told them I had bought a house. They asked me "where"? I told them and they said "aren't there basement problems in that area? Their brother was a builder and knew the area well. I went into panic mode figuring I had made a huge mistake, It was 2-3 weeks into the process, so it had not closed yet. I called the person who put up the plastic sheet a year ago and asked what was behind it and why they put it up. It turned out to be an intractable issue and diverted the water behind the plastic to a pipe at the bottom and to the sump pump. I later found out the wall was concrete block and would eventually crumble from constantly being wet. Anyway, he couldn't remember anything and was little help. I asked him how much he charged for a basement inspection and it was $250. He gave me the name of a structural engineer who specialized in foundations. I called him and asked how much he charged and it was $300. He asked me the address and said that was the epicenter of basement problems and he didn't need to come out, but would if I wanted. At that point, after being lied to and deceived by the Agent and their Inspector, I got a lawyer and cancelled the sale and got my deposit back. An honest and unbiased inspector would never have passed the house in the first place.
THE INSPECTOR WORKS FOR THE BUYER- NOT FOR THE AGENT OR SELLER!

The buyers priority is buying something that doesn't become a money pit; the agent's priority is a commission (sale) so he can eat. 2 totally different priorities. Never EVER use an inspector that:
1) was recommended by the agent, or
2) on YOUR questioning answers this question incorrectly: "What is your purpose for doing this inspection, sir?" Most inspectors will answer to the effect "to reassure you that you are making a good decision..." WRONG ANSWER!
That inspector's first and foremost object is to discover something that could potentially kill the deal - not push it through.


And good luck finding one.


People are so messed up on this point.

If at all possible do not have the agent present. If you can't manage that (you usually can't) ignore him completely and tail that inspector through the whole thing. I've ALWAYS seen the realtor trying to distract you (the buyer) 100% of the time. Give him a $20 bill send him out for sammiches or something. That inspection is YOUR business - not his. His purpose in being there is strictly to distract you.

No matter how little you know about houses, always do a "pre-inspection" yourself. Look for stuff that might constitute a problem. Just work on your own previous experiences. Say nothing to nobody, but see if your inspector addresses what you saw, and if not ask him about it.


Remember: An inspection is done strictly to see if there is something not obvious that if known to you, the buyer, kills the deal. It is not designed for "reassurance."


Finally, make sure that any findings of significance get put in that report IN WRITING. That way, if you change your mind and want to pull out of the deal, you got something in writing. Read that report carefully for completeness and clarity! Nullifying a deal can sometimes become a legal thing.

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 07-03-2018 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
Reputation: 10582
Never want be the guy who walks in to the END of a very long conversation and thinks he's the first one to say something...
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:56 AM
 
2,488 posts, read 1,730,437 times
Reputation: 4256
Diana: Believe it or not, there have been many posts of mine saying what I said, only followed by rebuttals stating otherwise (mostly realtors) and responses to the effect of "What?". Go back and read some OP's on the subject. People are quite confused about this home inspection thing.


But, I've got a day retirement, and can't go through 280 responses. My Mr Ed reruns come on at 2, Donna Reed at 3, and Judge Judy at 4.


But thanks for informing me that people have apparently read my previous posts on this subject and are finally wising up.


Makes me feel "retired but useful."
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
Reputation: 10582
I'm glad you feel useful. Have a good rest of your day!
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,046 posts, read 547,524 times
Reputation: 2039
We had an awful inspector come out when we sold our house. Inspector was picked by the buyer, we were told. He nit-picked everything. He had recommendations for our metal roof which would have damaged the roof badly. We fixed "issues" the right way, not his, and all was well. He wrote up a fan he could not get on because he didn't know where the switch was.


We happened to be over there the day of the inspection because our hot water tank had developed a leak the day before and we had the plumber installing a brand new one. Inspector wrote a whole paragraph about the old hot water tank with picture, even as we were installing the new one. Sheesh!


He said a tree was hanging on the roof and needed trimmed back. Maybe from the angle he took the picture...but we went up there and the tree was several feet back from the edge. Buyer had said he wanted to put his big RV there...and I suppose trimming that tree helped him do that but it sure wasn't necessary. This guy definitely did that to benefit the buyer. Not very honest in my book.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
Reputation: 10582
The inspector is hired by the buyer to benefit the buyer.... It's buyer's inspection.

And he's hired to nit pick. Buyer doesn't have to ask for everything, and seller doesn't have to agree to do everything, but he should be told everything.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:44 PM
 
10,800 posts, read 3,763,152 times
Reputation: 4711
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
Diana: Believe it or not, there have been many posts of mine saying what I said, only followed by rebuttals stating otherwise (mostly realtors) and responses to the effect of "What?". Go back and read some OP's on the subject. People are quite confused about this home inspection thing.


But, I've got a day retirement, and can't go through 280 responses. My Mr Ed reruns come on at 2, Donna Reed at 3, and Judge Judy at 4.


But thanks for informing me that people have apparently read my previous posts on this subject and are finally wising up.


Makes me feel "retired but useful."
Buyer in general has not a snowballs chance in hell of picking a good inspector. Maybe we think well of every 4th or 5th inspector we deal with. We have a set now of three but we use one 90% of the time. The reason is because he is an ex-contractor, smart and anal. Misses almost no detail. I generally talk my client about making issues of a third or so of his stuff. It needs doing but it is handyman maintenance items that need not be gotten into the way of buying a home.

I am an engineer by training and 40 years of experience. I know a lot about how thinks should and do work. But in this role I am an RE Agent. So what I do is whisper to the Inspector. And in general he covers it and I avoid getting out of my role. Sometimes the inspector may disagree and then we go with his opinion but that is pretty rare.

And basically I want the Inspector to screw up the deal if he can. I much prefer that to the client coming back in a couple of months with some terrible tale of woe even leading to law suits. Far better to hang it all out front.
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