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Old 03-30-2018, 10:09 AM
 
Location: PVB
2,387 posts, read 1,207,731 times
Reputation: 2765

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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.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,592 posts, read 55,307,520 times
Reputation: 30150
I recommend a home inspector.
He knows if he screws up regularly (no one is perfect) and my clients are impacted, he won't get the recommendation.

And, I work with any legitimate, licensed vendors my clients may choose over recommendations I make.
I have seen clients pick good inspectors. I have seen them pick real dunces. Both are within their right to choose.

"pass the home?"
Pass/Fail are not the inspector's concern.
They are providing you with a general assessment.

Now, should the basement wall have been cited in the assessment? Probably, yes.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
8,844 posts, read 17,440,566 times
Reputation: 6194
Normally you get an inspection as good as the inspector. If inspectors give false inspections then they get reported to the license board and could lose their license. Most good agents recommend good inspections who in turn do a quality inspection.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,717 posts, read 59,579,994 times
Reputation: 26822
Home inspectors priorities:

1. Do not get sued.
2. Do not do any work.
3. Get referrals for future work (i.e do not report anything that will tank the sale, but stay with priority 1 at the same time - which means try to avoid saying anything conclusive)
4. Create an official looking report with lots of boilerplate pictures, charts graphs and the like from the computer and point out a few obvious issues, then tell the purchaser to hire specialists to look at anything they are concerned about.
5. Look at the house and see if there is anything you think the purchasers should know about.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:36 PM
 
Location: El paso,tx
1,488 posts, read 572,187 times
Reputation: 2307
I give buyers a list of about 20 inspectors, and name 5 or 6 that I've had do inspections that seemed pretty thorough. Then I tell them to pick one.
Avoids conflict of interest or claims of the inspector doing a lousy inspection in order to close a deal. Or claims that I may be taking the imaginary kickback that people so often accuse realtors of doing.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:39 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 12,488,458 times
Reputation: 20934
I would never go with an inspector recommended by a realtor again.

We did this on our last house and the guy missed several problems that I believe he should at least have mentioned to us.

The ducts in the crawl space weren't connected to each other. The vents for the bathrooms and the kitchen just vented into the attic. There was no pressure relief valve on the water line.

I could go on, but you get the picture. We found out about things over time, but by then the deal was closed and we were living in the house.

It was clear to me that he was just helping the real estate agent close the deal.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:40 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 12,488,458 times
Reputation: 20934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spottednikes View Post
I give buyers a list of about 20 inspectors, and name 5 or 6 that I've had do inspections that seemed pretty thorough. Then I tell them to pick one.
Avoids conflict of interest or claims of the inspector doing a lousy inspection in order to close a deal. Or claims that I may be taking the imaginary kickback that people so often accuse realtors of doing.
Good plan.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,592 posts, read 55,307,520 times
Reputation: 30150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Home inspectors priorities:

1. Do not get sued.
2. Do not do any work.
3. Get referrals for future work (i.e do not report anything that will tank the sale, but stay with priority 1 at the same time - which means try to avoid saying anything conclusive)
4. Create an official looking report with lots of boilerplate pictures, charts graphs and the like from the computer and point out a few obvious issues, then tell the purchaser to hire specialists to look at anything they are concerned about.
5. Look at the house and see if there is anything you think the purchasers should know about.
Says the guy with no experience with home inspectors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I would never go with an inspector recommended by a realtor again.

We did this on our last house and the guy missed several problems that I believe he should at least have mentioned to us.

The ducts in the crawl space weren't connected to each other. The vents for the bathrooms and the kitchen just vented into the attic. There was no pressure relief valve on the water line.

I could go on, but you get the picture. We found out about things over time, but by then the deal was closed and we were living in the house.

It was clear to me that he was just helping the real estate agent close the deal.
Clearly this episode reflects much more on the agent you chose.
No ethical agent wants less than a competent inspection, and would not repeatedly recommend an inspector who failed to report these fundamental items.
What did the agent say when you brought it up?
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,862 posts, read 7,085,877 times
Reputation: 14073
OP-your experience was admittedly "years ago." In my state Home Inspectors are required to be licensed and have continuing ed requirements.

When I worked as an agent, I gave buyers a list of local inspectors. Often they asked which was the "best." To avoid appearing to tell them who to use, I gave a brief summary of my experiences with each inspector on the list.

People need to remember that good realtors build their business with satisfied and happy clients that refer them to family and friends. Those agents that recommend inspectors that don't do good work won't be in business long.

I think that if you can't trust the list or recommendation of a home inspector from your agent, you should look for a different agent. The same would apply to an agent recommending a mortgage broker or banker.

Last edited by rrah; 03-30-2018 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:30 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 724,410 times
Reputation: 2062
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
I recommend a home inspector.
He knows if he screws up regularly (no one is perfect) and my clients are impacted, he won't get the recommendation.

And, I work with any legitimate, licensed vendors my clients may choose over recommendations I make.
I have seen clients pick good inspectors. I have seen them pick real dunces. Both are within their right to choose.

"pass the home?"
Pass/Fail are not the inspector's concern.
They are providing you with a general assessment.

Now, should the basement wall have been cited in the assessment? Probably, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
Normally you get an inspection as good as the inspector. If inspectors give false inspections then they get reported to the license board and could lose their license. Most good agents recommend good inspections who in turn do a quality inspection.
It's bad practice today to recommend a single inspector. Even the generally adopted list of 3-5 recommendations is under a lot of heat in the industry.

Mike's argument is summarized that the recommended inspector is beholden to Mike and (presumably) because he gets a lot of business from Mike and wishes to continue to get recommendations, he will do the best for Mike's clients.

Since Mike himself has highlighted the problem here, at least we don't have to worry about arguing about it. The problem is that you don't want an inspector who's beholden to anyone but YOU the client. You certainly don't want one that's beholden to your agent as Mike describes. Mike has a strong financial interest in the deal closing. Deal doesn't close, he doesn't get paid. The client has an interest in the inspector finding all the problems and ultimately delaying or scuppering the deal as needed to best protect the client's interest.

So I will rewrite the sentence above to read: He knows if he screws up MY DEALS regularly (no one is perfect) and I AM impacted, he won't get the recommendation.

Inspectors aren't stupid, they know how agents get paid. Brandon's talking about 'false inspections' but clearly an inspection is an art and a science. There's a lot of gray area and judgment on what issues are identified, how they are described (in the report and verbally), etc.

It could be good for the client though if there is a problem and the client wishes to take legal recourse against the inspector due to missing a big defect (nobody is perfect as Mike says). If Mike has recommended the inspector, it's HIS inspector and now you have a pretty good case against Mike as well as the inspector and the seller. And even the seller might also have a decent case against Mike if negligence can be shown.

Personally, I would run from an agent pretty quickly if he gave me a single inspector recommendation and started talking about how that inspector will want to do right by the AGENT because they have worked together for a long time and that he won't screw up because he wants to continue to get my recommendations. Yikes. Out of there! Time for a new agent.
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