Real Estate Agent Home Inspector List

Home Inspector Agent List

It’s a fact that most real estate agents hand out a Real estate agent home inspector list to their clients or even go as far as to schedule an inspection on the buyers behalf… So I have a question or two…  Why, if not to control this part of the transaction in some way, would an agent even have such a list of inspectors?

  • And, what makes a real estate agent so qualified to judge individual home inspectors (and there are many) that they have the right to even possess such a short list? Sooo, by agents attending inspections, even a few hundred make them an expert on who is a better inspector than others? And this is solely based on what? How quick they were? Their bedside manner when describing issues? Or is it the ability NOT to kill a deal?
  • And, what makes a real estate agent so qualified in the building trades that they can act as an expert in directing their client or deciding on their behalf, of all the issues discovered during an inspection, what is a “BIG DEAL” or what is not a “BIG DEAL”? (BTW… big deal is subjective).

We’ll re visit these questions in a minute, but first…

I believe that such “Real estate agent home inspector lists” of so called “vendors” should never ever exist. I personally think the practice is unethical. I also feel it limits the inexperienced home buyer who trusts their agent to protect them to only 1-3 limited choices of inspectors. Not to mention it places unnecessary liabilities onto any agent by only saying, “There are only three good inspectors in the whole area.”   I say, surely there must be more than three?  Your agent may proceed to explain that over the 1000 year span in which they’ve been in business and out of the thousands of families whose lives are forever changed (and surely for the better 🙂 ) purely out of their munificence, that these three individuals are the only inspectors who know everything there is to ever know about construction and about building and thus are the very very best that the home inspection industry has to offer?   This list, ladies and gentlemen is agent code for, “These three companies on this list are three companies that get the deal done!” Oops, did i say that?

Haha.. sorry, I mean, “these are companies that I’ve worked with in previous transactions and have proven themselves as experts in their ability not to scare the living crap out of my the buyers, thus making it onto my list.  There, that at least sounds better.

trust your instincts thehomebuyersadvocate.comWhat agents do not say, is that these “three” inspectors have displayed a willingness to walk past all superficial issues, overlook conditions which are beyond their 300 page scope of work and who possess a bedside manner that would make the most seasoned healthcare professional jealous. These inspectors possess the ability to somehow always speak in a soft, monotone voice, calmly describing the problems at hand in the most optimistic and enthusiastic way humanly possible while choosing only the most positive of adjectives. Truly a sight to behold if you have never had the displeasure to have experienced this process in action. More of an art really.

Some real estate agents won’t even hand out “the list” because they will just schedule the inspection for the buyer.  Talk about a whole other level of crazy…wow.

It’s my personal belief that these agents who schedule the inspection on behalf of the client, places the client in a position where they are more likely not get the best possible evaluation of a property and this Ladies and Gentlemen, is truly sad. It’s especially true when the real estate agents refer inspectors who they know are unqualified, or worse yet, live in the pocket of said agent.  Oh crap. There I go again…did I actually say that?  You bet I did!

You may not think this is possible but when real estate agents gives/ hands/ provides an inspector all their business, that inspector feels compelled and / or even obligated to take it easy on a property . Seriously, you don’t think there’s just a teeny tiny bit of collusion there…, Ya think? What did my dad always tell me…..? Oh yea, never bite the hand that feeds you.

But don’t kid yourself, the inspectors in this situation will always think twice before calling out issues in an “alarming way“, using words which they know will end scaring the client or cause the client to bail.  Inspectors who choose to use words that the agent does not approve of do not last very long on these lists. These agents will not only remove them from “the list”, but will spread all kinds of trash talking about that inspector to just about anyone who has an ear…the listing agent, agents throughout their office, emails, office meetings, hair/ nail and tanning solons… for years to come an with the vindictiveness of the stereotypical ex spouse.

And BTW… I don’t want to hear any retort form any home inspector who receives over 95+% of their business from these same real estate agents. If you are receiving 95+% or heck… even 75% of your business from real estate agent referrals seriously, don’t kid yourself,  you are beholden to someone.  And that person’s name is not H O M E B U Y E R.  There is no way that ALL 75% of your agent clients place the client before their commission, every time. For the home inspectors who serve their client ethically, honesty and with the moral clarity of a saint and just happen to be on a list… brovo, but this blog isn’t about you guys.

A real estate agent’s worst nightmare is a free thinking, free spirited, free marketed, unrestrained home inspector. And worse than that… a home inspector who does not play for team REAL ESTATE or one who does not abide by “their” rules. A nonconformist if you will… In the inspection industry these guys are labeled as “deal killers, alarmist and nit-picky”. I say to you, as the home buyer, isn’t this your guy?Home Buyers Advocate

What makes a real estate agent so qualified to judge individual home inspectors that they have the right to even possess such a list?

what makes real estate so qualifiedAgents have no business ever judging any inspection firm and comparing it to another. It’s not even their job. They may offer their own conjecture, but it really should stop there.  There may be one small exception however in my opinion, and that is of course the agent is an ex general contractor, architect, or architectural engineer and have a familarity with contracting (for may years).  Without and agent knowing how a building and it’s systems perform, how then will any agent know if the inspector knows anything at all?   So then basically agents are basing their opinion of how qualified an inspector is on what…, how well they speak, how fast the inspection was, how short the report is or how nice they look?

What makes a real estate agent so qualified in the building trades that they can act as an expert in deciding what’s a Big Deal on any inspection report?

man with hammerthehomeibuyersadvocate.comAs I previously stated, there is only one exception IMO where an agent can deduce whether or not an inspector knows anything about construction and that is for them to be, or have been involved in construction. And not the DIY type.  Otherwise, most agents feel confident in their ability to judge the knowledge of most if not all of you inspectors because well, mostly because they have been on or “attended hundreds” or even “thousands of inspections”.  Really? So because they have seen an immeasurable number of comments in which water heaters for example, require straps, that they are now an expert on all things plumbing and codes related therein? Or does it make them an expert on water heater earthquake bracing standards as dictated by the authority having jurisdiction and the application of such restraints? Which is it? This would be like me trying to say I’m an expert in law and then proceed to adjudicate a lawsuit based on my 101 hours of watching Judge Judy.

Hey agents….there are hundreds and thousands of rules, code and other materials associated with building a house from the ground up. Can you cite even one? Hmmm, I’m not gonna hold my breath as I might die of acute asphyxiation. For home inspectors, its all about applying these rules, code, genuine building knowledge and common sense in order to best “build it backwards”, from the outside-in which by any measure, is no easy task.

So unless a real estate agent is also an expert in the field of building code, holds a degree in structural engineering, is a GC, electrical, plumbing, pool, roofing, mechanical contractor, they best stick to what it is they know best (Starbucks, driving around all day in overpriced cars, attending award meetings, gossiping on twitter, Face Book… and for some, its basically just sounding busy for 8 hours a day).

Home Inspectors

Now let’s look at the role of the inspector through the perspective of some real estate agents.

For many real estate agents, and I mean many… the role of the inspector is not to find everything wrong with the building. On the contrary. The role of their type of inspector is to rummage through a property as fast and gently as humanly possible and find the least amount of issues possible, speak with an happy, enthusiastic almost angelic like voice, and deliver the 15 page report within an hour and oh yeah…it’s all about the summary. Forget that there’s fifty other pages missing within the report because a 45 minute inspection only yields 15 pages…it’s all about the summary. If its not on the summary, it doesn’t exist. For you inspectors who agree with this, here a huge duuuh for ya… Get with the program.

And the fact that agents look past the truth that this unregulated California inspection industry is full of unqualified individuals is unbelievable. No only do they look past this simple truth, they actually embrace and promote it.Home Buyers Advocate

As far as standards by which inspectors are judged, I personally don’t see that there are any. I think the real estate agents don’t even care that home inspection is UNREGULATED IN CALIFORNIA and that all inspectors are not the same. Some even take a 7 day class or even, wait for it…… ON LINE CERTIFICATIONS!  “The heck you say…, on-line”?  Yes, online.  To think that some real estate agents have individuals on their personal list who have never held a hammer, picked up a board, looked at a set of plans or interacted with a building official is preposterous. Amazing really.

And the fact that agents look past the fact that this unregulated California inspection industry is full of unqualified frauds is unbelievable. No only do they look past this simple truth, they actually perpetuate and promote it.

See part II here

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