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  1. #1
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    Default My Active Rain post

    As requested.

    A real estate broker's job is to sell houses. That is their primary mission. The more they sell, the more successful they are. The very best sell the most homes. If you walk into any agent's office, you will see the walls adorned with various plaques that denote sales that have surpassed all different plateaus. Many agent's have plaques that attest to consecutive years of belonging to this "Club."
    This does not make them bad people. Most are raising families, and paying mortgages, or putting kids through school. Most are suffering through these bad times... just like everyone else. To land a client, help them find a home that suites them, help negotiate the deal... and keeping both sides on track, can be nerve racking. It is hard work, and they deserve every cent they earn.
    It only stands to reason that when a Home Inspector writes a report that brings out weaknesses in a home, and the end result is a sale not going through, the inspector is the target of the realtor'e agnst. I don't blame them, I would feel the same way.
    AND I CERTAINLY WOULD NOT WANT THIS SAME INSPECTOR ON MY NEXT PROSPECTIVE SALE! But if I met an inspector, who for some reason wrote reports that did not create waves, he would be my man, and I WOULD ALWAYS WANT HIM. Hey, if his reports did not create problems, I would probably think he was the BEST inspector in on Earth!
    When a cop writes a speeding ticket, of course we all say "thank you officer" when he is done. But the moment he drives away, HE IS A BASTARD. A Home Inspector is called all sorts of names for his role in a failed transaction.
    Now if the Home Inspector really did a bad job, there would be no problems. It would be easy to discredit him, make him and his report look foolish. The sale could be saved!
    A Home Inspector's job is to protect their client's best interest. Most are hard working guys/gals, a step above construction worker. Now, many, just like the agent and everyone else, he is struggling to feed he family.
    I have seen some very good home inspector's put their tails between their legs. I realized it a long time ago, when during a challenged inspection the inspector sprinkled sugar from the moment he arrived at the site. I held him to every statement he made, and he conceded EVERY point, until finally he called me into the crawl space, and admitted the house was a "DOG," (his words), and did not know how to tell his clients (the agent and the seller).
    At that moment I actually felt bad for him, realizing that although he had knowledge, he was caught in a trap, and relied upon the agent to feed his family.
    I think it is time we take the agents out of this bad position. I think it is time we take the Home Inspectors out of this bad position.
    The same way it is a conflict of interest for a Home Inspector to work on a home he has inspected, and the same way it is a conflict of interest for the Home Inspector to inspect a home he has worked on, It is a conflict of interest for a real estate agent to recommend a Home Inspector.
    So, who should recommend Home Inspectors?
    I realized the answer to this question in another bog posted regarding lenders requesting a copy of the inspection.
    I think a home inspection should be required on every home, by every lender. I think lenders should recommend Home Inspectors. They would want the most concise and most knowledgeable.
    In my opinion, besides removing this weight from the agent and inspector, it would protect the buyer. Also, it would probably help promote the deal. The lender, after seeing the report would specify what they wanted done before any money was released, and also state what they didn't care about. The buyer wouldn't clog the deal insisting about minutia, and the seller would probably repair/upgrade more items because he would realize the importance, and that it is not simply the buyer trying to get the price down.
    The quality of the reports would probably improve, because instead of learning how to sugarcoat, the inspector would have to get better at emphasizing the important items, and less emphasis on the lesser important items.


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    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 07-15-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    I disagree with much of what you've said.

    A real estate brokers job isn't to sell houses. It's to represent their client to the best of their ability. Yes, there are many awards based on the number of homes they sell. Just like a busy inspector is admired by their peers.

    A home inspector's job isn't to protect their clients best interest. A home inspector's job is to inspect the home and relay their findings to their client. Most home inspectors don't know their clients at all. We don't know what their finances are, we don't know if the issues we find can simply be fixed by the client or the client's friends or family. Inspectors generally don't know the value of homes or even what the clients are paying for the house. We don't even know the reason they're even purchasing the home. However, all of this information should be known by their representative, their agent.

    If both the agents and the inspectors actually knew their jobs and what roles they are supposed take the current system would work fine. The problem lies with agents who are in their position to only make easy money and inspectors who want to take on the agent's role or want to make easy money.

    I've been talking with many agents over the past few months. Their number one complaint with home inspectors isn't hard or soft reports. The number one reason they get pissed is when the inspectors start stepping on the agents toes by advising the clients to have the sellers fix something or even telling they client that the client themselves can fix something. Who fixes what is part of the real estate transaction process and the inspector has no business being there.

    I've seen lenders require inspections and refer inspectors in the past. A few "programs" come to mind, one being "The American Dream". The lender would get a copy of the report, pass it on to the underwriter and the underwriter would freak out over everything on the report, right down to settling cracks in the drywall. They would then mandate everything in the home be repaired prior to the sale of the house. And I mean everything, right down to the common cracks in the cement garage floor. I remember one time I wrote that the asphalt roof was in the last third of its life and the underwriter wanted a new roof before the loan could be processed. It's not realistic whatsoever.

    Mandatory inspections. Sure, wouldn't that be great. Oh yeah, we have them here. I believe 13 municipalities in the Minneapolis / St Paul area have Time of Sale inspections. The sellers has to have an inspection done and the report given to interested buyers. Even some listed items are required to be repaired. The problem is all municipalities inspect to different standards on different report forms...all checklist forms. Each inspector must be licensed in that individual municipality. All have different insurance requirements. The inspectors generally can do 5 to 10 of these inspections daily. Part of the fees collected go to the municipality. Typically these inspections are viewed as a joke (except for the mandated repairs) and most buyers don't even bother to read them.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 07-12-2011 at 05:26 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Hi Ken, How are you today? Thank you for your input, and I'm happy you have not stated that the conflict does not exist. Sorry for the delay in responding to your response, I've just been busy and wanted to give your response some thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I disagree with much of what you've said.
    That's fine, Thank G-D we live in a country where that is allowed.

    A real estate brokers job isn't to sell houses. It's to represent their client to the best of their ability. Yes, there are many awards based on the number of homes they sell. Just like a busy inspector is admired by their peers.
    I disagree. If a real estate broker's job was to represent buyer's, they would get paid whether they make a sale or not. They only get paid if there is a sale... and then they get paid by the seller, regardless of which side of the deal they are on. There are some states that require affidavits to this effect. Or maybe it is their job to represent buyers, but it is their business to sell houses.

    A home inspector's job isn't to protect their clients best interest. A home inspector's job is to inspect the home and relay their findings to their client. Most home inspectors don't know their clients at all. We don't know what their finances are, we don't know if the issues we find can simply be fixed by the client or the client's friends or family. Inspectors generally don't know the value of homes or even what the clients are paying for the house. We don't even know the reason they're even purchasing the home. However, all of this information should be known by their representative, their agent.
    It is always my intent to protect my client's interest. I do this by providing them with information that is as truthful, reliable, accurate, and concise as can be. I explain to them what each item is, and the ramifications involved. I do not know what their finances are or how much they are paying for the property... nor do I care. We may discuss rough cost of repairs, and things like the roof being replaced will involve removal of prior roof covers, etc.

    If both the agents and the inspectors actually knew their jobs and what roles they are supposed take the current system would work fine. The problem lies with agents who are in their position to only make easy money and inspectors who want to take on the agent's role or want to make easy money.
    So true. Personally, I don't want to take on the agent's role, nor do I want to make anybody' job any harder than it is already is. I believe agent's work very hard for thier commissions, and put up with alot of grief. The highs are very high, and the lows are very low.

    Unfortunately I have never made easy money. I work very hard, and have always worked very hard, and have pleanty of scars, aches and pains to prove it.

    I've been talking with many agents over the past few months. Their number one complaint with home inspectors isn't hard or soft reports. The number one reason they get pissed is when the inspectors start stepping on the agents toes by advising the clients to have the sellers fix something or even telling they client that the client themselves can fix something. Who fixes what is part of the real estate transaction process and the inspector has no business being there.
    If that is what is happening, I don't blame them. It is not the inspector's business as to who fixes what. After my client receives a copy of the report, I go over each and every item at least 2 times. The 1st time to explaine to the client exactly what I am referring to, and again to discuss the ramifications. I am then available at any time to discuss any questions that pop up, and if the client requests, I will offer an explanation to anybody necessary. I will even meet at the site, when necessary.

    I also inform my client which items are a must, which are should be, and which can be lived with.

    I've seen lenders require inspections and refer inspectors in the past. A few "programs" come to mind, one being "The American Dream". The lender would get a copy of the report, pass it on to the underwriter and the underwriter would freak out over everything on the report, right down to settling cracks in the drywall. They would then mandate everything in the home be repaired prior to the sale of the house. And I mean everything, right down to the common cracks in the cement garage floor. I remember one time I wrote that the asphalt roof was in the last third of its life and the underwriter wanted a new roof before the loan could be processed. It's not realistic whatsoever.
    I have changed my position on this because I can see the process getting muttled up. Although it sounds good on paper, it could be a problem. Too bad it can't work efficiently.

    Mandatory inspections. Sure, wouldn't that be great. Oh yeah, we have them here. I believe 13 municipalities in the Minneapolis / St Paul area have Time of Sale inspections. The sellers has to have an inspection done and the report given to interested buyers. Even some listed items are required to be repaired. The problem is all municipalities inspect to different standards on different report forms...all checklist forms. Each inspector must be licensed in that individual municipality. All have different insurance requirements. The inspectors generally can do 5 to 10 of these inspections daily. Part of the fees collected go to the municipality. Typically these inspections are viewed as a joke (except for the mandated repairs) and most buyers don't even bother to read them.

    Too bad they are viewed as a joke, especially if that view is caused by the way they are conducted. I'm sure that some of the data is minutia. Hopefully, the mandated repairs are important items, I hope it saves enough headaches to be worthwhile. Perhaps this process should be standardized.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 07-14-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    I am staring to believe that I am the only inspector in the world that inspects a house the same way no matter who hires me or pays me.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I am staring to believe that I am the only inspector in the world that inspects a house the same way no matter who hires me or pays me.
    No, there's at least two of us.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    I agree with a lot of the points both of you have made but am of the opinion that most attempts at standardization by governments turn into gigantic sucking black holes of bureaucracy.

    Now, my take: With experience in the mortgage industry, I have seen many attempts by Realtors to get Appraisers and Lenders to fudge the numbers to help a sale go through. During our last boom, they were almost always successful. Hence, all of the Appraiser and Lender oversight now. Funny how nobody really came down on the Realtors, must be a powerful lobby.

    Statistically, the vast majority of people that obtain Real Estate Licensing fail, most only getting one or two deals before giving up and quitting. All of your larger Real Estate companies know this and are constantly training (at cost to the trainee) a new crop of Realtors to replace the ones leaving. These companies make their money on the training, mailbox fees, desk fees, business cards, etc. and the one or two sales each newbie might get.

    So, with a constant influx of new Realtors entering the business, an Inspector is always going to be running into Realtors that are not only new to the business, but also desperate for the sale to go through.

    As you know, desperate times call for desperate measures, and new Realtors are going to hammer the crap out of anyone that may cause a sale to fail. It might be their last chance at their new career, and you as the Home Inspector, are in their way.

    Just my opinion, disagree at will. I'm heading out for a beer.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Gentleman,

    That is my whole point. A house/building should be inspected the same way all the time. Truthfully, acurately, concisely, and reliably. Who coined the term "sugarcoating," and why? I know it wasn't me. There must be a reason... or am I imagining it.

    I call what I see and let the chips fall where they may.

    Funny, I almost feel like I treaded upon a "taboo" subject.

    Shhh. Don't even say the words.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I am staring to believe that I am the only inspector in the world that inspects a house the same way no matter who hires me or pays me.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    No, there's at least two of us.
    At least three of us.

    I have performed autopsies on thousands of houses in years past. I have also inspected many which were still suitable for resuscitation, many without having to resort to heroic efforts too.

    I suspect that most home inspector inspect the house the same way they always do regardless of who they are inspecting for.

    There are, without a doubt, major differences in the way we inspect houses as compared to each other, but that is not the discussion here.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Great job Steve.
    You are a credit to our industry.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Gentleman,

    That is my whole point. A house/building should be inspected the same way all the time. Truthfully, acurately, concisely, and reliably. Who coined the term "sugarcoating," and why? I know it wasn't me. There must be a reason... or am I imagining it.

    I call what I see and let the chips fall where they may.

    Funny, I almost feel like I treaded upon a "taboo" subject.

    Shhh. Don't even say the words.
    Not taboo....it is a none issue as far as I am concerned. I killed a deal on $400k house today and doing another inspection for the same realtor on Monday. The buyer was not at the inspection...the agent pulled the plug on the deal on their behalf.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    ...the agent pulled the plug on the deal on their behalf.
    That is a good agent. One that really does have the clients' best interest at heart.

    However, there are deals that go south because an inspector has over-stated a problem. I have seen cases where the inspector has made a "big deal" over something that required a relatively simple correction/repair. I believe that an inspector has to impart some level of perspective when describing a need for a correction.

    We do have a difficult job.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    No, there's at least two of us.
    Make that three...oops, sorry Jerry, make that four......

    Last edited by Jim Hintz; 07-15-2011 at 01:30 AM. Reason: other

  13. #13
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Steve,

    So, what is with deleting your original post? This makes me want to not reply to any post of yours.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Gunnar, I deleted the post because I was not enjoying the responses. I had hoped to have real discussion regarding the issue I brought up, but instead faced what I perceived as a combination of denial, and insult. Rather than continue with feeling bad, which may have resulted in bad feelings, I felt it better to remove the post.

    Perhaps what I should have realized is that there is nothing to discuss. It exists, and until there are laws to protect people, it will continue. Talking about it does nothing.

    Strange, but the responses received both here and at Active Rain were surprising. So few acknowledged that there was even a possibility that such a situation could exist. I began to wonder just how widespread the situation is. I felt l was standing in Frank Serpico's shoes, and was speaking about industry secret, and if you want to get referrals, pretend thet don't exist.

    Shhhh!, You'll wake the baby.

    Both with agents and inspectors.

    Perhaps I am over reacting, but I know that I do my best to protect my clients, and am not the agents favorite... I wear that position with pride.

    I stand behind any inspection/report that I have ever provided. Agents who came back to challange me with their own inspectors, who so obviously were pros at spewing sugar. The problem was they did their dance in front of me, and when I held them to what they said, they admitted... yes admitted that what they suggested would not work and/or was illegal. I cannot think of even one inspection... that did not provide my clients with information that did not save them exponentially whatever the cost of the inspection was, or avoided aggrevation they did not want. From time to time I get calls from clients that turn out to be relatives of agents that do not recommend me, but yet they told me this agent(s) insisted that I be called.

    I do not call clients to find out if they ultimately purchased the home I inspected for. Some do, some don't, but as far as I know, the majority continue negotiations after the report is delivered. Some repeat clients are with the same agent, who in the end sell them a house. Some are with different agents. It a sale does not happen, it is because negotiations break down, not because of a bad report.

    I respect all of the members that visit this site more than I can put into words, and consider some of the to be true gurus. Even though I have not met the other members personally, I also have always considered them to be friends and comrades... and a "cut above the pack."

    As I stated, I apologize if I offended you by my actions it was never my intent. Perhaps I panicked when I received such negative responses from some of the folks that I respect the most.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Put your post back up. Or provide a link to your active rain blog.

    You asked a question and someone disagreed with you. People thought about what you posted and responded. You stopped the discussion before it really got started. If you feel strongly about your position, then fight for it. I felt the discussion was just getting started when it was deleted. There was starting to be some back and forth.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Just re-read my post and realized that I should have said that they (meaning the Realtor) feel could cause a sale to fail.

    I too am of the ilk that it is only the Inspector's job to provide the most accurate picture possible of a property's current condition. What is done with that information is between the seller and purchaser.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Gunnar, I deleted the post because I was not enjoying the responses. I had hoped to have real discussion regarding the issue I brought up, but instead faced what I perceived as a combination of denial, and insult. Rather than continue with feeling bad, which may have resulted in bad feelings, I felt it better to remove the post.

    Perhaps what I should have realized is that there is nothing to discuss. It exists, and until there are laws to protect people, it will continue. Talking about it does nothing. Talking about it is the only way to get it to change and get that ethics law passed once and for all.

    Strange, but the responses received both here and at Active Rain were surprising. So few acknowledged that there was even a possibility that such a situation could exist. I began to wonder just how widespread the situation is. I felt l was standing in Frank Serpico's shoes, and was speaking about industry secret, and if you want to get referrals, pretend thet don't exist. I hate to tell you this but "Active Rain" is filled with Realtors and Inspectors doing about all they can do to get those Realtor referrals.

    Shhhh!, You'll wake the baby. I love this best of all

    Both with agents and inspectors.

    Perhaps I am over reacting, but I know that I do my best to protect my clients, and am not the agents favorite... I wear that position with pride.

    I stand behind any inspection/report that I have ever provided. Agents who came back to challange me with their own inspectors, who so obviously were pros at spewing sugar. The problem was they did their dance in front of me, and when I held them to what they said, they admitted... yes admitted that what they suggested would not work and/or was illegal. I cannot think of even one inspection... that did not provide my clients with information that did not save them exponentially whatever the cost of the inspection was, or avoided aggrevation they did not want. From time to time I get calls from clients that turn out to be relatives of agents that do not recommend me, but yet they told me this agent(s) insisted that I be called.

    I do not call clients to find out if they ultimately purchased the home I inspected for. Some do, some don't, but as far as I know, the majority continue negotiations after the report is delivered. Some repeat clients are with the same agent, who in the end sell them a house. Some are with different agents. It a sale does not happen, it is because negotiations break down, not because of a bad report.

    I respect all of the members that visit this site more than I can put into words, and consider some of the to be true gurus. Even though I have not met the other members personally, I also have always considered them to be friends and comrades... and a "cut above the pack."

    As I stated, I apologize if I offended you by my actions it was never my intent. Perhaps I panicked when I received such negative responses from some of the folks that I respect the most.
    The only problem with talking out loud about some things on this or any post is by doing so some folks feel stepped on or singled out. As far as not talking about something, well, that is just a whole lot worse. I sight countless times, and try not to mention names, of inspectors or Realtors that said this or that as a case in bringing these things to the forefront.

    Yes I get folks aggravated, ticked of POd, whatever you may call it but some things are worth talking about so eventually enough people will read, listen, understand and then after enough get the clue there will be recourse like my favorite. "All referrals to Home Inspectors directly or by group from Realtors should be illegal."

    I have multiple stories and every single person on this board and every other board has a story about this inspector and that inspector and this agent and that agent to ignore the stories any longer. The apple cart will not just get upset but flipped over and the entire way of doing business will change for a huge amount of inspectors that get all their work thru direct referrals from Realtors but it has to happen. There are way to many real stories about soft reports, scratch my back and I will scratch yours, your story and every single story you have ever read on here and everywhere else is the number one reason for banning such referrals. Unlike those that think we are not their looking out for our clients interest and just there to do an inspection and make a buck are so wrong. Yes we are there to make money but the reason we are there to make money is because we are performing a home inspection .......... because the buyer is paying us to look out for their interests so they do not fall into a money pit or at least make that money pit as shallow as possible.

    The "Shhhh!, You'll wake the baby." was absolutely perfect. I love it and will use it in the future.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Put your post back up. Or provide a link to your active rain blog.

    You asked a question and someone disagreed with you. People thought about what you posted and responded. You stopped the discussion before it really got started. If you feel strongly about your position, then fight for it. I felt the discussion was just getting started when it was deleted. There was starting to be some back and forth.

    Done. See#1

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Done. See#1

    I just re read your post.

    In the name of what and where did you get one of my posts

    If I did not know better I would have thought that you did steal one of my rants. I thought I was the only one foolish enough to make the rest of the inspectors hate him and did not care about it.

    That is not a good thing around here to sound like me. You might get folks yelling at you. Stating ones opinion does make enemies when all you are trying to do is look out for your fellow inspector and clients.

    Good or should I say, excellent job and I commend you.


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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Thank you for your opinions and support. I was really beginning to think (although I knew differently) that I was the only one who felt that it was my duty to provide a true and realistic picture of a property.

    I will also add that although I am not at all suprised from the reactions and responses by the realtors, I am appalled at the responses from MOST of the inspectors that have responded. That's right... MOST!

    It must really be all about the money.

    By the way, I so often read about inspectors that have this unbelievable fear of being sued. My G-d, if all they did, was do a good and accurate job, they wouldn't have to worry so much.

    Not only that, but they could then drop the "inspectorspeak"

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I will also add that although I am not at all surprised from the reactions and responses by the realtors, I am appalled at the responses from MOST of the inspectors that have responded. That's right... MOST!

    I must be missing something because I don't see where MOST inspectors responded negatively toward your post, in fact, unless I counted and read posts wrong, more agreed with you than disagreed with you ... MOST commented on other's posts stating that they inspect the same way regardless who the client is - and that is a good thing as it should not matter who the client is, the home inspector should be inspecting the house, as best they can, every time.

    Not only that, but they could then drop the "inspectorspeak"
    What they don't realize is that using "inspectorspeak" is not unlike throwing chum out into the water ... and then being surprised when the sharks appear. (pun intended)

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I must be missing something because I don't see where MOST inspectors responded negatively toward your post, in fact, unless I counted and read posts wrong, more agreed with you than disagreed with you ... MOST commented on other's posts stating that they inspect the same way regardless who the client is - and that is a good thing as it should not matter who the client is, the home inspector should be inspecting the house, as best they can, every time.



    What they don't realize is that using "inspectorspeak" is not unlike throwing chum out into the water ... and then being surprised when the sharks appear. (pun intended)
    I do not mean to speak for Steven but I do believe he was talking more of the Realtor bait site, no pun intended and I am sure it is an absolutely wonderful site.


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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    What I encountered at the realtor site was every agent, except one all said the same thing, which was that they don't care about anything but the well being of their clients, whether they buy the house or not. It was amazing how each one said the same thing, almost af if it were scripted.

    The only inspector who made any sense was a guy Named Jim Bushart, I mention his name because he really sounded intelligent and worthy. The other inspectors just about denied the whole thing, and stated how great the agents were.

    Over here I had mixed and confusing messages, a disagree (which is fine) with reasoning (whether I agreed with him or not), and some that like I said confused me, they stated they were the only ones that inspected a home the same way all the time. I wish instead of saying "I", they would have said "We." Since I believe that they were saying that they did a good job, it made me feel as if they were implying that I did not.

    Yes there was one of praise, and one or two with intelligent opinions that addressed the issue directly.

    Perhaps I pulled the plug too soon, because after that, some more appeared that did address the issue directly.

    OK, I have vented and feel better. Perhaps this is all a moot point. I don't think any agent will ever admit to "hand picking" inspectors, and I don't think any inspector will ever admit to writing soft reports. But, as I originally stated, and what is the jist of this whole thing is that; there is a conflict of interest.

    Nobody that has a financial interest in the decision of whether a buyer purchases a home or not should be referring the home inspector.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Since you put your post back up, I'll respond to your response to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I disagree. If a real estate broker's job was to represent buyer's, they would get paid whether they make a sale or not. They only get paid if there is a sale... and then they get paid by the seller, regardless of which side of the deal they are on. There are some states that require affidavits to this effect. Or maybe it is their job to represent buyers, but it is their business to sell houses.

    Here is the Realtor's Code of Ethics. I don't believe you'll find anything mentioning that a Realtor's job is to sell houses and the more they sell the better they are:

    http://www.manausa.com/mint/pepper/o...thics-2010.pdf

    Just as you'll never find in an ASHI or NACHI Code of Ethics that an inspectors job is to protect the interests of the clients.

    It is always my intent to protect my client's interest. I do this by providing them with information that is as truthful, reliable, accurate, and concise as can be. I explain to them what each item is, and the ramifications involved. I do not know what their finances are or how much they are paying for the property... nor do I care. We may discuss rough cost of repairs, and things like the roof being replaced will involve removal of prior roof covers, etc.

    It sounds as if your doing your job as an inspector. This is not the same as protecting your clients interest. Protecting your clients interests would be determining if they can afford the house, afford the repairs and maintenance. Determining if they can do the repairs themselves or if the need to hire a contractor. Doing so is the job of the Realtor, not the inspector.

    If that is what is happening, I don't blame them. It is not the inspector's business as to who fixes what. After my client receives a copy of the report, I go over each and every item at least 2 times. The 1st time to explaine to the client exactly what I am referring to, and again to discuss the ramifications. I am then available at any time to discuss any questions that pop up, and if the client requests, I will offer an explanation to anybody necessary. I will even meet at the site, when necessary.

    I also inform my client which items are a must, which are should be, and which can be lived with.

    As any good inspector should.

    I have changed my position on this because I can see the process getting muttled up. Although it sounds good on paper, it could be a problem. Too bad it can't work efficiently.

    Don't get me wrong. I get many referrals from lenders. But, keep the inspection reports away from the underwriters because most have no idea what they're reading.


    Too bad they are viewed as a joke, especially if that view is caused by the way they are conducted. I'm sure that some of the data is minutia. Hopefully, the mandated repairs are important items, I hope it saves enough headaches to be worthwhile. Perhaps this process should be standardized.

    The Truth in Housing reports have become a joke mainly because of the inspectors. Generally, with a vacant house, the inspector will spend 20 minutes in the home, make out his checklist report and get a $200 check cut by the listing agent. Because nobody is there with them they'll check off stuff they didn't even look at. I don't know how many houses I've inspected where the TISH inspector checked off the box for 3-5 inches of insulation in the attic, but the attic hatch is sealed and has never been opened.

    Standardized? Wouldn't that be something. We can't get 13 inspectors on this site to agree on one thing. Imaging trying to get 13 city governments together to standardize an inspection. LOL The only way to standardize it would be to implement a national license for inspectors, all inspecting under the same criteria. In order to keep the Realtor referral element out of it we'd need to divy up the inspections...say in a pool or on a rotation. Sound familiar?

    I've learned that my role is to inspect the house and relay my findings to my client. In the process I am assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest. The agents I get referrals from truly are trying to protect their clients. They don't want a soft report. In fact, they generally want a hard report so they can beat up the seller on the price. But, it's really none of my business what they do with the negotiation. I have had agents in the past who've called me prior to the inspection and asked for a soft report. Every time I've pulled out of the inspection, black listed the agent and let the client know what happened. I've had agents ask me to change reports because underwriters had seen the report and were denying the loan. I don't change reports. But honestly, in the past 3 years I've only had 2 agents pull this crap. I told them flat out that I wouldn't inspect for any of their clients in the future. It used to happen much more often. I've made a pretty good reputation in these parts for myself. I've been referred by city inspectors whom I've never met in my life, I've done hundreds of inspections for Realtors and their families, heck I've even inspected houses for an American League MVP and a Vice President of the United States.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 07-15-2011 at 10:57 PM.
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Ken

    I am not sure where all your confusion and misunderstanding comes from. I am saying this to try to be helpful , not demeaning and sarcastic

    Why do you say it is not a Realtors job to sell homes. Is that not why they became Realtors. They needed a job and went and took a class and then started their home selling career. The more they sell the more they make. One just cannot be more clear than that.

    You say " I have had agents in the past who've called me prior to the inspection and asked for a soft report"

    You say "
    The Truth in Housing reports have become a joke mainly because of the inspectors." Kinda sounds like that, because there is no one around they are fudging reports and not even looking at what they inspect. What else are they doing when one of those Realtors approach them about fudging a report?
    I think we all get it that you are a good inspector. I think we all get it that you would never do such things. I think we all get it that there are plenty of inspectors out there that would never do such a thing. But as you say there are plenty of Realtors and inspectors out there that would

    After saying that I honestly think you should get it that there are a lot of Realtors out there that want and ask for soft reports or if they do not ask they are trying to find that soft report inspector. I think you may be starting to understand that not matter how much you defend yourself you are constantly putting out there that there are plenty of inspectors and plenty of Realtors that give wide open reasons why Realtors should be banned from referring any inspector whether it be an individual or a group.

    Also you continuously say that it is not your job to look out for the clients best interest. I am not talking about the confusion on your part about the price of the home or if they can afford repairs. I am talking about the reason inspectors have the job of inspecting to make their income. The clients want someone on their behalf to inspect that home so they do not fall into some kind of money pit that they cannot afford or with massive repairs leading to more money being put into the home that the home is worth.And that last paragraph means exactly what? Well Ken. It means that the home inspector is hired to look out for the clients best/financial interest in the home even if it is just to get a reduction in price and they take care of the repair themselves. You said this yourself in your Realtor pitch. "they generally want a hard report so they can beat up the seller on the price"

    You also said " In the process I am assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest". I am not sure which part you are not sure of about what you do or what your roll is. You are not there to assist the Realtor. The realtor is not paying you. You do not work for the realtor. The realtor is not buying the home. The realtor is not the one making the decision as to what repairs to ask for and what repairs to eat. The client is.

    You are there to assist the client in finding as many concerns in the home they are thinking of purchasing there by looking out for the clients best interest. What the Realtor is doing for the client and what you are doing for the client are two separate tasks. You are there looking out for your clients best interest in finding as many concerns as you can.

    The realtor is there to show the clients properties and ultimately find them a home that they like and wish to purchase. It is also the realtors job to find disclosure statements from the past as in before the date you inspect because they have no clue what may be wrong with the home at this time. The client is the one that is buying the home. The client is the one you ultimately worked for on that inspection, not the Realtor.

    You assist the buyer, not the Realtor. You are an independent professional that is being hired to look out for your clients interest in the home purchase in finding as many concerns as you can. What they do with it is totally up to them. If they wish that the Realtor puts an addendum together for repairs or a decrease in price to cover the cost of those repairs it is completely and totally up to them. Not you or the Realtor. You job is not in combination with. Your job is your job and the Realtors job is their job.

    In saying that and with your writings about this Realtor or that realtor or this inspector or that inspector that are actually not looking out for the clients best interest why do you continuously want to join the Realtor and Inspector by the hip. Some of those joining, and sadly at times, many of those joining, is far the opposite of looking out for the clients best interest and in fact they are just, together, looking out for their best interest and that would only be the money they collect.

    You have stories, I have stories, a couple of friends of mine that are x realtors have some serious stories about the discussions that float around the realtor office and quite frankly out right open conversations about this matter, Charlie has stories and I am absolutely positive that every single inspector on this board or just in the business has stories about this realtor or that inspector.

    You wish to defend this practice because you get all of your work from direct referrals from Realtors. You defend this tooth and nail because you would never want to lose those direct referrals.

    You say " In order to keep the Realtor referral element out of it we'd need to divy up the inspections...say in a pool or on a rotation. Sound familiar?" This being the mandated listing inspections.

    What would be wrong with inspectors being on a list for certain areas and when the next home goes up for sale the computer pulls up the next inspector on the list. A notification is sent that a home is gong up for sale and logged into the computer. Someone needs an mandated inspection for that listing the computer spits out the next name in line. Cannot get much more simple than that now can you. No Realtor involvement. Lets see, the home is in Johnson County. That listing has to be sent online to this we address. click click .... done and the name of Ken Rowe name gets spit out.

    As far as the Home inspector for the buyer. Lets see. Type in home inspectors and a city or county in the search box, or pick up a phone book, or who was that inspector that inspected Larrys house? I am not sure why it all seems so difficult and foreboding. Oh, wait, I know. You get all your inspections thru direct referrals because you are "assisting the agent" with protecting the clients interest. Not looking out for the clients best interests interests.

    Your are literally afraid that if you lost all these direct referrals that you would be out of business. Far from the truth Ken. They would still need a home inspection.

    Seriously Ken. None of this was said in a smart ass way or a demeaning manner and if it appeared that way I do apologize. It was said to help you gain an understanding that you are not aware of. You work for the client and that is how you make a living by inspecting and finding concerns and in doing so looking out for you clients best interest in those regards. You do not work for or assist the Realtor. You can make a good living without "assisting agents" and getting direct referrals from them.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 07-16-2011 at 07:39 AM.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Ken, I believe that you are playing on semantics.

    Real estate brokers sell properties. Not cars, nor baby buggies. OK, because in most cases they do not own the property being sold, and since you cannot sell something you do not own, technically they do not sell properties. So lets put it this way: Realtors represent people that wish to buy/sell a property. The more sold properties that they represent which get sold, the more money they make.

    Since the money is not placed in a pool that is shared equally by all realtors, the more that an individual causes to be sold is in direct relationship to how much money they individually earn.

    It is human nature to want to make as much money as possible (for those that wish to make money). Did I just start another semantic conflict, since only a government can make money.

    As far as assisting the agent, well I do not have, nor do I want any connection to any agent, even when referred by the agent, I make it perfectly clear to the agent and to the client who I work for, and to who my loyalty is to. The only deviation to this statement is that I always inspect the building, and my loyalty to the client is to provide reliable and truthful information. I do not fabricate facts to assist my client. The only assistance I provide to an agent is if the agent is a female, I will open a door for her.

    This past year I lost a very good source of referrals, not from an agent, but from an underwriter who was referring EIFS inspections. She got upset when after I inspected a house, and she requested a copy of the report, I told her she would have to request a copy of the report from the client.

    As far as stepping on an agent's toes by discussing the needed repairs: Is your practice to deliver a report and walk away? What do you tell a client when they wish to discuss your report/repairs? "Talk to your agent."

    Ted says you are defending this practice because you are defending your source of referrals. I don't know how much you rely upon agent referrals, but what else can it be?

    I am not in any way shape or form saying that realtors are bad people... they are people. But there is a conflict. How you can't see it (or refuse to admit it) is befuddling

    Financial interest based on decisions+recommending who provides information that decisions are based upon=Conflict of interest.

    Ted also mentions "Charlie." I don't know who he is referring to, but an inspector named Charlie (at Active Rain) also had the same type of response as you. He stated that this problem is being over blown, that the vast majority of realtors only care about what is best for their clients, and that there is no reason to "punish" the agents, etc.

    Ted, thank you for your input, I found it helpful and enlightening.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Real estate brokers sell properties. Not cars, nor baby buggies. OK, because in most cases they do not own the property being sold, and since you cannot sell something you do not own, technically they do not sell properties. So lets put it this way: Realtors represent people that wish to buy/sell a property. The more sold properties that they represent which get sold, the more money they make.
    The same applies to new car salespersons and to most used car salespersons as very few actually "own" the cars they are selling.

    For the most part the old saying is right "How can you tell when a used car salesman is lying?" "When his lips are moving."

    For the most part, that applies to many real estate agents too. Notice that I said "for the most part" and "many", because, like used car salesmen, it does not apply to "all".

    In the 17 years I did home inspections I would say that 90% of the real estate agents fit that saying as that was how they sold homes and made their living.

    Of the remaining 10% which were not that way, probably half actually wanted a thorough inspection and report.

    The other half just accepted thorough reports because that was what their clients wanted and they knew that what their clients wanted was what they "wanted" if they wanted to keep those clients.

    Granted, I retired from home inspections in 2006, so things may have changed, I am open to accepting that if the evidence shows that.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Steve,

    Ted is blocked on my end, so I don't know what he's saying. Probably something demeaning and about how bad Realtor referral are, even though he takes them himself. But, I'll respond to you:

    I provided documentation as to what the Realtor's Code of Ethics is. Since you didn't read it before, please read it now. http://www.manausa.com/mint/pepper/o...thics-2010.pdf

    Here is the ASHI Code of Ethics:
    Code of Ethics | ASHI, American Society of Home Inspectors

    Please note that the Realtor's Code of Ethics states "When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client."

    Also note that the ASHI Code of Ethics do not state anything about protecting the client's interest.

    You disagree with me, that's fine. Please provide any documentation you can come up with which proves your point.

    As I've already said, there are agents and inspectors who are only out to make money. Some agents don't care what condition the house is in, they just want the paycheck. Some inspectors don't know their axx from their hat, some give soft reports to get the agent referral. I agree that some do.

    You missed my point and then mis-paraphrased me regarding "assisting the agent". What I said was, "I've learned that my role is to inspect the house and relay my findings to my client. In the process I am assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest. The agents I get referrals from truly are trying to protect their clients."

    If you look at that paragraph as a whole, it means something totally different than when you just look at the words, "I am assisting the agent". Don't be another Ted and start quoting out of context.

    As far as stepping on an agent's toes by discussing the needed repairs: Is your practice to deliver a report and walk away? What do you tell a client when they wish to discuss your report/repairs? "Talk to your agent."
    Please don't try to put words in my mouth. You should have simply asked how I handled follow up questions regarding needed repairs. I simply discuss the inspection. I tell them my findings, what is needed to do the repairs, etc. What I don't do is discuss which party of the transaction fixes the items. It's not my business who fixes the problems, buyers or sellers. That's between the clients and their agent...not the inspector.

    Ted says you are defending this practice because you are defending your source of referrals. I don't know how much you rely upon agent referrals, but what else can it be?
    I don't put much stock into anything that Ted says. He's one who would probably love to have a rotating pool of inspections (like appraisals) because he can't get work on his own. I'm not really "defending" anything. I freely admit I get the majority of my work from realty referrals. As I've previously stated, the agents who refer me want a hard report. Agents I meet for the first time are told that it's going to be a hard report. When I speak with them the first time I let them know that I'm not only protecting the client, but I'm protecting them as well. I let them know that it's best to deal with this stuff now during the inspection than 3 months from now in a lawsuit.


    I am not in any way shape or form saying that realtors are bad people... they are people. But there is a conflict. How you can't see it (or refuse to admit it) is befuddling

    Financial interest based on decisions+recommending who provides information that decisions are based upon=Conflict of interest.
    I guess I'm assuming you're talking about real estate referrals leading to a soft inspection. If that's what you're talking about then I would say it's only bad if the inspector allows it to happen. I don't allow it to happen, therefore I have no problem with it. As I've previously said, I've been asked to do soft inspections...I've refused the inspections. If there were no chance of the inspector doing a soft report then the agents wouldn't ask for it. You can't only blame the dope dealer for selling the stuff to the junkie. To stop soft reports, the inspectors need to stop doing them. Why ban referrals if the agents are truly performing their duties under their Code of Ethics?

    My point is, blame the inspectors for writing the soft reports, not the referring agent. The agent didn't write the report. I have no problem with having stricter guidelines, oversight and extreme penalties for inspectors writing soft reports. If it could be done I'd love it if each and every inspection report written was reviewed by a quality control committee and if the report was found to be "soft" then the inspector would loose their license and be prosecuted. This would get rid of the inspectors willing to do a soft report and get rid of the problem all together.

    While we're at it let's make a few more changes. I'd love to see national licensing. I'd love to see "online" quizzes to become a certified inspector banned. I'd love to see 40 hours per years mandatory continuing education. I'd love to see mandatory equipment requirements. I'd love to see a mandatory 500 inspection internship requirement for the national licensing. I'd love to see a mandatory 5 year prerequisite of construction trades prior to the 500 inspection internship. This would also help get rid of the unscrupulous inspectors.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    While we're at it let's make a few more changes. I'd love to see national licensing. I'd love to see "online" quizzes to become a certified inspector banned. I'd love to see 40 hours per years mandatory continuing education. I'd love to see mandatory equipment requirements. I'd love to see a mandatory 500 inspection internship requirement for the national licensing. I'd love to see a mandatory 5 year prerequisite of construction trades prior to the 500 inspection internship. This would also help get rid of the unscrupulous inspectors.
    "This would also help get rid of the unscrupulous inspectors."

    Nope, that would have no affect on unscrupulous inspectors, it would not necessarily create 'better and more knowledgeable' inspectors either - in fact, it may keep out some very knowledgeable inspectors ... oh, wait, those requirements are aimed at keeping new inspectors out of the business ... got it ...

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Ken, There is apparently some bad blood between you and Ted, I do not know the root of it, nor do I wish to. This thread was started with one thing in mind, which was to discuss a conflict of interest.

    That does not mean that every referral from a realtor was made with the expectation of a soft report. Nor does it mean that every inspector that accepts referrals from a realtor is going to deliver a soft report. But there are plenty that do, and there are plenty that do. Regardless of if there are any quid pro quos, it is still a conflict because the expectation could be there.

    Much of what Ted opined made a great deal of sense, and I happen to agree with most of it.


    No, I do not wish for inspections to be doled out in rotation. IMO the natural one to refer an inspector would be the client’s attorney. He was hired for the purpose of protecting the client, it seems right to me, right"er" than being referred by an agent. As far as accepting a referral from an agent, I see nothing wrong with it, so long as the inspector does a true inspection.

    Also, in my eyes, a "hard" inspection is not right either. An inspection should be "true." Not hard, not soft, just true. As soon as someone is anything but true, they lose their value as a third party inspector.

    You mention the Realtors CE. That is great, and I'm sure that every realtor is careful when it comes to that, but in my heart of hearts, and because of what I have seen, both as my direct role as an inspector, and indirectly, I truly believe that the hand picking of inspectors exists, and is much more wide spread than some seem to be willing to admit.

    Regardless of what the CE states, there are plenty (note that I didn’t say all) that hand pick inspectors based upon “cooperation.” How could it possibly be proven? But we all know… maybe not all, but I know. I’m surprised that you did have the same opinion, but I’m more surprised that you respond as if it was delusional to think it exists… after all, read the CE. OK, I made up the delusional part, but that is how your responses appear.

    You know, I really expected to get responses like: Steve, you are right, it is out there, and the only thing you can do is make sure you do not fall into that trap.

    I didn't expect such adamant denial. Even from you, and I am not implying that you do anything you shouldn't to get all of these realtor referrals you speak of. I have no reason whatsoever to think that you are anything less than true to the trade… (hey, you did an inspection for a vice president (of the country, I assume) I hope it wasn't for Spiro Agnew). I would think that from you I would have gotten: Steve, I can’t speak for anyone else, and I admit that the problem exists. Yes, I do a lot of realtor referrals and have made it clear that I will not jeopardize my reputation for anybody or any thing.

    I can accept every response; I only have a problem with the denials.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 07-16-2011 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Typos
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    I didn't expect such adamant denial.

    You expect me (and anyone else for that matter) to agree with you that I can't be fair when I do an inspection under certain circumstances? Give me a break...I can be fair no matter what. It seems that you have a problem with being objective and you want other folks to say they have the same problem to make you feel better...you and Ted should form a club and call it the Steve and Ted I'm a Weak Inspector Club. You guys are a hoot....


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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I didn't expect such adamant denial.

    You expect me (and anyone else for that matter) to agree with you that I can't be fair when I do an inspection under certain circumstances? Give me a break...I can be fair no matter what. It seems that you have a problem with being objective and you want other folks to say they have the same problem to make you feel better...you and Ted should form a club and call it the Steve and Ted I'm a Weak Inspector Club. You guys are a hoot....
    James, I originally posted something a bit different to your quoted response, but decided I did not want to travel that road.


    I do not know why you respond with such agnst, so I can only imagine. I never stated YOU could not be fair, but if the shoe fits wear it.

    There are plenty of fair inspectors, and there are those that are not.

    This blog started with me discussing what I consider to be a conflict of interest. Now the realtor could be the most honorable and sincerest person in the world (just like you are the only fair inspector in the world). But even so, since they have a financial interest in the outcome, which to some extent is based upon the decisions made by the buyer, recommending who provides the information.that may effect the decision is a conflict of interest. Even if there is no quid pro quo, conceptually the conflict exists.


    James, I don't want to rock your boat, but you seem to be the intolerant one.


    As far as Ted is concerned; I have read Ted, and I have read you... you don't even come close, and I far as I am concerned; my clients are happy with my work, which is all I care about. Your opinion is bupkiss.

    While we are starting clubs, you can name yours: I am the only fair inspector in the world. The only problem I can see is that you will be the only member.

    Peace... out.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 07-16-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    ...which may have resulted in bad feelings, I felt it better to remove the post.
    Gunner, I had a feeling this was going to happen, which was why I deleted the post way back then.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    James , I believe has a family member as a Realtor. He has also stated in the past that a very large majority of his inspections come from Realtor Referrals. That does not make him, or Ken bad people but as soon as someone mentions there is an ethics issue or a soft report issue or anything to do with butter the bread of Realtors the folks that get the vast majority of inspections thru direct Realtor referrals come out on the attack. That being said they also know of the soft report guys. The Realtor twisting arms to get their referrals etc etc etc. They know it exists but even if it does the answer would never be to ban Realtor referrals because that is where all their work comes from. They find it completely impossible to believe that one can live by being such a way as to tell Realtors it is the right way or no way. They believe if the Realtors could not do direct or any referrals to inspectors that they would lose their livelihood. As Ken said Ted cannot get his own work. If the gentleman read anything I wrote at least 80% of my work comes from "getting my own work" 20% or less comes from Realtor referrals. It is the way I work. Ted gets almost all his own work .... but of course that is some far fetched lie. I guess I sit around thinking of what story to start next and see if I can get a bunch of folks to believe me

    Realtors that do refer me want to refer me because they want complete undeniable separation from the home inspection and them. I do not involve them in the slightest and they never come around. The only thing they want is for the buyer to agree to let me send them a PDF so when "the buyer" comes up with what they want in an addendum they will know what they are referring to ...... period. That my friends is the way it should be. The Reltor selling homes and doing the past findings in disclosure and the Home Inspectors doing the home inspection with absolutely no interference what so ever to the inspector. well into 90% of the homes I inspect including all realtor referrals the Realtors will not even come to an inspection. For one they know I will handle it and be straight forward and upfront with the client and explain all the findings. Almost every home inspection I do, I never hear from a Realtor or a client until the next inspection. The only thing I hear is from the buyer " do you have a good number for a HVAC guy" etc.

    As on another thread, I am done with this. I would be happy to discuss this further, about reality, what really goes on and yes, there is an ethics issue running around in the Realtor/inspection world and it will come to an end in the near future.


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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Ken, There is apparently some bad blood between you and Ted, I do not know the root of it, nor do I wish to. This thread was started with one thing in mind, which was to discuss a conflict of interest.
    No bad blood at all. But I have no respect for people who consistently bash inspectors who take Realtor referrals when they themselves also take them. If he or you or any inspector thinks so badly of Realtor referrals simply stop taking them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    That does not mean that every referral from a realtor was made with the expectation of a soft report. Nor does it mean that every inspector that accepts referrals from a realtor is going to deliver a soft report. But there are plenty that do, and there are plenty that do. Regardless of if there are any quid pro quos, it is still a conflict because the expectation could be there.
    Then start with yourself. Never again take a real estate referral. Put it up on your website in big bold red letters and let the world know that you will never again take a referral from an agent, an attorney or anyone at all that gets paid if the house sells. In the mean time stop taking referrals from friends or family members if you have never performed an inspection for them. They're only referring you because they know you, not based on your skills as an inspector.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Much of what Ted opined made a great deal of sense, and I happen to agree with most of it.
    I'm happy you found another inspector to stop taking referrals with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    No, I do not wish for inspections to be doled out in rotation. IMO the natural one to refer an inspector would be the client’s attorney. He was hired for the purpose of protecting the client, it seems right to me, right"er" than being referred by an agent. As far as accepting a referral from an agent, I see nothing wrong with it, so long as the inspector does a true inspection.
    We don't have real estate attorneys around here. At least none that regularly deal with residential transactions. 99.9 percent of transactions in MN are done by licensed real estate agents. They are held to the same standards as a real estate attorney. But, why do you state, "As far as accepting a referral from an agent, I see nothing wrong with it, so long as the inspector does a true inspection" when you've been stating all along that it's a conflict of interest and should be banned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Also, in my eyes, a "hard" inspection is not right either. An inspection should be "true." Not hard, not soft, just true. As soon as someone is anything but true, they lose their value as a third party inspector.
    And by stating I have no value as a third party inspector you've truly earned your Ted club membership.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    You mention the Realtors CE. That is great, and I'm sure that every realtor is careful when it comes to that, but in my heart of hearts, and because of what I have seen, both as my direct role as an inspector, and indirectly, I truly believe that the hand picking of inspectors exists, and is much more wide spread than some seem to be willing to admit.
    Your heart of hearts is not documentation. I provided documentation as to an agent and inspectors role. If they perform their roles as intended there would be no problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Regardless of what the CE states, there are plenty (note that I didn’t say all) that hand pick inspectors based upon “cooperation.” How could it possibly be proven? But we all know… maybe not all, but I know. I’m surprised that you did have the same opinion, but I’m more surprised that you respond as if it was delusional to think it exists… after all, read the CE. OK, I made up the delusional part, but that is how your responses appear.
    Apparently you haven't read anything I've written. Let me take the time for you to show you, in nice bold letters, what I've previously stated.

    As I've already said, there are agents and inspectors who are only out to make money. Some agents don't care what condition the house is in, they just want the paycheck. Some inspectors don't know their axx from their hat, some give soft reports to get the agent referral. I agree that some do.
    I have had agents in the past who've called me prior to the inspection and asked for a soft report. Every time I've pulled out of the inspection, black listed the agent and let the client know what happened. I've had agents ask me to change reports because underwriters had seen the report and were denying the loan. I don't change reports. But honestly, in the past 3 years I've only had 2 agents pull this crap. I told them flat out that I wouldn't inspect for any of their clients in the future.
    If both the agents and the inspectors actually knew their jobs and what roles they are supposed take the current system would work fine. The problem lies with agents who are in their position to only make easy money and inspectors who want to take on the agent's role or want to make easy money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    You know, I really expected to get responses like: Steve, you are right, it is out there, and the only thing you can do is make sure you do not fall into that trap.
    I'll say it again, YES, it is out there. YES, I take Realtor referrals. No, I don't see anything wrong with it IF THE INSPECTOR DOES THERE JOB. Unfortunately some inspectors would rather get referrals from doing soft reports. Those inspectors should be punished. But, don't punish the rest of us for doing our jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I didn't expect such adamant denial. Even from you, and I am not implying that you do anything you shouldn't to get all of these realtor referrals you speak of. I have no reason whatsoever to think that you are anything less than true to the trade… (hey, you did an inspection for a vice president (of the country, I assume) I hope it wasn't for Spiro Agnew). I would think that from you I would have gotten: Steve, I can’t speak for anyone else, and I admit that the problem exists. Yes, I do a lot of realtor referrals and have made it clear that I will not jeopardize my reputation for anybody or any thing.

    I can accept every response; I only have a problem with the denials.
    Again, please read what I've actually written here prior to responding. And it was a Vice President of the United States. If you would have actually read my post, it says it right there.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    In addition to your refusal to take real estate referrals you should probably delete your Active Rain account. Active Rain is specifically designed for real estate networking. It gives the impression you're looking for agent referrals.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    This bantering has become childish, boring, and nasty. The intent of this thread was to discuss a conflict that is real. I never said all realtors who refer inspectors have bad intent; I never said that all inspectors accepting referrals from realtors capitulate. It is my contention that there is a conflict of interest when someone who has a financial interest dependant upon the decisions made by a purchaser, is involved in the selection of the provider of information that has an impact on the decisions. This thread is not about those that do not expect favors in return for referrals, or about those that do not provide favors for referrals. It is about those that do.

    Unless something is posted that I feel is constructive, this shall be my final post on this issue. I will not respond to any bantering or personal attacks.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    I get it. You can accuse other inspectors of providing "no value" in their inspections but when its documented that you didn't bother to read what they wrote, can't provide any documentation to support your theory, and partake in actively seeking Realtor referrals yourself, you want to take your ball and go home. Practice what you preach my friend.

    This thread is not about those that do not expect favors in return for referrals, or about those that do not provide favors for referrals. It is about those that do
    . Your initial idea was to ban agent referral because you see it as a conflict of interest. That effects ALL inspectors. Even Ted, who claims never to take agent referrals then claims 20% of his business comes from them. When your proposed solution effects ALL inspectors the thread is no longer about only those inspectors doing soft reports or favors to get more agent referrals.

    If we have a problem with people driving too fast does the government mandate the manufacture of vehicles which only go as fast as the speed limit? Or do the police issue citations for those caught speeding? Why punish the good, professional, ethical home inspector for something others may be doing? And why blame the real estate agent for something the inspector is doing. Hold the individual inspector accountable for their actions.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 07-17-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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    Wink Re: My Active Rain post

    Ken,
    Do you really want to keep this going? Do you think the folks that are reading this want to keep it going?

    My opinion is nothing more than my opinion, as your posts above document, we share much of the same.

    I love horses and don't beat dead ones (or live ones either).

    I did not join this forum to create hard feelings, and feel it is time to lighten up.

    I am not taking my ball and going home. Actully, I was hoping we could all meet at Ted's house and play.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    It really doesn't matter if others want us to keep this going or not. They can choose to read it or choose not to read it. That's the great things about forums.

    I'll continue to defend the rights of the ethical home inspector for as long as it takes.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Ken,
    Do you really want to keep this going? Do you think the folks that are reading this want to keep it going?

    My opinion is nothing more than my opinion, as your posts above document, we share much of the same.

    I love horses and don't beat dead ones (or live ones either).

    I did not join this forum to create hard feelings, and feel it is time to lighten up.

    I am not taking my ball and going home. Actually, I was hoping we could all meet at Ted's house and play.

    Actually the pool is sparkly clean. The seasoned ribs are all set and ready to cook later. The beer is getting colder and the conversation will be great. I only invite logically thinking people that like good conversation and respect others ideas and opinions. Laughter, barbeque, swimming and lets not forget the Blonde Ale I found, remarkably refreshing, no bitter hop taste, plenty of flavor and not heavy bloating.

    Unlike others on here I have said I do take referrals from SOME Realtors. Unlike others on here I will respect the fact that you were addressing a known issue and ethics problem. Unlike others on here I know for a fact that the handful of Realtors that refer me will be lost but it will be compensated from the clients finding us on their own as people find all businesses. You did not come on here and state that all realtors are bad. You never stated that all inspectors that get referrals from Realtors are bad. You did come on here stating that there is a problem that everyone already knows about but some will do there damnedest to discredit the idea that it should be banned for Realtors to give referrals in a direction that is either going to make them money on a deal (lets not forget it could be in the $10,000 range). The temptation to keep getting referrals no matter what and not losing that or other Realtors is present on a daily basis. The temptation to hand pick an inspector because he is going to go easy or blow right past but with a quick touch down on a major concern, is there on an everyday basis. Fact of the matter is that every single day referrals are given and inspections done by Realtors and Inspectors that are "assisting" each other in making a living. For those that want to discredit that mark them as they are and we will leave that up to the individual. There is another thread going on here about ethics and preferred vendors and such. Something very similar to this discussion but does not get to the direct meet of the problem. There are those little comments about inspectors licking the feet of realtors to get referrals or something about bottom feeders but just like this thread it is not putting all inspectors or all Realtors in that nasty boat. Just discussion about concerns that can and do arise.

    As far as Ken goes I not once saw in your writings that he was a Moron or a fool or even a bad inspector. I never heard you say he was soft on report guy. I never heard you say that he was one of the problems in this industry but he continuously comes back on the attack to discredit you so your opinion is not listened to by anyone because unlike most other that know how to get work on the outside he gets every one of his inspections thru realtors and he would have to find another way to make a living.We are talking of literally hundreds of inspections a year directly from Realtors that refer him and only him. Lets use his low figure of 300 inspections a year. Lets use an inspection figure of just 300.00. Unless I am mistaken that is an absolute minimum of 90,000.00 a year from direct Realtor referrals. But of course there is not the slightest thought about anything to do with influence in any way shape or form.

    I never heard you or I once say that we did not get referrals from Realtors. We both admit it and admit a loss temporarily if the referrals stopped. We as intelligent thinking men know that the inspections would still be there and the folks would be on the street finding their own inspector virtually ending any ethics question what so ever. The spank the bad inspector and don't blame the realtor???????? Don't take my right away to get so many Realtors to refer me ?????? There is no such thing as a bad Realtor it is all the inspectors fault ?????? Even if the Realtor asks the inspector for a soft report it is not their problem it is the inspectors problem and he should be punished?????? Could it be that all "Kens Realtors" read this message board?

    Does that answer any questions as to why he fights this discussion so desperately. As long as you open your mouth or put finger to keyboard Ken will come back on the attack as though you are slapping him in the face. And you have still not called him any names or said he was a bad inspector or part of the problem. He was taught how to market Realtors from day one and was trained that way and knows of no other way. Don't blame Ken ..... blame the system ..... the system that should be changed and then there would never be a question again about him or any inspector "ASSISTING REALTORS" in selling the home. After all Ken IS one of the good inspectors ............................

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 07-17-2011 at 10:52 AM.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Curiosity got the best of me and I had to unblock Ted in order to see what misquotes, innuendos and outright lies he was posting. He didn't disappoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as Ken goes I not once saw in your writings that he was a Moron or a fool or even a bad inspector. I never heard you say he was soft on report guy. I never heard you say that he was one of the problems in this industry but he continuously comes back on the attack to discredit you so your opinion is not listened to by anyone because unlike most other that know how to get work on the outside he gets every one of his inspections thru realtors and he would have to find another way to make a living.We are talking of literally hundreds of inspections a year directly from Realtors that refer him and only him. Lets use his low figure of 300 inspections a year. Lets use an inspection figure of just 300.00. Unless I am mistaken that is an absolute minimum of 90,000.00 a year from direct Realtor referrals. But of course there is not the slightest thought about anything to do with influence in any way shape or form.
    This is why you get ignored Ted. The information you're referring to was posted here. http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...tml#post171613 Notice, I never claimed to get all of my inspections through Realtors, but yet you lie and say that's what I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I never heard you or I once say that we did not get referrals from Realtors. We both admit it and admit a loss temporarily if the referrals stopped. We as intelligent thinking men know that the inspections would still be there and the folks would be on the street finding their own inspector virtually ending any ethics question what so ever. The spank the bad inspector and don't blame the realtor???????? Don't take my right away to get so many Realtors to refer me ?????? There is no such thing as a bad Realtor it is all the inspectors fault ?????? Even if the Realtor asks the inspector for a soft report it is not their problem it is the inspectors problem and he should be punished?????? Could it be that all "Kens Realtors" read this message board?
    I'm pretty sure my referring agents have better things to do than read this message board. It's not designed as a Realtor friendly board, like Active Rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Does that answer any questions as to why he fights this discussion so desperately. As long as you open your mouth or put finger to keyboard Ken will come back on the attack as though you are slapping him in the face. And you have still not called him any names or said he was a bad inspector or part of the problem. He was taught how to market Realtors from day one and was trained that way and knows of no other way. Don't blame Ken ..... blame the system ..... the system that should be changed and then there would never be a question again about him or any inspector "ASSISTING REALTORS" in selling the home. After all Ken IS one of the good inspectors ............................
    You're on a roll Ted. Another misquote attempting to make me look bad. The correct quote should be "assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest". That can be found here: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...tml#post173137

    I don't discredit Steven or you Ted. You do it yourselves. I only point it out.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Unlike others on here I have said I do take referrals from SOME Realtors.
    Ted,

    I may have missed it, but ... where did anyone say they did not take referrals?

    My Yellow Page ad, and my web site (when I was inspecting) used to state: "I am your best friend, their Realtors worst nightmare." (with "their Realtors" meaning the sellers' real estate agents), BUT ...

    ... I still got referrals from A FEW real estate agents - granted NOT MANY agents referred me, but, yes, SOME did. And those who did refer me did it BECAUSE of my inspections - they knew no stone would go unturned, that was what they wanted and what their clients wanted.

    Getting back to what Steven has said, or not said, and that is that there needs to be a way to get referrals without having to go through real estate agents - yes, that would be ideal; and what he did not say (or I missed it) was that home inspectors should 'not accept' referrals from real estate agents. Ken is the one who went off the deep end on that aspect as I recall.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ted,


    Getting back to what Steven has said, or not said, and that is that there needs to be a way to get referrals without having to go through real estate agents - yes, that would be ideal; and what he did not say (or I missed it) was that home inspectors should 'not accept' referrals from real estate agents. Ken is the one who went off the deep end on that aspect as I recall.
    What Steven stated was:
    I think it is time we take the agents out of this bad position. I think it is time we take the Home Inspectors out of this bad position.
    The same way it is a conflict of interest for a Home Inspector to work on a home he has inspected, and the same way it is a conflict of interest for the Home Inspector to inspect a home he has worked on, It is a conflict of interest for a real estate agent to recommend a Home Inspector.
    If Steven thinks its a conflict of interest for agents to refer inspectors then wouldn't it also be a conflict of interest for that inspector to accept that referral?

    My point is home inspectors cannot change the way the real estate process takes place. We have scattered associations and even if they were brought together it would not be strong enough to take on the Realtors Association. Therefore, as individuals, we would have to bring change by doing it on our own.

    On another note, the insults and misquotes were started by Ted right here: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...tml#post173140

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    What Steven stated was:
    If Steven thinks its a conflict of interest for agents to refer inspectors then wouldn't it also be a conflict of interest for that inspector to accept that referral?
    Ummm ... why would it be a conflict of interest to accept the referral?

    Many real estate agents make referrals to 'easy' inspectors, that is the conflict of interest because that reduces the likelihood of a 'tough' inspection which could compromise or kill the deal when the clients' best interests may be in having the deal die if the house is that bad.

    An inspector accepting the referral will, hopefully, do the same inspection they always do (which is, I believe, what Steven was talking about). Yes, if the home inspector is an 'easy' inspector, then the clients' best interests are not being served, but if the inspector is a thorough inspector then the clients' interests are being served. As such, it does not matter if the inspector accepts the referral ... it matters if the inspector does a good inspection or not - and that is what always matters.

    My point is home inspectors cannot change the way the real estate process takes place.
    My point, and likely that of others too, is: How do you know that home inspector cannot change the way the real estate process takes place? Unless you give up trying, that is.

    EVERYTHING can be changed (to some degree), some things change much more slowly than others.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ted,

    I may have missed it, but ... where did anyone say they did not take referrals?

    My Yellow Page ad, and my web site (when I was inspecting) used to state: "I am your best friend, their Realtors worst nightmare." (with "their Realtors" meaning the sellers' real estate agents), BUT ...

    ... I still got referrals from A FEW real estate agents - granted NOT MANY agents referred me, but, yes, SOME did. And those who did refer me did it BECAUSE of my inspections - they knew no stone would go unturned, that was what they wanted and what their clients wanted.

    Getting back to what Steven has said, or not said, and that is that there needs to be a way to get referrals without having to go through real estate agents - yes, that would be ideal; and what he did not say (or I missed it) was that home inspectors should 'not accept' referrals from real estate agents. Ken is the one who went off the deep end on that aspect as I recall.
    I was saying someone believes I said I don't take referrals. Not others saying they did not take referrals

    He calls less than 20% and under strict ethics and no interference guidelines, taking referrals. I also said if I had my way I would lose my sorry handful. I also tried to make the foolish boy understand that I would gain many fold once the games were no longer played


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ummm ... why would it be a conflict of interest to accept the referral?

    Many real estate agents make referrals to 'easy' inspectors, that is the conflict of interest because that reduces the likelihood of a 'tough' inspection which could compromise or kill the deal when the clients' best interests may be in having the deal die if the house is that bad.
    And if "easy inspectors" didn't exist wouldn't that also correct the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    An inspector accepting the referral will, hopefully, do the same inspection they always do (which is, I believe, what Steven was talking about). Yes, if the home inspector is an 'easy' inspector, then the clients' best interests are not being served, but if the inspector is a thorough inspector then the clients' interests are being served. As such, it does not matter if the inspector accepts the referral ... it matters if the inspector does a good inspection or not - and that is what always matters.
    I agree, in a perfect world the inspector would do the same inspection for everyone...a thorough, truthful inspection. As everyone here has agreed, that is not the case and there are "easy inspectors" out there. However, Steve claims that it is only a conflict of interest on the agents part by referring any inspector, "easy" or not. I say 'it takes two to tango'. The "easy inspectors" are just as guilty, even more so as they are the people falsifying the reports. Why is it so easy for you guys to blame the agents but not hold the inspector responsible whatsoever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My point, and likely that of others too, is: How do you know that home inspector cannot change the way the real estate process takes place? Unless you give up trying, that is.

    EVERYTHING can be changed (to some degree), some things change much more slowly than others.
    If you have any example of a single inspector or national association of inspectors actually having success in changing the way the way the National Association of Realtors operates please let me know. In fact, in most states aren't the inspectors overseen by the board of realtors?

    What we would be more likely to control is the inspectors themselves. By making extreme penalties for "easy inspectors" we could reign in this terror you guys are talking about.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    He calls less than 20% and under strict ethics and no interference guidelines, taking referrals. I also said if I had my way I would lose my sorry handful. I also tried to make the foolish boy understand that I would gain many fold once the games were no longer played
    So what are you waiting for? Start refusing agent referrals and you'll "gain many fold". Or is it that you want the playing field level for all inspectors?

    It sounds as if you'd like those that have no interpersonal, business or marketing skills to be able to exist by only doing inspections. It sounds as if you'd love to have your name in a rotating pool so you automatically had work without having to have the skills to run a business. Instead of pushing for an even playing field why not try to learn the business side of being a home inspector so you can have an advantage over those who don't know the business?

    I'll help you out here a little Ted. I've been in business for myself for approximately 8 months. When I started I had one CRM radon monitor. I purchased one more in April and another in June because I couldn't keep up with the demand. How do I get so many radon tests added to my inspections? Because I run seasonal promotions and email past referring agents when I have a new promotion or buy a new piece of equipment. This summer clients can add a radon test for $50 with the inspection. This is about a third of the price of my competitors. However my inspection price is generally higher than the competition. The result...more inspections. The first part of June I purchased a thermal imaging camera. Not for energy audits, but only as another tool in the inspections. After completing my training I sent another batch of emails out...the result? I've had to turn down a minimum of 5 inspections a week since the last week of June because I've been booked solid. All while doing "hard" reports.

    You need to stop waiting for a level playing field and make your business stand out from the crowd.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Good idea Robert.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    There is a loose affiliation of inspectors in Winston-Salem that refer each other. http://www.hiltonhomeinspection.com/

    "Several experienced local Home Inspectors have formed a home inspector’s Co-Op under the name of Professional Inspection Associates. Our businesses are independent of each other and we operate the Co-Op for purposes such as client referrals, consistent reporting, vacation coverage, cross training, joint advertising, and the pursuit of excellence with enhanced customer service in our profession. We have set the requirements for membership in the Co-Op at a very high level with the intention of being unsurpassed in education, experience, skill level, insurance, and responsibility."

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  51. #51
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Thanks Gents for all the wonderful info.

    I guess the general consensus is ,"Yeah , we know there are many out there in both the Realty World and inspection world that are carrying on their unethical ways."

    And there are many of those say " No matter what those folks are doing it is fine with me because I don't do it even though it affects the industry as a whole. It is that way so work with it and around it and in general ignore it all together." There is also "it is that way so work with it and this is how you can market the Realtors to get work" Also" It is the way it is and it probably will remain that way because folks that market the Realtors never want it to change because it is just so darn easy even if there are countless Realtors and inspectors out there that are screwing clients over", And then there is "for those with no business sence or marketing knowledge they want everyone to stop marketing Realtors so they get there fair share"

    Quite frankly folks that think in all those regards .... what the heuck is up with that? Is there a reason why some states do not even allow or associations do not allow preferred venders lists. Is there a reason why at the very least an attempt with state licensing was put into action to curve some of this but in general they never hit the nail on the head and to many inspectors and realtors want the status quo so they back off..

    Is there a reason why clients call inspectors to look out for their interest and you know there are folks out there that will screw them over if they did not get to you, the good guy, they would have gotten screwed over. I guess the answer to that from some is "Oh well there is bad an good in everything and this person or that will screw over the next person for one reason or another so we really should not do anything."

    For one last ditch effort to keep Stevens thread in the right direction.

    If the realtors were not allowed in any way to refer inspectors the reason for the soft report to aid someones criminal act so the realtor can make that 2-4-8-10,000.00 and the inspector keeps getting those referrals, would be gone altogether, It just cannot be more simple than that. It affects every single inspector. It affects all the Realtors. Most of all it certainly affects the poor client that gets in the middle of these two.

    Not only is that as simple as can be. The clients would still be out there looking for a home inspector and the home inspectors would still have work. This is not who is a better marketer to Realtors. This is not about as long as I make money so what if clients are getting the short end on an everyday basis around the country. This is about another inspector trying to clear himself of his admitted wrong doing pulling another inspector aside and saying" I am just trying to feed my family." In other words, he created purposefully, a soft report to continue getting referrals from that particular Realtor.

    This thread started nothing direct to an individual inspector besides the one that pulled Steven asside and those inspectors like him. Steven did n ot want to hear "I am a good boy and from another I am a good boy. He did not want to hear how to effectively market Realtors. He did not ask someone for a class in running a business. He did not want to hear "tough crap. Let the chips fall where they may but shut up about stopping realtor referrals because it will affect me as an individual" He did not want to hear. Oh well, people get screwed everyday and that is nothing new. This is how you should run your business and turn a blind eye to what is going on around you on a daily basis. This was not about someones right to get referrals or to market realtors.

    This was about the respect and dignity a client deserves knowing that he is trying to do something like getting the word going to finally put an end to the candy being waved in front of inspectors that stand to make a very large chunk of cash every year by getting referrals from agents that stand to make a very large chunk of cash from those inspectors reports that are willing to go along with them.

    Marjeting----_---____------- Do that

    Refer other inspectors _____------__-__-___- Do that

    Conduct an ethical business ---------___-_--_ Do that

    Know how to run a business _-____-_-___- Check

    Been doing this for 30 something plus, plus plus years __--_-_____--_- Check

    Full time for 12 years ___--_---____-__- give or take. There was some slight remodel in the beginning of the full time

    25 years of building and remodeling before that with inspecting mixed in all those years and the first inspection when I was 20___-----__-____--__- Check

    Countless years of schooling and continuing ed___--__-____------ Check

    Personable with client___-----_-_-_____- must be doing something right considering that is where I get most of my work along with the website

    Don't need lessons on marketing Realtors _-___--_----__---- Check.e my point about that opinion. I think I mad

    To end this for the absolute post of mine on this thread

    I think Steve did a wonderful thing bringing everyone's attention to an ongoing blemish in this profession that could be easily stopped and work virtually uninterrupted from making that change. He should be commended for his insight on the matter along with personally experiences. The only problem with that is he should have known he was going to be bashed about the head bringing such blasphemy up when there are so many that count on all there inspection from direct Realtor referrals.

    I apologize to Steven for those that just wished to thwart his very effort to form change for the better.

    Have at it gents. Keep it going with what fools and losers uneducated, no marketing sense, lame ducks, outsiders or what ever name you wish to put on it to anyone trying such an ignorant stunt and what can be done to carry the practice on no matter the outcome to any clients

    Back to the report and the afternoon inspection.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 07-18-2011 at 04:21 PM.

  52. #52
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    There have been many good comments and as always discussions against. I believe the bottom line is this---all businesses can co-exist. For that to happen there has to be a certain level morals, ethics, trust, civility and above all good common sense.

    I came from operating my own remodeling to the inspection business. Upon entering the inspection business I had the common sense, ethics and morals to retire my license to prevent a conflict of interest. Does that mean I did not refer fellow contractors or tradesmen--no. I did refer contractors and tradesmen and informed my clients how to verify licensing and where to look for other contractors/tradesmen.

    Last year I suffered an injury and could not continue inspecting to the level and satisfaction of my own standards. (My standards were set higher.) I made the move into the real estate business. I have not reduced my standards; (morals, ethics, trust, etc.) for the almighty dollar. Instead I require a higher standard of the home inspection. I still provide of inspectors for my clients as well as the following; sites to search for other inspectors and the State site to verify licensing. When my client chooses an inspector then I check his licensing to ensure it is valid, it is my responsibility to protect my client. The home inspectors I refer are hard core and do not provide soft reports and prefer them to be this way. My inspectors license has been retired (again to prevent the image of anything unethical). Though I do remain active within our State Inspectors Organization and local Chapter.

    Every business has those that will cut corners and look for the easy way. But don't put everyone in the same boat. It is up to each individual to set the standard and when it appears most are meeting your standards then raise them.

    Expect and accept nothing less.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Humphries View Post
    So, Ted, what you're sayin' is that you aren't out by the pool today with a Blonde Ale?

    -
    Right now at 5:11 I am sitting in the vehicle with a saturated shirt from sweating from the wonderful hot and humid day (no air working in this home) waiting for the client to show. I have had 4 shirt changes today ..... so far. The smart phone is good for killing time

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 07-18-2011 at 04:32 PM.

  54. #54
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Humphries View Post
    The most ethical thing that you can do that also protects you legally is to give clients the choice that agents may not have given them. After all, you don't know what the agent says to the client prior to you getting the call. YOU be ethical. YOU protect the client. Ironically, in order for you guys to do this as an industry, you have to get to the point where you aren't afraid to refer a couple of your competitors in a team effort to improve ethics.
    When I was inspecting in South Florida before I retired, there were 3-4 of us who shared inspections around as we all did similar inspections, and were all in the high end homes, and all of us mostly new constructions.

    It was nice to be able to refer a client to someone you could trust to take care of your client and trust to refer back to you and not out to 'steal' business from each other.

    For the most part, our local inspectors entire chapter of 20-30 inspectors treated each other that way. Inspector visiting us from other areas of the country were always amazed that our chapter acted in the benefit of the chapter members more so than for each on his own (for the most part it was that way, there were a few odd balls in the chapter who were out for themselves).

    Then within the chapter there were groups of 3-4-5 inspectors who were about equal with each other and referred around the smaller groups as well as around the chapter as a whole.

    I retired at about the same time as another inspector retired (2 of the 3-4 in our group, leaving that referral circle smaller).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Terry,

    You have very wise words. Unfortunately since your a Realtor, many people on here will assume you're lying and that you're only in it for the cash. It's truly sad how cynical some of these guys are.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    For one last ditch effort to keep Stevens thread in the right direction.

    If the realtors were not allowed in any way to refer inspectors the reason for the soft report to aid someones criminal act so the realtor can make that 2-4-8-10,000.00 and the inspector keeps getting those referrals, would be gone altogether, It just cannot be more simple than that. It affects every single inspector. It affects all the Realtors. Most of all it certainly affects the poor client that gets in the middle of these two.
    Again I'll say it won't work. Ban Realtors from giving referrals and they'll have their "assistants" do it. Or they'll have the receptionist do it. You can't leave it to the agents to correct this issue. It's a problem with the inspectors and it needs to be addressed through the governing bodies of the inspectors.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    There's good, bad and ugly in all professions, including this one of ours.

    We each get to decide for ourselves which of those we're going to be including the low ballers and those who "depend" on realtor referrals.

    Life goes on.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
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  58. #58
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Humphries View Post
    Praise the Lord. Someone said it exactly in a way that everyone can understand it in just one paragraph (or 49 words...which is even more impressive).

    -
    No one said a word about leaving it to the agents. As a mater of fact it was the exact opposite. It was said about legally banning with threat of losing their livelihood. Governing bodies for home inspectors, are you 2 kidding or what. If you do not remove the temtation to have a reason to do what goes on then the temptation is still there. If someone hears and in writing that they will no longer be working as a Realtor if they are found to refer any inspector ...... I can pretty much guarantee you that any temptation to appease a Realtor or an inspector doing something to get a Realtors attention as in making their life easier and have a higher percentage of closings with soft reports will be cut down by 90% if not altogether BECAUSE YOU WILL REMOVE THE TEMPTATION ON BOTH SIDE BY BANNING ONE PARTY. Spank the inspector? Please!!!!!!!!!!!

    Amen Praise the Lord What was that Robert? An enlightening moment?

    Please folks before you continuously try to defend Realtors giving referrals? Maybe you should have really read Kens post Robert. Now he is putting the assistants into the illegal doings in an act that would deemed illegal (if enacted) by their state licensing board. For something that is no problem he keeps going deeper and deeper and deeper into the corrujption but your answer and his answer is to keep letting the referrals come? Spank the inspectors. Are you 2 in the slightest bit serious. The spanking of inspectors has been around for all time. This has done nothing. There has to be a complaint against the inspector as in the buyer hearing that there was a sooft report. Then there is that report, in writing, to go after the inspector. And there has never been anything gthat has stopped any of it in all of time becuase YOU HAVE NOT REMOVED THE TEMPTATION.

    As a reply to our once brother inspector now a Realtor.

    No one said anything in the slightest about all Realtors or all Inspectors being in the same boat. I think it has only been expressed several hundred times by multiple folks over time that it is not all or even a majority or even mass numbers of Realtors or Inspectors that do this. Remove the temptation under threat of no longer having a Real Estate license and the inspectors will stop trying to appease for referrals and the Realtors can no longer give them to possibly get an inspector to go along with it. It covers both parties in one act. Not just one with the other running amuck. Clients will in fact protect themselves and find their own inspector with no enticement of fancy broochures at the Realtors office or having the fav orite inspector do the inspection and as Ken said "assisting " the Realtor. *I do still think to this day that he was just spurring things on with that remark* and on, and on, and on, and on.

    Do you guys get it or is this like hitting ones self in the head with a hammer.

    Either way I do absolutely possitively swear on my ansestors and children that this particular thread is now completely done with for me .... period. There does not appear to be any hope of reason. You guys do your think in keeping the status quot. Forget about what happpens to buyers on a dail basis around the country. Just put you considerations first no matter what the outcome to others. Great way to live one life.

    Seriously folks, say a "Praise the Lord. This thread is done for me. but of course the last word was always meant to be. Let tbhings alone and keepo them the way they are and never move toward change for the good.

    Please Robert, read the implications in Kens post as to why it is so absolutely and completely wrong and then get back to me, but not on this thread because I will not answer it on here.


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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ... or having the fav orite inspector do the inspection and as Ken said "assisting " the Realtor. *I do still think to this day that he was just spurring things on with that remark* and on, and on, and on, and on.
    Why must you continuously misquote people. This specific misquote has been pointed out to you at least three different times in this thread. But you still want to infer that that it means assisting the realtor in making the sale. The original statement was:
    assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest.
    and can be found here:
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...tml#post173137

    It's very sad that you attempt to discredit other inspectors by purposely misquoting them. Especially when your lies are very easily pointed out.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Steven, I'll freely admit I did not read your entire post. New York laws don't pertain to me and I don't have a copy of them to look at the specific article numbers which are referred to.

    Let's focus on the areas you've highlighted in red.

    shall adhere to the highest principles of ethical conduct.
    I agree they should.

    (a) The duty of every home inspector shall be to the client. (says nothing about assisting an agent)
    You're correct. It says nothing about assisting the agent. It also says nothing about protecting the clients interest. My original statement, which you've taken out of context was, "assisting the agent with protecting the clients interest" Which you've referred to in your post, the first red lettered sentence you wrote, :
    REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client
    As you can clearly see by what you've posted it is the agent's responsibility to protect the clients interest, not the home inspector's. What I've stated was that I assist the agent in protecting the client's interest. Even though it's not my duty I go that extra mile.

    or have the potential of creating an appearance that their professional objectivity has been compromised.
    This statement could mean anything and unless the associations or licensing agents specifically rule that marketing agents, Realtors giving referrals, or inspectors accepting referrals is addressed, all would be acceptable.

    (h) Home inspectors shall not inspect any residential building in which said home inspector or relative thereof has a financial interest or any interest in the transfer thereof, including the receipt of any commission as an agent.
    Ken, is this included in your state's COE? If so, how do you get around it?
    I'm in Minnesota. We have no regulations for home inspectors. I follow ASHI's COE. I don't inspect houses I have a financial interest in. I don't act as an agent and receive commissions as an agent.

    What you've failed to highlight is this section:

    (e) Home inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate, in any way, real estate brokers, real estate salespersons, real estate brokerage companies, lending institutions or any other party or parties that expect to have a financial interest in closing the transaction, for future referrals of inspections or for inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors or preferred providers or any similar arrangement.
    You've already got the law on the books basically saying the inspector cannot indirectly compensate (soft reports) for future referrals of inspections.

    You should turn all these inspectors in which you have proof are doing soft reports for future referrals. You're making such a big deal of this. I'm sure you have evidence that inspectors are actually doing it. Turn them in to the licensing board. That's what they're their for.

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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    (Corrected)


    Laws/guideline are made so everyone knows the rules, just like lines on the highway. Unfortunate, some peoplr cross both.


    Copied from Realtor's COE

    Article 1
    When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an


    agent, R
    EALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the

    interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it
    does not relieve R
    EALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties
    honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party
    in a non-agency capacity, R

    EALTORS® remain obligated to treat all
    parties honestly.
    (Amended 1/01)

    I wonder to what extent this is upheld?


    SUBPART 197-4 CODE OF ETHICS AND REGULATIONS FOR HOME INSPECTORS (New York State)

    Section 197-4.1 - Fundamental Rules
    (a) Home inspectors shall exhibit honesty and integrity in furtherance of the honor of the home inspection profession. A home inspection has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all home buyers. In performing home inspection services, home inspectors shall adhere to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

    (b) This Code of Ethics and Regulations reflects the current ethical standards for home inspectors. It is the department’s intention that this document be a living document and that changes and updates to this Code of Ethics and Regulations be made as deemed necessary by the department in consultation with the Home Inspection Council.

    (c) Home inspectors shall fully adhere to and comply with the provisions of Article 12-B of the Real Property Law and all regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, this Code of Ethics and Regulations and the Standards of Practice.

    (d) Home Inspectors shall be required to cooperate with investigations by the Department of State. Each applicant or licensee shall be obligated, on request of the Secretary of State, to supply such information as may be required concerning his, her or its business, business practices or business methods, or proposed business practices or methods.

    Section 197-4.2 Written Contracts
    (a) Prior to performing a home inspection, home inspectors shall provide a client with a written pre-inspection agreement that clearly and fully describes the scope of service to be provided and the cost associated with that service. All said contracts shall contain the following clauses which shall be printed in type size of not less than six point:
    “Home inspectors are licensed by the NYS Department of State. Home Inspectors may only report on readily accessible and observed conditions as outlined in this pre-inspection agreement, Article 12 B of the Real Property Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, the Code of Ethics and Regulations and the Standards of Practice as provided in Title 19 NYCRR Subparts 197-4 and 197-5 et seq. Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services.”; and

    “If immediate threats to health or safety are observed during the course of the inspection, the client hereby consents to allow the home inspector to disclose such immediate threats to health or safety to the property owner and/or occupants of the property.”
    (b) Home inspectors shall discuss the scope of the inspection with the client and only perform services which have been duly authorized by the client.
    Section 197-4.3 Non-Disclosure
    Home inspectors shall not disclose to a third party the contents of a home inspection report or any observations, deductions, opinions that pertain to a home inspection report without the prior consent of the client or the client’s representative.

    Section 197-4.4 Unlicensed and Unlawful Activity
    (a) Home inspectors shall not engage in, knowingly permit or aid and abet, unlicensed or activity that is prohibited by Article 12-B of the Real Property Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder.

    (b) In the event that a client insists upon a home inspector engaging in unlawful and/or unethical conduct, the home inspector shall, after notice to the client that such conduct is unlawful or unethical, be permitted to immediately withdraw from the assignment or contract.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not determine property boundary lines or encroachments, easements or any limitations of use of the property.

    (d) Home inspectors shall not determine compliance with regulations, codes, laws or ordinances.

    (e) Home inspectors shall not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.

    Section 197-4.5 Competence
    (a) Except as provided in section 197-4.6 and 197-5.2(c), home inspectors shall conduct home inspections in compliance with the Standards of Practice.

    (b) Home inspectors shall not accept or perform services in which the home inspector knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not delegate responsibility to another when the home inspector delegating such responsibility knows or has reason to know that such person is not a duly licensed home inspector and/or qualified by training and experience to perform said task.

    Section 197-4.6 Written Reports
    (a) Home inspectors shall provide a written report containing the results of a home inspection.

    (b) Home inspectors shall not willfully make a false report or false or misleading statements in the context of home inspection activities and/or a home inspection report.

    (c) The home inspection report shall clearly identify the systems and components of the residential building that were observed. If a home inspector is providing a home inspection that does not meet the minimum requirements as set forth in the Standards of Practice, the home inspection report must describe the scope of work, the services provided, and the systems and components that were included in and excluded from the inspection.

    Section 197-4.7 Conflicts of Interest
    (a) The duty of every home inspector shall be to the client. (I'm looking for the assisting the agent part) Home inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise their professional objectivity, or have the potential of creating an appearance that their professional objectivity has been compromised.

    (b) Prior to accepting any home inspection assignment, home inspectors shall disclose to the potential client all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence the home inspector’s judgment or the quality of the home inspector’s services.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not solicit or accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for a home inspection unless the circumstances are fully disclosed to the client and agreed upon by all interested parties.

    (d) Home inspectors shall not solicit or accept an assignment or contract from a

    governmental body on which a principal or officer of the home inspector’s office

    or organization serves as a member.

    (e) Home inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate, in any way, real estate brokers, real estate salespersons, real estate brokerage companies, lending institutions or any other party or parties that expect to have a financial interest in closing the transaction, for future referrals of inspections or for inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors or preferred providers or any similar arrangement.

    (f) Home inspectors shall not accept financial or other consideration, such as material or equipment, from suppliers for suggesting the use of, or promoting a specific product in the course of performing a home inspection.

    (g) In connection with performing home inspections, home inspectors shall not accept commissions, fees or other consideration directly or indirectly from contractors or other persons or entities dealing with clients or employers of the home inspector in connection with work for which the inspector is responsible for, or has reported upon.

    (h) Home inspectors shall not inspect any residential building in which said home inspector or relative thereof has a financial interest or any interest in the transfer thereof, including the receipt of any commission as an agent. (Is this in your State's COE?) It was stated that you get a lot of referrals from relativ agents. If this is so, how do you get around this?

    (i) Home inspectors shall not inspect a home if the home inspector’s compensation is contingent upon the sale of the home or if compensation is contingent upon the results of the home inspection.

    Section 197-4.8 Fraud, Misrepresentation and Dishonesty
    Home inspectors shall not engage in fraud, fraudulent activity, misrepresentation or dishonesty.

    Section 197-4.9 Promotion and Advertising
    (a) Home inspectors shall not advertise in a false, misleading or deceptive manner.

    (b) Home inspectors shall not falsify or misrepresent their experience, education or qualifications or permit any such misrepresentation by their employees or associates.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not advertise home inspection services as an engineer or architect or under the heading of engineers, engineering, architects or architecture in any form of print or electronic media unless the individual and/or firm is licensed to provide engineering or architectural services by the New York State Education Department.

    (d) Home inspectors shall refrain from making any claim relating to the quality and effectiveness of services which cannot be substantiated by the home inspector.

    (e) Home inspectors placing or authorizing advertisements shall maintain or cause to be maintained an exact copy of each advertisement for a period of one year following the advertisement’s last publication. This copy shall be made available for inspection, upon request, by the Department or an authorized representative of the Department.

    (f) Nothing herein shall prohibit a home inspector from advertising his or her services or advertising for the purpose of recruiting employees provided that no such advertisements shall be misleading or deceptive



    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Sorry for the variety of font sizes and breaks. I think the computer is having a nervouse breakdown.

    Ken, I have no statistics, but as you also stated repeatedly, this condition exists. That makes it shared knowledge. Why would you now request proof from me? It makes it sound like you are denying it.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    First off, you should not delete your posts after somebody has quoted them. It makes you look like your trying to hide something. Instead, admit your mistake and place your correction later in the thread.

    (h) Home inspectors shall not inspect any residential building in which said home inspector or relative thereof has a financial interest or any interest in the transfer thereof, including the receipt of any commission as an agent. (Is this in your State's COE?) It was stated that you get a lot of referrals from relativ agents. If this is so, how do you get around this?
    "relativ agents" I'm guessing you meant I have relatives who are agents and I "get a lot of referrals" from them. Nope, not true. I have no relatives, that I'm aware of, who are in real estate sales whatsoever. No agents, no brokers, no lenders. I have no idea where you got the idea, but to even state such a remark is slanderous.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Ken, I have no statistics, but as you also stated repeatedly, this condition exists. That makes it shared knowledge. Why would you now request proof from me? It makes it sound like you are denying it.
    I didn't ask for statistics. I asked you to turn over your proof. Are you saying that you have no proof that this is happening? I would assume that it happens, but I have no proof. If I had proof I'd turn it over to the proper authorities. I would not sit around complaining about it on the internet if I didn't know for a fact it was going on...and had proof to back it up.

    You've already got the law on the books basically saying the inspector cannot indirectly compensate (soft reports) for future referrals of inspections.

    You should turn all these inspectors in which you have proof are doing soft reports for future referrals. You're making such a big deal of this. I'm sure you have evidence that inspectors are actually doing it. Turn them in to the licensing board. That's what they're their for.
    Note that I did not ask you to give me proof. I said there are already rules in place. I also said to turn your proof over to the licensing board so something could be done about it. Instead of complaining on the internet, do something about it Steven!

    I've heard stories of inspectors stealing from homes during an inspection. I have no proof that it's happened, but it certainly could happen and most likely does happen. Should we enact a new law making it mandatory for the agents to supervise the inspector during the inspection? Or should we just punish the inspector when there is proof that he did it?

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 07-19-2011 at 03:23 PM.
    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  64. #64
    Join Date
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    Angry Re: My Active Rain post

    "Should we enact a new law making it mandatory for the agents to supervise the inspector during the inspection?" Here in Washington State, it is mandatory that agents are present for the entire inspection, if they aren't, big fine for both the agent and the broker and usually some type of class for both as well. Inspectors in Washington, at least here on the west side, are also not allowed to have an MLS Key to access homes, even if they're vacant. I sure do wish it was different, but it's a control thing with the MLS. I tried arguing the fact with the MLS that appraisers have MLS keys, but got nowhere. More than likely, the State would have to legislate / mandate it.

    Last edited by Jim Hintz; 07-19-2011 at 07:15 PM. Reason: correction

  65. #65
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    Default Re: My Active Rain post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    "Should we enact a new law making it mandatory for the agents to supervise the inspector during the inspection?" Here in Washington State, it is mandatory that agents are present for the entire inspection, if they aren't, big fine for both the agent and the broker and usually some type of class for both as well. Inspectors in Washington, at least here on the west side, are also not allowed to have an MLS Key to access homes, even if they're vacant. I sure do wish it was different, but it's a control thing with the MLS. I tried arguing the fact with the MLS that appraisers have MLS keys, but got nowhere. More than likely, the State would have to legislate / mandate it.
    Any fool can take a 3 week course in how to sell a house and become a realtor. It blows my hat that this somehow makes him more righteous than a home inspector. So you can have a greenhorn kid snooping around the house and going through drawers, but he's got a realtor's licence so he won't steal? Gimme a break.

    For the record, home inspectors don't steal. They are busy inspecting the entire time they are in the home. I've changed settings on thermostats and let the odd cat`escape, but folks, your prized possessions are safe with me. Tell your realtor buddy to wait in the car, please.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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