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  1. #1
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Problems with the inspection industry... We work with and to a point need the Real Estate agents. If your going to make it as an inspector you will need real estate agents... What I think gets HI in the shorts is the way the Real Estate agents do what they do... Any HI could sit down a tell some good story of the crap we see agents do We as inspector do our best job at finding all the problems wrong with a home or building and the agent see us as the bad guys. We become the deal KILLERS...If the deal falls apart. Get that title ( DEAL KILLER )and you can become black balled in the real estate HI industry. We like to put that ( DEAL KILLER ) Badge of Honor on... and at times would like to stick it in the face of some agents... But these hard times and in some cases starting to hit home. our pocket books... This is a hard thing for some good men/good inspectors that are not getting inspection because there are other inspectors out doing things the good guy will not do. like Its a ZINSCO PANEL looks OK today but only needs to be inspected from time to time keep an eye on it Or doing an inspection for $ 200 when the good guy needs to charge $ 385
    Or turns in 15 page reports and the good guys reports will hit 35 or 40 or 50 some pages.
    Hard times.

    I just wanted to post this to all you guys that are having a hard time or thing are slow. You are the GOOD GUYS... You work hard at what you do. KEEP DOING THE RIGHT THING.

    This may help a bit. I had an agent tell me he was not going to use me any more because I was blowing his deals. L.O.L.
    This buyer told me during the inspection that they had sued the last Termite inspector. So im glad they did walk away from this escrow.

    Check out this email I got back from him. I ask him to please tell me what I did wrong and this is what he said.

    The agent
    OK Ron. I knew you were going to ask this of me and I would do the same. I never like to find or state fault in anyone especially someone with as much experience as you have so this is difficult for me.

    But I’ll just put it out there and you can know that I admire you as a friend and business associate.

    I felt the last inspection you did for me for JACK AND JILL HILL could have gone better. I know there is nothing I can do about the inspection or how good or bad it is and I would never expect you to hide any issues with a property. However you are always the one they look for to better understand the severity of the problem and this is where articulating the possible damage to buyers who are almost always on the edge is so important and I know you know this but they are always looking to find fault in anything.

    In the last inspection you did for me I recalled the first verbiage that was used on this inspection was “there are signs of termites”. No matter what you said after that any buyer would almost walk away. I would have loved to have heard something to the effect of how this is an older home and there are going to be things wrong but that they are normal and treatable such as signs of termites and that although there were signs of them it is 100% treatable and it’s not the kind that would cost thousands of dollars through the tenting. JILL was floored after the meeting and I had to ask further questions of you to make sure we weren’t dealing with a big mess although I knew that we weren’t but it was stated too late in the articulation if you know what I mean. It was a scary moment for everyone and I truly believe a few leading words into your explanation would have avoided a lot of stress. I know you do such a thorough job and I know you meant the best but I was just feeling overwhelmed after this inspection.

    I hope you understand and I hope it helps you along the way. You may have an explanation for all of this and I may be off the way it happened but that’s what I remembered. And please know we will always be friends and I will always respect you Mr. Bibler. You are a good, good man!
    Let’s stay in touch.

    L.O.L. So this is what we deal with day in and day out. This guy threw me under the bus... I work with this guy for 10 years... I even inspected his Mon and dads place for him...

    ( It was a scary moment for everyone L.O.L. )

    This kind of stuff puts things in Perspective for us as inspectors...

    Hope this post helps...

    P.S. Loosing this agent will cost me about 8K to 10K this next year or more. I will pick up another one just like him.

    Now he will probably get piss off at the new inspectors and come back to me at some point. Will see.

    Sad but this is our world... As the times get hard we will see more stuff like this.

    Best

    Ron

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    It happens all the time. I am shocked that any inspector has the same realtors referring them for years on end. There are very few realtors that after they give you a few slugs in a row continue using you.

    It is kind of 0ne, two, three strikes you are out in this business. They want you to "find everytghing" but not on every house. I have a constant roll over of realtors referring me. I do have some of the same ones after living in TX for five years but have rolled over all the rest.

    "there are signs of termites"

    What a joke. If there are signs of termites you tell them there are signs of termites and what it will take to eradicate them.

    There is no telling them anything different. "There are signs of termites around the hall tub area" And ? Well, there are signs of termites around the hall tub area and treatment is required. No other way of telling them.

    The extent of the damage can never truly be known unless the walls are opened up. You either treat them and forget them or you open up the walls to know the exact extewnt of the damage for what repairs are needed.

    Scmucks....all of them. Tomorrow you will pick up another Realtor for another year or 2 or 3 or 4 or maybe a month.

    I have a couple of realtors that have referred me for at least three if not more years that I have never met face to face. Everytime I do an inspection thru them I am always feeling that this one is definately the last only because the entire home is sloped six inches to the street or some wonderfull finding like that.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    You didn't put the termites in the house. You just told them what you saw. How did he want you to say it? How the $#%^ are you supposed to put a positive warm and fuzzy feeling on termites? Some people are just weirded out by bugs. PERIOD. And you can't make them feel otherwise. I guess you didn't use enough realtor speak for his liking.

    I get referrals from a handful of realtors I like and they like me (I think). But it always seems after a while, we are like two ships that pass in the night. One of us (the realtor) eventually sailing away never to be heard from again. I'm glad I don't market myself to realtors or have any brochures/ads in their offices. I'd hate to have to worry about staying in their good graces.

    The kiss of death for me when I know I'll never hear from that realtor again for an inspection is when they say "Don't scare them. They're first time buyers".


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    The funny part is that I told him and the buyers that the evidence of the termites was old. no live termites. This was in my reports ( no live termites ) no need for any treatments.

    They will threw you under the bus everytime...

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 10-14-2009 at 04:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    It goes back to the saying,

    "if you let them make you...they can break you"

    You'll make up the difference I'm sure. Doing the right thing is the way to go and a good example to the less experienced inspectors such as myself.

    I've stuck to the right thing well enough that I haven't even picked up an agent who would then later boot me. As far as agent are concerned, I have nothing to loose and I'm glad for it.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    This is exactly why I do not solicit the real estate fraternity.

    Just because the agent refers clients does not give them the rights
    to critique how you should inspect anymore than a home inspector telling the agent how to sell real estate.


  7. #7
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    I want to get shirts made that say we don't kill deals poorly built houses do. We can send one to your friend


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I want to get shirts made that say we don't kill deals poorly built houses do. We can send one to your friend
    Get some made which say:

    Crime Scene Investigation Unit
    Investigating Dead Houses
    - Suicide or Foul Play? -

    or

    Crime Scene Investigation Unit
    Investigating Dead Houses
    - Suicide or Suspicious Circumstances? -

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    I remember reading somewhere an inspector said:

    He did not kill the deal, the house committed suicide.

    That has helped me to keep things in perspective. Home inspectors do not create the damage to the house, we were not the ones who neglected the maintenance or made the ridiculous "repairs", we simply report what is left behind by the seller.

    On the inspections where "too many" things are turning up, I mention the suicide line to the realtor.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I remember reading somewhere an inspector said:

    He did not kill the deal, the house committed suicide.
    Norm Sage used to say "I did not kill the deal, I just noted the facts as the house committed suicide."

    Another version was "I walked up to the house and watched in horror as the house committed suicide before my very eyes." Sometimes we would add "So I made copious notes."

    Something to that affect - Norm and I used to swap sayings and we were always changing and tweaking them as the situation warranted. We worked with lots of variations with similar wording.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    I had a seller's agent call me several times after one inspection to complain about every little thing I had found. She finally told me that her regular inspector would never report things that were wrong in his report, and that's why she always uses him for her inspections. (I was hired by the buyer for this inspection, on the recommendation of his buyer's agent. This seller's agent had no say in the matter, and she didn't like not being in control.) I hope I hear about it when this agent gets sued by some buyer, and she then throws her "regular" inspector under the bus for not reporting the things that were wrong. It is inevitable that it is going to happen - just a matter of time.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    The funny part is that I told him and the buyers that the evidence of the termites was old. no live termites. This was in my reports ( no live termites ) no need for any treatments.

    They will throw you under the bus everytime...

    Best

    Ron
    Mr. Sadsack Realtor thinks you scared his deal away, tsk, tsk. He doesn't think you may have saved his azz from a lawsuit, 3 months down the road when the clients discovered serious hidden damage. Course all the blame would be on you anyway.

    He should retire and let someone that doesn't mind the work of finding them the right home take over.

    Sometimes they'll use the inspection report for an excuse to get out of a sour deal - it's still your fault.

    BTW, that house isn't suicidal exactly. It's recovering from insect abuse, and it might need surgery.

    Agents come and go, but the clients and the home they bought stay with you forever. That's my little slogan.


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Agents come and go, but the clients and the home they bought stay with you forever. That's my little slogan.

    I like that...

    Best

    Ron


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    I started in this business without soliciting Realtors. I refused to hang around their offices with brownies and hot buns earning a reputation for bringing in great treats. I do have several agents from whom I receive referrals. I met them at an inspection where their client looked me up. They appreciated the way I conducted the inspection, communicated with the clients, the reports, and the offer of post inspection support for the client.

    I had one agent I worked with for a while that was actually a somewhat friend of the family. Our daughters played travel soccer on the same team. The abbreviated story is that she decided she wanted on-site reports so she could review them before the client. I would not and could not do that. I don't hear much from her anymore. She does point people my way if her "regular guy" is busy. However - a biggy here - I just had an inspection that was a client referral from the last inspection I did for her.

    I start inspections with a little speech about the home inspection that includes, "A home inspection does not have Pass/Fail grading. Every home, even if the contractor just handed you the keys to a brand new home, will have things that need to be fixed. How many things are found, their nature, severity, and what you think you can accept and be able to handle will become a basis for your decision."

    It seems to me, in the case of Ron's agent, the issue was more about a lack of communication skill than disclosure. Throwing out a "I saw signs of termites" even with a "I didn't see any live ones" statement would, in my opinion, be a bit callous. Our Eastern Subterranean termites normally won't be seen where there is damage. I don't know if you would see Formosan termites or the dry wood desert termites. This brings up a second point, Ron, are you a termite expert? I've found termite tubes or obvious insect damage, pointed it out to the client where possible, took a picture and included it in the report with a referral for an assessment of WDO activity and treatment as required by a licensed pest control contractor.

    I do know a lot of inspectors don't always have the best communication skills, verbal or written. If you notice, there is always a session on report writing at inspector conferences and classes offered by associations for CE credit. There is a reason for offering the classes other than making a buck for the fee.

    Next tirade - how complete idiots get to be any kind of a licensed contractor

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Agents come and go. The ones that have been with me for the past 7 years know I'm an "unbiased hard-ass" that always reports on everything found during the inspection. I usually tell the buyer that I perform my inspections just as if it were for my kids or another family member. My regular agents like the fact that we have never been to court!

    At the end of the inspection, I print out the report, give a copy to the agent, then I make handwritten notations on the buyer's summary pointing out the WDO issues, the costly issues, and the do it yourself fixes after you move in type repairs. i go over everything including photos right then and there and I don't mix words. In fact, just this past thursday - 10/15/09, I told the young couple to spend their money on a structural engineer after only doing a walk-around, and then, if the SE put his stamp of approval on the dump, they could have me inspect it. The realtor who has been one of my regulars for 5 years didn't bat an eyelash and said she was going back to the office to find them another place.....

    I get more referrals from past clients than I can shake a stick at. I especially love doing an inspection when I am the buyers choice and not the agents regular inspector. The expressions on their faces when I get done is priceless and more often than not, I get their business too.

    Do your best always, don't hurry and don't worry about the agent, they're not the ones paying you to help make one of the most important decisions in thier lives. You'll sleep better at night knowing you gave 100%.


  16. #16
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    It seems to me, in the case of Ron's agent, the issue was more about a lack of communication skill than disclosure. Throwing out a "I saw signs of termites" even with a "I didn't see any live ones" statement would, in my opinion, be a bit callous.

    Just the facts...

    This brings up a second point, Ron, are you a termite expert? I've found termite tubes or obvious insect damage, pointed it out to the client where possible, took a picture and included it in the report with a referral for an assessment of WDO activity and treatment as required by a licensed pest control contractor.
    WDO Is my area of expertise. Knowing live activity and an old infestation is something that comes with working in the WDO field for 30 years.

    I could have side you have evidence of Termites and Sold a $ 1.400 sub-treatment job. but that was not the correct thing to do. better to state the facts the infestation was old and no longer active. No need for a treatment.


    If you go back and read The agents statement he says the buyers were looking for any reason to walk. there were other condition on this mobile home like the front of the home wall was full of FUNGUS... They could have been looking $ 5000 to $ 8000 for that area alone along with the roof leaks, water stains and FUNGUS in the master bathroom ceiling. and if you known anything about mobile homes the truss framing is 2X2 To replace this king of damage can be a lot money. Now Agent only points out the TERMITE issue

    Best

    Ron


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    WDO Is my area of expertise. Knowing live activity and an old infestation is something that comes with working in the WDO field for 30 years.

    I could have side you have evidence of Termites and Sold a $ 1.400 sub-treatment job. but that was not the correct thing to do. better to state the facts the infestation was old and no longer active. No need for a treatment.


    If you go back and read The agents statement he says the buyers were looking for any reason to walk. there were other condition on this mobile home like the front of the home wall was full of FUNGUS... They could have been looking $ 5000 to $ 8000 for that area alone along with the roof leaks, water stains and FUNGUS in the master bathroom ceiling. and if you known anything about mobile homes the truss framing is 2X2 To replace this king of damage can be a lot money. Now Agent only points out the TERMITE issue

    Best

    Ron

    Ron, you go back and read the agent's comment. I think you were upset and missed the point. His comment, as quoted by you, is saying ANY buyer is looking for a reason to walk.You didn't say anything about other conditions in your first post or how, if anything, the type of property and repair costs would have to do with the decision. That actually reinforces my first reply. Why would a real estate agent get bent out of shape over a apparently beaten up mobile home sale?

    I felt the last inspection you did for me for JACK AND JILL HILL could have gone better. I know there is nothing I can do about the inspection or how good or bad it is and I would never expect you to hide any issues with a property. However you are always the one they look for to better understand the severity of the problem and this is where articulating the possible damage to buyers who are almost always on the edge is so important and I know you know this but they are always looking to find fault in anything.
    You apparently have a history of this particular statement -
    In the last inspection you did for me I recalled the first verbiage that was used on this inspection was “there are signs of termites”. No matter what you said after that any buyer would almost walk away. I would have loved to have heard something to the effect of how this is an older home and there are going to be things wrong but that they are normal and treatable such as signs of termites and that although there were signs of them it is 100% treatable and it’s not the kind that would cost thousands of dollars through the tenting. JILL was floored after the meeting and I had to ask further questions of you to make sure we weren’t dealing with a big mess although I knew that we weren’t but it was stated too late in the articulation if you know what I mean. It was a scary moment for everyone and I truly believe a few leading words into your explanation would have avoided a lot of stress. I know you do such a thorough job and I know you meant the best but I was just feeling overwhelmed after this inspection.


    Sorry Ron, it still looks like an issue of communication skills.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Ron, you go back and read the agent's comment. I think you were upset and missed the point. His comment, as quoted by you, is saying ANY buyer is looking for a reason to walk.You didn't say anything about other conditions in your first post or how, if anything, the type of property and repair costs would have to do with the decision. That actually reinforces my first reply. Why would a real estate agent get bent out of shape over a apparently beaten up mobile home sale?

    I felt the last inspection you did for me for JACK AND JILL HILL could have gone better. I know there is nothing I can do about the inspection or how good or bad it is and I would never expect you to hide any issues with a property. However you are always the one they look for to better understand the severity of the problem and this is where articulating the possible damage to buyers who are almost always on the edge is so important and I know you know this but they are always looking to find fault in anything.
    You apparently have a history of this particular statement -
    In the last inspection you did for me I recalled the first verbiage that was used on this inspection was “there are signs of termites”. No matter what you said after that any buyer would almost walk away. I would have loved to have heard something to the effect of how this is an older home and there are going to be things wrong but that they are normal and treatable such as signs of termites and that although there were signs of them it is 100% treatable and it’s not the kind that would cost thousands of dollars through the tenting. JILL was floored after the meeting and I had to ask further questions of you to make sure we weren’t dealing with a big mess although I knew that we weren’t but it was stated too late in the articulation if you know what I mean. It was a scary moment for everyone and I truly believe a few leading words into your explanation would have avoided a lot of stress. I know you do such a thorough job and I know you meant the best but I was just feeling overwhelmed after this inspection.

    Sorry Ron, it still looks like an issue of communication skills.
    Signs of previous termites with no signs of treatment such as stickers, bath traps, drill marks in exterior concrete etc etc etc etc calls for a treatment anyway. Just because the termites do not appear to be in the particular obvious spot it does not mean they ran away on their own. If there were no signs of previous treatment then it is advisable to treat the area at minimum and if found in more than one spot then the entire home.

    Again, unless they were treated they did not just leave their free lunch on their own. They more than likely are coming up in a less obvious spot.

    To also lighten the load about damages, well, you don't have to harp on heavy damages but you cannot dismiss the possibility that there is heavy damage already. No one will know the extent of the damage util a more thorough investigation.

    Termites are termites. Past or present. No signs of treatment then treat them. Damages to the structure....who knows unless a scope is used to look into multiple areas of that section of the structure at the least.

    When ever I went over a WDI and found present or past infestation the clients always wanted to talk about possible damage. There is no avoiding it. There is no denying that there is damage and unless the seller gives written permission to inspect inside the walls you will never be able to estimate the damage.

    Part of the job. Past infestation...present infestation...damage...they all go hand in hand.

    Just some thoughts.

    Piece of crap mobile home with lots of concerns.

    I am using Ricks verbage again.

    Run Forest.....Run


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    there are signs of termites

    I don't see what is inflamatory about this comment. I don't know what was said after it but the statement itself appears to be nothing more than an inspector explaining what he sees. If the buyer is looking for a reason to walk, they could do so over an S-trap or reverse polarity outlet if they wanted.

    It's not up to us to assuade the buyer and make them feel at comfort with whatever condition we come across. Some buyers have hot buttons about certain issues and your can't convince them otherwise. I once did 5 inspections for one client before he actually bought a house. The first four houses he bailed on because they either had termites in the past (treated and damage repaired no less) or the radon levels were elevated. Even though the termites were now a non-issue, he didn't care. Termites, past or present, were a deal killer for him. Same with radon. He didn't care that it was 100% correctable.

    We can't guide buyers, hold their hands, or tell them what to do. All we can do is tell them what we see, explain possible methods of correcting the issue, and let them decide what is most important to them. The realtors statement "No matter what you said after that any buyer would almost walk away" is from my experience and in my area of the country overblown and not realistic. Many houses around here have or had termites. People choosing to hightail it after hearing the house has termite evidence would cut their choice of available houses in half around here.


  20. #20
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    unless they were treated they did not just leave their free lunch on their own. They more than likely are coming up in a less obvious spot.

    A sub-termite colony is not something that just lives forever. They have been known to live for 20 years but at some point the colony will just die out. Once a home has termites the evidence will always be evident if you look for it. The lack of any new evidence is but one indicator that the colony is no longer alive. This becomes the inspectors choice to call it or not.
    One way or the other If I miss the call then my company will do any treatments free of charge. On this inspection the evidence was so limited with all areas accessible for my viewing. This mobile was older then 35 years.

    My call for no treatment was the correct thing to do. My report now stands as a record for any future inspection. No live activity.

    Best

    Ron


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Once a home has termites the evidence will always be evident if you look for it. The lack of any new evidence is but one indicator that the colony is no longer alive. This becomes the inspectors choice to call it or not.

    In Florida, the inspector does not have a choice.

    If there is "evidence" of termites, it MUST be reported on the report - no ifs, and, or buts.

    If there is "evidence" of termites and there is no standing warranty saying 'Yeppers, I've killed them there termites - nothing to worry about, here is a warranty for it.', then it will get retreated.

    Retreating it does not take it off the report, retreating it simply says 'Yeppers, I've killed them there termites - nothing to worry about, here is a warranty for it.' and the problem goes away until either the termites show back up or the house is sold and the seller did not keep the contract up covering it. In which case it gets retreated again. Which is good, because Florida is a very high pressure termite activity state and nothing is to say the house will not be re-infested again.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Agent Fired me today L.O.L.

    Ron your Realtor likes sugar coating. What you should of wrote was While I was walking around this lovely home I tipped toed through the tulips and discovered past evidence of those cute little larvae know as termites. No need to worry they have left the home in tact and nothing further needs to be done. Ohhhh look tea time!

    I like the saying I probably read on this board.
    The home speaks for itself! I just write it down.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

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