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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Getting Agents out of referrals..

    What is everyone's thought on getting a bill sponsored to make it illegal for home inspectors to work for agents seeing they always help the agents and not their clients! Just my American OPINION! As I see it there's a conflict of interest and Agents are not qualified to determine if an inspector is or isn't good for the buyer.. just want to get opinions from across the globe!!


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    Last edited by kenny martin; 06-21-2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Stupid responders!
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Who sees more inspection reports than an agent? Who attends more home inspections than an agent other than actual inspectors? Who has the widest possible sampling of inspectors and home inspection reports?

    If agents are referring low quality inspectors to their clients, then shame on them. I like to think I am at least a "good" or a "better" home inspector. I receive referrals from agents who choose to refer me because they respect the work I do. Most of the agents who refer me also have hired me to inspect properties for themselves.

    Agent referrals are not bad. Agents referring sub-standard inspectors is bad. Instead of whining about bad referrals, lets purge the industry of sub-standard inspectors.

    Lets establish a meaningful inspector evaluation and periodically review inspectors in the field as well as review their reports. Those inspectors who are not meeting the minimum standards should be sent back for retraining or have their licenses revoked.

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

  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    If agents like you they like you and if they don't like you "YOUR OUT"

    They are the gate keeper and thats a fact. Its not good or bad inspector. thats the problem. its the gate keeper are the problem.

    If buyers had to find there own inspectors and interview and look for the best qualified inspectors they we would see a more open market for all inspectors to stand. I have a few very strong inspector in my area guys I would have do inspection for me. but they are cut from a lot of inspection because the gate keepers call them DEAL KILLERS... That term is from the offices or Real Estate agents. That term did not come form a home buyer...

    its is my opinion that Real Estate agent should not refer inspectors of any type.

    Home inspection, Pest inspection, Roof inspection and so on...

    Best

    Ron


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I've seen a million cars! Does that make me a mechanic??


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    What is everyone's thought on getting a bill sponsored to make it illegal for an agent to get involved at all with the choosing of an inspector?? As I see it there's a conflict of interest and Agents are not qualified to determine if an inspector is or isn't good for the buyer.. just want to get opinions from across the globe!!
    Hi Kenny,

    What State do you live and work in?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    State doesn't matter really, I know some states have some restrictions but they get around them too easily..


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    I've seen a million cars! Does that make me a mechanic??
    No. But if you had driven a million cars you would be knowledgeable about various features that make some models better than others.

    Agents have to read the reports and use the information presented to negotiate for their clients. They have seen enough reports to know that some inspectors supply more information in a more digestible format. They soon learn which inspectors are not providing as much or the needed information as compared to other inspectors.

    I agree there can be a conflict of interest between the agents desire to encourage the deal to complete and choosing a better inspector. No, I don't think a bill needs to be enacted to prevent the referral process.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I disagree with the "But if you had driven a million cars you would be knowledgeable about various features that make some models better than others", agents can look at reports all day long, (and by the way the busiest agents around look at maybe 10 or so a month, that's in no way a million) but they still won't know the depth or detail about the knowledge of an inspector.. I've seen inspectors write impressive reports that when you show them to a professional in the fields they were reporting on they would laugh and call it BS, so how is an agent going to know the difference? They are not about to go into detail and research everything written in the reports..


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    State doesn't matter really, I know some states have some restrictions but they get around them too easily..

    OK, but it does help to know where a person is from when offering an answer to a question.

    No, I would not like to see any regulation like you are talking about. Can you name any profession that has a referral restriction on it like you are talking about?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I have not heard of any bill restricting referrals. It would be State anyway.

    I don't really care if Realtors can or can not give out names, or directly refer inspectors.
    I get some jobs because a Realtor has me on their "list".
    I get some jobs because the Realtor directly referred me.
    I get some jobs because my client did not want to use the inspectors on their Realtors list.

    To leave the buyers to their own to find their inspector may or may not be a good idea. Since they would likely be calling from the phone book, they are mostly looking for the lowest price, and could care less about experience, certifications, fancy tools, make of truck, etc.

    I find it odd when a client calls me and tells me their Realtor referred them (or I'm on their list), and I have no idea who the Realtor is.

    Still Kenny, is this you idea of trying to get something started, or are you talking about a specific bill that is in the works? Are you not getting business and feel that Realtors are the reason? Just curious.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    kenny

    answer the question where do you live. inspection news is an honest info net.and geo is important.

    i get most of my referrrals from agents i deal with. they like my inspection manners, my reports, my personality, my education to clients. i don't have a web site and i don't advertise in the yellow pages, where all they want is the cheapest price. it is all up to what is good for you and for others.

    wouldn't do it any other way

    charlie


  12. #12
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    Post Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Kenny, that's a great question. Good real estate agents will refer their clients to the honest and thorough home inspector that will do a professional job. That is the only way a real estate agent can truly avoid a potential litigation trap. Unfortunately, it's about money, and most real estate agents would rather risk their entire life savings on making a deal close. In my service area, there is a real estate brokerage that refers only drive-by inspectors. These are the fellows that, like many builders, will inspect to the bare minimum, and look for any "out" that they can to not check some thing. When one of these agents gets a buyer on the hook, they lean heavily on them to get the inspection done as quickly as possible, using fear and intimidation. Naturally, since the inspectors they refer spend little more than 2 or 3 hours on an inspection, they are almost always available. So, though they are unaware of it, the consumers dealing with this particular brokerage are getting a "rip-job" of the greatest type. I have had people come to me after their experiences with this brokerage and "their" inspectors, and complain. But there is little or nothing that can be done most of the time. In one such instance, the real estate agent "preferred" inspector cost the client $225 for the inspection, and $25,000 in court costs because the inspector misrepresented findings from the home inspection. There is an absolute inherent conflict of interest when real estate agents refer services of any type to their clients. There have been civil suits and federal RESPA suits over this very issue. It is clearly a problem. The conflict of interest issue is not isolated to this one issue, however. Financial markets and businesses have had to deal with this problem for a long time. It is a very large part of the reason that our economy is in the dump right now. It will probably never be completely controlled, but it can be regulated to some extent. Massachusetts is the only state that I am aware of that has attempted to address the conflict of interest issue in regard to real estate agent referrals for home inspectors. If consumers and attorneys were more educated on this issue, it would probably rectify itself. Real estate agents with multiple 5 and 6 figure judgments against them don't stay in business very long.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    KENNY

    i do not deal with the latter part of randy's post. my real estate agents are the best found here in colorado or i won't deal with them. they know how thourgh i am and how honest i am, like wise my trust in them.

    in this business you get to know who to deal with and who not to. i have a trusted group of realtors i deal with and work with, and my reports are giving sometimes to the listing agent in the transaction, with approval from client and i then get jobs from them. they are at first the enemy, but if you do your job right, you will be rewarded.

    an honest business is always the best business

    charlie


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I don't see how agent referrals are a conflict of interest. It's still the clients responsibility to choose the inspector.

    Now if an agent required the client to use a certain inspector, that would be a conflict of interest. I believe that's already illegal.

    What would happen if agents could not give referrals? All the HI's would spend more money on advertising and the uninformed general public would hire the cheapest inspector they could find. We'd all bring home less money.

    If you truly want to protect the clients from a "fluffed" or poor inspection, restricting agent referrals won't do it. The fluff inspectors would still be out there. How about National Licensing with mandatory proctored testing, mandatory confirmed continuing education and random report auditing by the National Licensing Board. Let's throw in mandatory E&O and liability insurance in amounts exceeding the value of the property inspected. That would help protect the client.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Kenny,

    Go to your profile and make your location say "Sellersburg, IN" or "Louisville, KY". That'll help people better answer your questions on some topics, or at least keep the focus on your question instead of "Oh my, where is Kenny from?". Also fill out your signature with your website and stuff. It'll help your website's search engine ranking in the long run. See mine as an example.

    Massachusetts does restrict referrals from agents. Only contracted buyer's agents can recommend a short list. Other agents have to provide a full list of licensed inspectors prepared by the Board of Home Inspectors.

    More info here: Truth about real estate agent referred home inspectors

    I don't see the 380 some inspectors in Kentucky getting anywhere with the Legislature on this issue. The realtors can throw $500,000 at an issue without thinking about it. We can't.

    You and I know you're one of the good ones, others may not. They'll learn.


    -

    Last edited by Erby Crofutt; 03-12-2010 at 07:46 PM.
    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
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Kenny or anyone else who thinks agent referrals are bad:


    I'm wondering how you handle it when an agent calls you to set up the inspection or when the client tells you at the inspection that they received your name from their agent?

    Do you refuse to do the inspection?

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    This idea that one cannot give referrals because all Real Estate Agents are bad is the same saying as all builders are bad because there are a few bad ones out there.

    All home inspectors are bad because there are a few bad ones.

    No electrician knows what he is doing because there are a few bad ones.

    Of course Massachusetts controls who and how who refers who. The most controling state in the US. They want their grubby little control fingure's into everything. They feel like everyone should be protected from everyone else. It is a socialist state. Yes I lived there for 36 years. Until you get out you just won't realize the control the Mass Gov has over you and everyone else. For some reason or other everyone who gets in charge in that state feels that n o one can handle their own life and business and want to help control everything for them.

    Control....Laws....mandates...enough is enough.

    I do not like Agents in general because every time I get a new referring agent I lose another one. Agents go thru inspectors all the time. Oh well, thats life, time to get over it. It is high time everone started handling their own affairs and stop looking to government to handle it for them.

    You want to live in a socialists country. I mean more socialists than we already are. There are several you could move to with out turning this one more in that direction.

    Hey...I know. Why doesn't the government vote on a health care bill so then they can see what is in it and then fix it later. What a freaking joke. That was straight out of the woman in charge mouth. You just cannot get any more ignorant than that. No I did not just listen to some conservitive or republican tell me that. I heard it straight from the horses ass, I mean woman in charges mouth. And some want more government intervention.

    I just do not get it.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    The issue at hand here is "potential" conflicts of interest. That potential only exists if an inspector allows his inspection, report, or the way he words things to be influenced by the realtor relationship. It's up to the inspector to decide which side of the fence he wants to be on.

    There are many buyers who do not feel comfortable going with the realtor-referred inspectors for what ever reason. They may be cynical, they may have read horror stories, or they may not have a great relationship with their realtor. I can say that advertising myself as an independent inspector who does not work for realtors gets me work. Some buyers are so influenced by this that they are willing to hire me without ever having a conversation or talking fees.

    I do get some realtor referrals but they are from realtors who got my name from other realtors or they met me at an inspection and liked my work. I don't seek them out, buy them bagels, or stop in offices and shake hands. I'd rather eat glass. Some will always jump off my bandwagon and stop referring me when things go sour. The ones who continue to refer me regardless of the outcome of the sale are the ones who get it and know that referring a picky inspector makes them look good.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 03-13-2010 at 06:56 AM. Reason: remove potty-mouth language

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    One side of this issue or the other. It would be interesting to see the kind of shift in the inspection industry in any one area.

    If agent did not have selective power over the H.I. Industry.

    Like would a new inspector get as much work as a older Inspection Company.

    Or the deal killer that no agent wants around. Would he be the guy that now get more work?

    Any way you cut it the agents are the gate keeper and hold control over the home inspector industry sales. If you have a lot of agent you get a lot of work. I you do not have a lot of agent then you get little of that work

    Best

    Ron


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    As mentioned, I get referrals from realtors who I have worked with in the past and appreciate my honesty and integrity. If you go out there everyday and do your job...according to your state's SOPs or InterNachi's SOPs or ASHI SOPs, and do it for each and every inspection, and you provide the highest level of service for your CLIENT (the person signing the check)...no deviation for realtor loyalties, etc. then you will have a reputation for being honest and thorough, and the realtors who have the same values will keep referring you. The 3rd rate realtors (and we all know who they are) will call you "deal killer" and take you off of their list. Now, this is the moment of truth! If you as an inspector take referrals from those lying, scheming, scheisters, then count yourself among them! Because in this business, opposites do not attract! If you align yourself with reliability, then you will have a reputation for that, but if you pick to run with the low ball agents, then you will begat that moniker also.

    More legislation???? I think not. You live or die by your rep. in the field and its feast or famine. If you're not getting jobs because the agents won't refer you, then maybe its time to step back and take a look in the mirror. I'm already sensing a bit of NSI (insufficient information) from Kenny. Who are you? where ya from? Why the secrecy? You an agent sniping the chat rooms?


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    The purpose of regulating whether the listing broker can refer inspectors is to resolve the conflict of interest.

    The listing agent's interest is in closing the deal at the highest price possible. To further this purpose, some listing agents are going to avoid those "deal killer" inspectors, the inspectors that are meticulous and whose sole interest is in presenting an unbiased report for the potential buyer.

    To resolve the conflict of interest, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has restricted the listing agent from providing a "short list" of inspectors. Contracted buyer's agents may still provide a short list. This is an imperfect solution.

    To my mind, the best solution would be to properly align the interests. There are two parties interested in avoiding hidden "maintenance" fees after a sale: the buyer and the lender. In particular, it is in the lender's interest to ensure the property for which they are providing the bulk of the financing is acquired for the lowest price and with all defects disclosed. Lenders already require appraisals for market value - why not inspections for property condition which might affect value?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    There is only one problem with all this thought of regulation. If someone is crooked it is not going to stop them from being crooked. Regulation on who can refer who is just overseeing and just bigger government.

    Personally I find absolutely nothing wrong with a home inspector giving a quote on possible repairs needed.

    Oh my....Did he just say that???? Absolutely. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a home inspector giving his buyer a price for particular repairs. Home inspectors have a lot of checks and balances before there is even a slight chance of getting the repair. After all there is a seller, buyers agent, listing agent in the way. The negotiating starts once you do your inspection. Most sellers will get an alternate price or opinion from their own folks anyway. The buyer is going to get at least a second price from their own folks or the Realtor has a list of folks that will figure repair cost to negotiate with the seller. The absolute vast majority of inspectors are a very honest and reputable bunch of folks.

    As a rehab contractor you will be going into a home for a client and inspecting the entire home in most cases. windows, doors, HVAC, roof,water heater, foundation, electric....am I making my point yet? He then puts together a proposal and sits down with the folks with a one on one with all the opportunity to hard close and get the job. Not much check and balance there now is there.

    A Broker not being able to refer?????????/ Seriously....Why not? Yes they want to sell the home to get the profit. The only time they will be dishonest is if they are already. Nothing is going to stop that. If they are honest (the vast majority are) and want to be in business tomorrow and next week and not be sued then nothing is going to change that.

    In Texas most Realtor associations don't allow inspectors to have access to homes with the supra key without getting a CBS code from the agent and then put in your code. Lets see. We have to make an appointment anyway and , oh yes, there is that simple fact that everyone entering a home with a supra key is logged onto that supra key. There is no getting around that. The thought that giving inspectors or appraisers and such a key without going thru them used to be...Oh my God. We cannot have everyone running around with a key and just walking into any home. What a joke that is.....The key registers everyone.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    KENNY

    i do not deal with the latter part of randy's post. my real estate agents are the best found here in colorado or i won't deal with them. they know how thourgh i am and how honest i am, like wise my trust in them.

    in this business you get to know who to deal with and who not to. i have a trusted group of realtors i deal with and work with, and my reports are giving sometimes to the listing agent in the transaction, with approval from client and i then get jobs from them. t, but if you do your job right, you will be rewarded.

    an honest business is always the best business

    charlie
    "my real estate agents'

    Funny, when conducting a home inspection, I deal with "my clients". I don't care if the agent is a top notch honest one or a weasel, I concentrate on my clients needs.

    "I have a trusted group of realtors I deal with"

    Again, don't 'deal' with agents, deal with your CLIENT! I have several agents who recommend me, but I don't 'deal' with them. In protecting my client I also protect the agent.

    "they are at first the enemy"

    No one should be an enemy (except maybe a seller who piles several sheets of drywall against a wall that is loaded with mold or termites). Some of you guys...

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    From the REALTOR® Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association

    "8. Disclosure of Benefits to Clients

    REALTORS® shall:

    (b) disclose to their Clients any financial or other benefit the REALTOR® or his/her firm may receive as a result of recommending real estate products or services to that party."

    Comment: Never, ever happens. Who are their 'Clients'?

    In the definition section:

    "CLIENT means a Buyer or a Seller whom a REALTOR® is representing as agent."

    Agent? Naturally, I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise to the reader that there is no definition of that word in the definition section of the Code. Normally under such circumstances, that word doesn't necessarily mean it's dictionary definition. Recourse is usually had to its normal usage. In this area, it is my understanding buyers agents, that is written contractual arrangements are almost unheard of. It's also my understanding the legislative assembly has arranged to have certain tablets brought down from the mountains thereon inscribed with the commandment that buyers agents shall look after the best interests of the buyers even though the money to pay them is originating from the other side of the deal.
    If you wanna get to the truth, follow the money.


  25. #25
    Bob Waysack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    What is everyone's thought on getting a bill sponsored to make it illegal for an agent to get involved at all with the choosing of an inspector?? As I see it there's a conflict of interest and Agents are not qualified to determine if an inspector is or isn't good for the buyer.. just want to get opinions from across the globe!!

    I don't think that’s a good idea. Agent's should be qualified to choose good inspectors, based on there experience. It's our job to educate them to make sure they only refer certified, experienced inspectors. How else will buyers choose?


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Waysack View Post
    I don't think that’s a good idea. Agent's should be qualified to choose good inspectors, based on there experience. It's our job to educate them to make sure they only refer certified, experienced inspectors. How else will buyers choose?
    Certified by who or what? What certifications do you think a client should be looking for?

    Experienced. How many inspections must one perform before they are experienced? ASHI sets the minimum at 250. Other pay to play certifications set the limit at 1000 inspections or training hours. Other national associations dont require any minimum to be cerified. My state only recognizes state licensing. Does 20 years as general contractor but only 1 year as an inspector make you an experienced HI?

    I agree that clients are more likely to get a better inspection from an inspector who has performed "a lot" of inspections. But performing 1000 bad inspections just means you have been doing it wrong for a while. The industry needs a nationally accepted accrediation that has real standards.

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

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Certified by who or what? What certifications do you think a client should be looking for?

    Experienced. How many inspections must one perform before they are experienced? ASHI sets the minimum at 250. Other pay to play certifications set the limit at 1000 inspections or training hours. Other national associations dont require any minimum to be cerified. My state only recognizes state licensing. Does 20 years as general contractor but only 1 year as an inspector make you an experienced HI?

    I agree that clients are more likely to get a better inspection from an inspector who has performed "a lot" of inspections. But performing 1000 bad inspections just means you have been doing it wrong for a while. The industry needs a nationally accepted accrediation that has real standards.
    I think he meant "certifiable" inspectors!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Waysack View Post
    I don't think that’s a good idea. Agent's should be qualified to choose good inspectors, based on there experience. It's our job to educate them to make sure they only refer certified, experienced inspectors. How else will buyers choose?
    The same way they found their realtor, plumbers, electricians, contractors, HVAC pros, doctors, dentists, etc. They need to do some homework. Make phone calls. Check with their family, friends, and co-workers. Research consumer-protection websites and services like the BBB or Angie's List. Just because somebody is buying a house doesn't mean they are helpless and need to be spoon fed. If they get more involved in all phases of the home buying process, they will be wiser for the experience.


  29. #29
    Bob Waysack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Certified by who or what? What certifications do you think a client should be looking for?

    Experienced. How many inspections must one perform before they are experienced? ASHI sets the minimum at 250. Other pay to play certifications set the limit at 1000 inspections or training hours. Other national associations dont require any minimum to be cerified. My state only recognizes state licensing. Does 20 years as general contractor but only 1 year as an inspector make you an experienced HI?

    I agree that clients are more likely to get a better inspection from an inspector who has performed "a lot" of inspections. But performing 1000 bad inspections just means you have been doing it wrong for a while. The industry needs a nationally accepted accrediation that has real standards.
    CREIA Certification in California, like ASHI requires a certain number of continuing education credits. That helps "experienced" inspectors stay current with changes in the inspection process. Education is our best tool, along with experience.



  30. #30
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    Post Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    A lot of interesting discussion on this thread! This has always, and probably will always be, a sensitive topic for many home inspectors. That's understandable. One idea that always seems to come up in these discussions is the creation of a high hurdle for home inspector licensing. This has become an area of interest. Does creating a given standard assure competent inspections and proper representation? For example, for many years now, certification by one corporation or another is argued to be the assurance that a home buyer needs regarding choice of home inspectors. However; it is interesting to note that there appears to be no documentation available to the public where they can search for disciplinary actions or records of complaints against a given home inspector, as evidence or proof that private certification works to protect consumers. In states where home inspectors are licensed, this might happen through the licensing agency. But how can a potential client know what kind of record a home inspector has, otherwise? Ultimately, isn't it the inspector's reputation amoung his or her past clients that tells the potential client what kind of inspector they are considering?

    Home inspectors act as an agent of the client - the person on behalf of whom the inspection is being performed. The "type" of relationship that a home inspector has with their client is known as a "principle-agent" relationship. The client is the principle - the one who is in charge, from a legal standpoint, the person who has the legal authority to have the inspection conducted according to contract - and the inspector is acting on behalf of the principle as an "agent". As home inspectors, we should perform an inspection as the client would, if they had our knowledge, expertise, experience, and so forth. The client is paying us to do this. Most codes of ethics in our profession are based on this relationship, and aim to guide the home inspector where issues of conflict of interest may appear - whether real or by appearance. But again, the consumer, the public, has no way of knowing if a given home inspector has ever been disciplined for violating an ethics code, and moreover, there are many home inspectors who adhere to no code of ethics nor standard of practice.

    If there is only one thing that government licensing can do, it can require adherence to a given standard of practice or code of ethics. But it can not make "good" inspectors out of people by requiring high standards, in my opinion. There are many inspectors that can meet given standards. But that does not in itself make them good inspectors. For support of that logic, we need only look at other licensed professions, whether it be physicians or auto mechanics. So, by requiring adherence to a given standard of practice or code of ethics, regulation by the government creates an accessible means of redress by consumers wronged by a home inspector, without requiring litigation. There are huge advantages to that, for both inspectors and consumers. Personally, I would rather defend and explain my actions to a board of competent home inspectors than a judge or jury who may or may not have any idea what a home inspection is. That is just one example.

    There is no way that I am aware of to legislate moral behavior. There are regulations on almost every profession and industry where there is an issue of the public trust involved. In real estate, financial markets, consumer law, and so forth there are almost always requirements for disclosure of any potential or real conflict of interest. But we have seen how effective those regulations are, as we witness the economic disaster that has befallen us. The only answer that I have is to treat my clients as I would like to be treated if I were in their place, whether required to do this by law, or not.


    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    DARREN

    clients don't just fall from the sky. they are my most important factor and my agents know that--and i don't lick agents behinds--they refer me because they know i am honest and thourgh and will not sugar coat anything. so don't know where your thread is going

    my clients are my bread and food basket.

    my agents know that.
    and yes if my agent is not trusted by me. I WON'T DEAL WITH THEM. and if i'm not trusted by them. like wise

    different strokes for different inspectors.

    i have agents who have referred me to their clients for eight years now. and all deals don't go thru . they know it's not me who kills the deal.IT'S THE HOUSE . and that is what they want from me and my CLIENT AND THEIR REPUTATION

    sorry i didn't paraphrase you,like you did me.

    charlie


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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I'M BAAACK!!! I see I hit a nerve with a few.. sorry, I had to work until late on Fri. and Sat. then got drunk Sat. night and stayed out all night.., I will leave my post as is, a general question to others, just like it reads, I wanted to know about others opinions, and yes I'm from Ky. but live in In. now. Chill out you bunch of coffee drinkin' white guyz!! Oh and thanks Erb, the link you left says it ALL! And what's that sig thing, sounds like a gun??
    commonwealthhomeinspections.org Kenny Martin


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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    I'M BAAACK!!! I see I hit a nerve with a few.. sorry, I had to work until late on Fri. and Sat. then got drunk Sat. night and stayed out all night.., I will leave my post as is, a general question to others, just like it reads, I wanted to know about others opinions, and yes I'm from Ky. but live in In. now. Chill out you bunch of coffee drinkin' white guyz!! Oh and thanks Erb, the link you left says it ALL! And what's that sig thing, sounds like a gun??
    commonwealthhomeinspections.org Kenny Martin
    Doh!!!


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    I'M BAAACK!!! I see I hit a nerve with a few.. sorry, I had to work until late on Fri. and Sat. then got drunk Sat. night and stayed out all night.., I will leave my post as is, a general question to others, just like it reads, I wanted to know about others opinions, and yes I'm from Ky. but live in In. now. Chill out you bunch of coffee drinkin' white guyz!! Oh and thanks Erb, the link you left says it ALL! And what's that sig thing, sounds like a gun??
    commonwealthhomeinspections.org Kenny Martin
    Dude, I hope you at least drank single malt! Cheers!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  35. #35
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    A lot of interesting discussion on this thread! This has always, and probably will always be, a sensitive topic for many home inspectors. That's understandable. One idea that always seems to come up in these discussions is the creation of a high hurdle for home inspector licensing. This has become an area of interest. Does creating a given standard assure competent inspections and proper representation? For example, for many years now, certification by one corporation or another is argued to be the assurance that a home buyer needs regarding choice of home inspectors. However; it is interesting to note that there appears to be no documentation available to the public where they can search for disciplinary actions or records of complaints against a given home inspector, as evidence or proof that private certification works to protect consumers. In states where home inspectors are licensed, this might happen through the licensing agency. But how can a potential client know what kind of record a home inspector has, otherwise? Ultimately, isn't it the inspector's reputation amoung his or her past clients that tells the potential client what kind of inspector they are considering?

    Home inspectors act as an agent of the client - the person on behalf of whom the inspection is being performed. The "type" of relationship that a home inspector has with their client is known as a "principle-agent" relationship. The client is the principle - the one who is in charge, from a legal standpoint, the person who has the legal authority to have the inspection conducted according to contract - and the inspector is acting on behalf of the principle as an "agent". As home inspectors, we should perform an inspection as the client would, if they had our knowledge, expertise, experience, and so forth. The client is paying us to do this. Most codes of ethics in our profession are based on this relationship, and aim to guide the home inspector where issues of conflict of interest may appear - whether real or by appearance. But again, the consumer, the public, has no way of knowing if a given home inspector has ever been disciplined for violating an ethics code, and moreover, there are many home inspectors who adhere to no code of ethics nor standard of practice.

    If there is only one thing that government licensing can do, it can require adherence to a given standard of practice or code of ethics. But it can not make "good" inspectors out of people by requiring high standards, in my opinion. There are many inspectors that can meet given standards. But that does not in itself make them good inspectors. For support of that logic, we need only look at other licensed professions, whether it be physicians or auto mechanics. So, by requiring adherence to a given standard of practice or code of ethics, regulation by the government creates an accessible means of redress by consumers wronged by a home inspector, without requiring litigation. There are huge advantages to that, for both inspectors and consumers. Personally, I would rather defend and explain my actions to a board of competent home inspectors than a judge or jury who may or may not have any idea what a home inspection is. That is just one example.

    There is no way that I am aware of to legislate moral behavior. There are regulations on almost every profession and industry where there is an issue of the public trust involved. In real estate, financial markets, consumer law, and so forth there are almost always requirements for disclosure of any potential or real conflict of interest. But we have seen how effective those regulations are, as we witness the economic disaster that has befallen us. The only answer that I have is to treat my clients as I would like to be treated if I were in their place, whether required to do this by law, or not.

    I read everything you wrote but I am unclear where it came from. It sounded like a rehearsed speech as in four score and such.

    Just kidding but kinda not.

    You ended with

    "The only answer that I have is to treat my clients as I would like to be treated if I were in their place, whether required to do this by law, or not."

    That was real speak and the rest sounded like a code one would spout off at a meeting somewhere.

    You also have a whole lot of people in charge of you throughout the entire story.

    I don't know about you but the client nor anyone else is in charge of me at an inspection. From the time I agree to sell someone an inspection report on a home that I inspect (the home the client is interested in purchasing...they have not bought it yet and I am the one that sets the appointment for "me" to do an inspection...after all I am liable the whole way to the seller of the home) I am in charge. The client I eventually sell the inspection report to is liable for nothing as I am the appointment setter, the insurance holder and the one entrusted with someone elses home. On top of that neither the client, selling agent, listing agent or even the big guy above is in charge of me as no one is going to have the slightest influence over me at before or after the inspection to what goes into the report with the exception of the legal end from the state I am licensed in.

    Evrything you wrote sounds good with the exception of everyone must be protected from everyone else. There is nothing holding anyone back from referring any other trade with the exception of some high and mighty states that want to be in charge of everyone. If I want to refer a roofer to a client I am suppose to disclose the fact that I am not making a dime from the referral or any tradesman for that matter.

    I cannot perform work on anything I inspect. I mentioned that in another post and won't touch on that anymore with the exception of my opinion. It's a joke.

    Protect, protect, protect the poor innocent public from everyone and let no on ever have to deal with checking things out themselves. That is another joke. It is high time all this high and might garbage stopped and folks start figuring out that they need to look after themselves and stop depending on everyone else for that protection and growing government intervention by the minute. Stop putting things in the heads of folks about law suits and lawyers and ethic committees and the ;list could be written for days.

    When I step out my door I look out after myself with the occasional police officer feeling the need to give me a ticket on occasion.

    I know 19 year old kids that will not change a tire but will sit in the hot car for 2 hours waiting for AAA. After all, that is why they have AAA. They do not even know where the damn jack or jack handle is. It is getting absolutely ridiculous out there.

    The public trust being involved ??????? They can figure out how to check up on someone before they hire them. Not every damn inspector, Realtor, tradesman is a damn crook. There are crooks in every trade or professional organization. There always will be. It is high time people began taking care of their own again and stop throwing more regulation, committees, overseers and such in front of every transaction that ever takes place.

    Regulation that did not keep the market from crashing ???????? Need I say more. Now what do we have? More regulation to see over that regulation and make more regulations to finally one day put a stop to everything including business and making money anywhere doing anything.

    Let the poor folks start looking out more for themselves instead of looking at more ways to grow government and regulation. Ways to stop anyone from referring anyone else.



  36. #36
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Ted,

    While it's great that you're looking after yourself and your client, who's looking after those independent inspectors who do a crappy job, don't look after their clients, are "in bed" with agents and are generally the ones giving the rest of us a bad name? There's a ton of them out there. Like the fly by night contractors, they work for cash, don't carry insurance and if they're ever sued, file bankruptcy and open shop under a new business name.

    Who's reviewing the inspection reports that these inspectors make. Who's shadowing them on inspections making sure they're doing a good job? Who's making sure their insurance is paid and their license or association affiliations are valid. Who's making sure they partake in continuing education? Who's making sure complaints are handled to the client's satisfaction so it doesn't end up in a lawsuit?

    I'll give you an example. Take the company I work for, one of those national companies all the independent inspectors like to rag on. As the state manager I personally review my inspector's reports. Not all of them, but I spot check about 15 a month. I also will shadow my inspectors every now and them. I make sure they're keeping up with their continuing education and such. I make sure our software is up to date. We have monthly meetings to bring them up to speed with recalls, code changes, etc. We're in contact either by email, phone or face to face nearly every day, but we all work out of our homes. I also have a boss who checks my work, and he has a boss who checks his work.

    While this may sound a little overbearing, it isn't. The inspectors know what's going on and they do a great job, so I very seldom have to address any issues with their work. In fact over the past year we have had $0 in claims and 0 complaints so my job is pretty easy at this point.

    Who's watching the RE agent? Their broker. Who's watching the appraiser? HUD and their licensing agency. Who's watching the independent inspector? Themselves. Not very comforting. I should add ASHI watches their inspectors somewhat since I was audited this year.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Mr. Rowe,

    No offense, but I wonder if you have "reviewed" the inspection report your company has online?? I doubt I would feel comfortable sleeping at night telling a client to monitor an obvious failure in the foundation that has not only moved in the past and been filled but has cracked again already.. not to mention it's a block wall.. liability just shot through the roof and any amateur attorney would have you paying for that one. Then the mention of the walk settled and "to keep water away from the home", how about fall hazard for the pregnant lady carrying her child and groceries or the elderly woman coming down the steps that are obviously uneven?? The plumbing drain was failed! And should have been reported as such for repair... I could easily go on but I think you get the point and I invite everyone to visit his link and verify if what I am saying is fair. I don't bash inspectors but when they defend agent referrals then write that kind of report??



  38. #38
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Absolutely. Without realtor referrals the good honest inspectors would get more clients and the realtor's pets would lessen and hopefully disappear.

    And if you do not think it is a conflict for realtors to recommend home inspectors just think of all the new inspectors that get referrals when inspectors with years of experience do not.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    Mr. Rowe,

    No offense, but I wonder if you have "reviewed" the inspection report your company has online?? I doubt I would feel comfortable sleeping at night telling a client to monitor an obvious failure in the foundation that has not only moved in the past and been filled but has cracked again already.. not to mention it's a block wall.. liability just shot through the roof and any amateur attorney would have you paying for that one.
    Really? The problem was identified and reported and a referral was made. The report also references other items to alleviate pressure on the wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    Then the mention of the walk settled and "to keep water away from the home", how about fall hazard for the pregnant lady carrying her child and groceries or the elderly woman coming down the steps that are obviously uneven??
    Wow, since when are walkways going to the house supposed to be flat. Check your facts, they need to be pitched away from the home. In any case the problem was documented, reported and referred.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    The plumbing drain was failed! And should have been reported as such for repair...
    If I remember correctly the drain had a temporary repair and corrosion but was not currently leaking. It was identified, reported and referred. It's part of our jobs as inspectors to determine what are immediate concerns and what are concerns which do not need immediate attention. I really can't see the point of advising repairs by a qualified contractor on every deficient item identified in an inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    I could easily go on but I think you get the point and I invite everyone to visit his link and verify if what I am saying is fair. I don't bash inspectors but when they defend agent referrals then write that kind of report??
    Since you've decided to make this somewhat personal I'll ask you directly, since you've failed to offer an answer. Who checks your work Mr. Martin? Another question I posted previously since you make it a point not to take agent referrals. What do you do when an agent calls you to schedule an inspection or your client tells you that an agent referred you? Do you refuse to do the inspection?

    I'd also be willing to put any one of my inspector's report up against one of yours. However, you must not have enough confidence in your reports to put a sample online. Commonwealth Home Inspect, Inc.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 03-16-2010 at 08:51 AM.
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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I would always prefer that each state handle this respective to thier own laws and environment. Here in Kansas, I would see a law restricting referrals to clients (note, not referrals to inspectors) as illegal.

    But then clients would have to actually hire an inspector, most are simply too lazy to care enough to protect themselves. I personally think they don't want to know as they have already found the "perfect" home. I would expect that if clients had to hire an inspector, the amount of inspections would drop drastically as this would be in the "too hard to do" category.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Your response says it all! And I do not get phone calls as you say from agents or people saying their agent referred.. that's how I handle it! I've been inspecting 14 yrs., am 48 yrs old, started construction when I was 17 in Job Corps, went into the Carpenters Union from there, went into residential building, roofing structural repair maintenance and remodeling.. still do rehabs now and then.. I have over 4000 inspections with one lawsuit ( I was sued for not telling a woman she had water saving toilets and she may have to flush them more than once) I have a perfect BBB record, was ASHI certified back when nobody else was other than a handful.. it's not as you say personal, and no I will not be putting a sample report up, I don't need to put your report to shame comparing reports.. and I still invite others to view your report and see if I am being unfair in my assessment of the report writing skills of whoever it was..

    Mr. Rowe said..
    "Really? The problem was identified and reported and a referral was made. The report also references other items to alleviate pressure on the wall."


    So you made yourself the professional evaluator, giving remedies for the failure which already exists?? Now when they go to sell it next year due to financial difficulty and the next H.I. recommends "qualified professional evaluate" and he disagrees with your now in writing recommendation what do you think the seller will do? How do you know the type of soil and how expansive? And how much rain there will be in the next several years, not to mention sub zero long term weather? Does it get cold in Minnesota?? Wall was obviously recently painted as evidenced by your photo.. how much mold did they paint over that is coming back to make the kids sick who play in the basement? Whats the humidity level?

    Mr. Rowe continues..
    Wow, since when are walkways going to the house supposed to be flat. Check your facts, they need to be pitched away from the home. In any case the problem was documented, reported and referred.


    I was commenting on the obvious omission of the greater evil and never mentioned anything needed to be flat.. ever heard of a lawsuit stemming from a fall? You do know the allowance for uneven risers don't you? And why they are there?

    ..and Mr. Rowe continues to say...
    If I remember correctly the drain had a temporary repair and corrosion but was not currently leaking. It was identified, reported and referred. It's part of our jobs as inspectors to determine what are immediate concerns and what are concerns which do not need immediate attention. I really can't see the point of advising repairs by a qualified contractor on every deficient item identified in an inspection.


    OK, so lets say your mother is moving in, doesn't get around too well and has no idea what that kind of heavy corrosion does? Leaks! Dissimilar metals corrode faster than continuous run metal don't they?It is already a failure, period. the temporary patch you mentioned above what I am talking about should also be replaced. Why wait for the car to not run before you put plugs in? Repair before you get water all over the floor and possibly other things, and if it's ever in a crawl when would they ever know it's leaking?? When the next inspector comes?? Who by the way will say repair if it's the following year when they are trying to sell due to financial hardship..

    Mr. Rowe ends with..
    Since you've decided to make this somewhat personal I'll ask you directly, since you've failed to offer an answer. Who checks your work Mr. Martin?


    I DO! I own the company, I do the inspections, I don't work for or solicit agents, I protect buyers and tell them overall about how much repairs will cost them after the inspection based on a variety of things from handyman prices to high overhead contractors. I always ask the buyer before we begin what their expectations of the condition of the house are and how their finances are for repairs in the near and far future.. do they have a dad or husband or brother that can do anything or everything?

    Once again, it is not personal as you obviously took it. It's based on facts!

    ..and who said??
    While it's great that you're looking after yourself and your client, who's looking after those independent inspectors who do a crappy job, don't look after their clients, are "in bed" with agents??

    YOU TELL ME!

    I apologize to all those who are offended by my response, but as I see it THAT'S a marginal report at best.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Interestingly kenny is willing to bash others and their reports but is unwilling to share a sample report on his website for potential clients.

    All referrals are bad because of the potential for an agent referring a home inspector that kenny disapproves of.

    In 14 years of inspecting, an agent never referred any client to kenny. Not one. No client mentioned he was told NOT to use kenny by an agent. Every client found kenny due to his extraordinary expertise and unwavering ethical standards. And apparently exemplary marketing acumen.

    Hopefully kenny will share some tips or tricks so we can all become better and market ourselves more appropriately to the public. Since we are in different market places from him, he should have no worries about direct competition from those who are lesser than him.

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

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I also find it interesting that Mr. Martin isn't willing to provide a sample report and is more than willing to bash other's reports. It seems all the people who bash other's reports on here are the guys who do not and will not provide a copy of their report for others to see. I have nothing to hide with my reports. How about you Mr. Martin?

    I think it's also interesting that he claims to refuse to do inspections when agents call to schedule the inspection and walks away from the inspection when his client tells him he was referred by an agent. My guess is he does this part-time.


    "Who checks your work Mr. Martin?"

    I DO! I own the company
    That's very reassuring. Let me guess, an LLC to limit your personal liability?

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    I have a perfect BBB record,
    According to the BBB you have an "A" ranking. Perfect would be an "A+". You have a history of inaccurate advertising. Commonwealth Home Inspections, Inc. Review - HOME INSPECTION SERVICE in Louisville, KY - BBB Reliability Report - BBB serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky

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  45. #45
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted,

    While it's great that you're looking after yourself and your client, who's looking after those independent inspectors who do a crappy job, don't look after their clients, are "in bed" with agents and are generally the ones giving the rest of us a bad name? There's a ton of them out there. Like the fly by night contractors, they work for cash, don't carry insurance and if they're ever sued, file bankruptcy and open shop under a new business name.

    Who's reviewing the inspection reports that these inspectors make. Who's shadowing them on inspections making sure they're doing a good job? Who's making sure their insurance is paid and their license or association affiliations are valid. Who's making sure they partake in continuing education? Who's making sure complaints are handled to the client's satisfaction so it doesn't end up in a lawsuit?

    I'll give you an example. Take the company I work for, one of those national companies all the independent inspectors like to rag on. As the state manager I personally review my inspector's reports. Not all of them, but I spot check about 15 a month. I also will shadow my inspectors every now and them. I make sure they're keeping up with their continuing education and such. I make sure our software is up to date. We have monthly meetings to bring them up to speed with recalls, code changes, etc. We're in contact either by email, phone or face to face nearly every day, but we all work out of our homes. I also have a boss who checks my work, and he has a boss who checks his work.

    While this may sound a little overbearing, it isn't. The inspectors know what's going on and they do a great job, so I very seldom have to address any issues with their work. In fact over the past year we have had $0 in claims and 0 complaints so my job is pretty easy at this point.

    Who's watching the RE agent? Their broker. Who's watching the appraiser? HUD and their licensing agency. Who's watching the independent inspector? Themselves. Not very comforting. I should add ASHI watches their inspectors somewhat since I was audited this year.

    Not a perfect world Ken

    It never will be

    Like I said and still say it is high time that folks we told they haver to look out for themselves and stop depending on everyone else to do their investigative work for them.

    You make it sound like the poor innocent are getting raped by the hundreds everyday. You also make it sound that if it were not for you your inspectors would be a lame as a three legged man with 2 broken legs.

    hate to say this but KI am happy to be working in one of the many licensed states. People tend to leave you alone and not question your every move and look over your shoulder on a daily basis.

    It's a home inspection man. The fact is that no matter what any of us think about one another most home inspectors are doing exactly what they should be doing...inspecting homes, finding the concerns and then selling the inspection report to a client that is thinking about buying that home. Another fact is the absolute vast majority are find the vast majority of all the major and minor concerns in those homes. I say vast majority because no matter how good any of us think we are I am sure there has been an inspection somewhere that something was over looked.

    Ans what about the independent slump, useless inspectors and who is looking after them. 99.9% are independent. The vast majority of those are working in a licensed state where there is or there should be some form of format to follow in the inspection items and reporting software.

    I know you may find this hard to believe but folks are very capable of looking after themselves. As far as the rogue Realtor or Broker.....so what. Yes they are out there. They always will be. They are licensed and reprimanded when caught screwing up. If they are not causght...so what...I guess we will never know they are there.

    You push you hype all over the Realtors about how you follow up after all the inspectors and they have oversight etc etc etc etc. It is exactly what it is. It's hype. They would be doing exactly what they are doing now if you were not on them. You don't hire new guys out of school. You are after guys that have been around and have xxxxx amount of inspections behind them.

    You are not offering clients anything more than what they would have gotten anyway.

    It's fluff and hype. All the companies that boast multiple inspectors boast of the thousands of inspections behind all their inspectors and that number is a stretched thousands as in combined and the experience a combined total of 40, 50, 60 years of experience. It offers them nothing they would not be getting unless they are opting for the 150 dollar inspector then they are getting what they ask for.

    Your sampling of reports??????? That is like in Texas where we have to randomly lift shingles here and there to check the amount of and proper type fasteners. Well....All the rest of the shingles may just be all screwed up.

    As far as every poor innocent home buyer , and many read this post, check into things and see what you are really getting. Should you opt for the inspector that has a masters in structural engineering, a masters in electrical, plumbing, HVAC etc etc etc or for that matter even one with all the hyped up code certificates?????????????????

    Its a home inspection. Get yourselves someone who has a decent background in all around construction, has years of inspection behind him and if you are from a unlicensed state dig a little deeper. Ask for their background in detail and see if they hic up when trying to push it off on you. How long have they been inspection. Don't go for the useless home warranties unless it is from someone that specializes in them and you actually pay for. Better business bureaus are good in some cases. I don't belong the BBB. Just another one of the thousands of places I could spend money that gets me about nothing in return.

    So much for the end of day run off of the mouth. I will let you all be now.

    Taking the referring idea out and or away from anyone is a joke and in my opinion a serious detriment to all businesses. Businesses live and die from referrals...all businesses. If referrals were taken out of the picture then everyday in business would be a new day and you would never get anywhere. It would be like starting your business over everyday of the week. Take the referring power away from her or him or them and then who is next. It is a never ending slippery slope. Why on earth would you want to take the referring power away from any business. Folks will just have to step up and do a little thinking on their own and watch out for themselves.

    Ashi's sampling of reports....same thing. Hype and fluff


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Ted,

    Not a perfect world Ken

    It never will be

    Like I said and still say it is high time that folks we told they haver to look out for themselves and stop depending on everyone else to do their investigative work for them.

    You make it sound like the poor innocent are getting raped by the hundreds everyday. You also make it sound that if it were not for you your inspectors would be a lame as a three legged man with 2 broken legs.
    I didn't intend to give that impression. I'm only using us as an example.

    It's a home inspection man. The fact is that no matter what any of us think about one another most home inspectors are doing exactly what they should be doing...inspecting homes, finding the concerns and then selling the inspection report to a client that is thinking about buying that home. Another fact is the absolute vast majority are find the vast majority of all the major and minor concerns in those homes. I say vast majority because no matter how good any of us think we are I am sure there has been an inspection somewhere that something was over looked.

    Ans what about the independent slump, useless inspectors and who is looking after them. 99.9% are independent. The vast majority of those are working in a licensed state where there is or there should be some form of format to follow in the inspection items and reporting software.

    I know you may find this hard to believe but folks are very capable of looking after themselves. As far as the rogue Realtor or Broker.....so what. Yes they are out there. They always will be. They are licensed and reprimanded when caught screwing up. If they are not causght...so what...I guess we will never know they are there.
    I have no idea the percentage of good compared to bad inspectors. But, I would bet it is very similar to the percentage of good and bad RE agents and good and bad contractors. It's a human nature thing. There's good people and bad people in all walks of life. The difference being the vast majority of inspectors have nobody looking over their shoulder to correct them. We see it every day on this site. Inspectors are giving out incorrect information to their fellow inspectors. Do you think they give different advice to their clients?


    You push you hype all over the Realtors about how you follow up after all the inspectors and they have oversight etc etc etc etc. It is exactly what it is. It's hype. They would be doing exactly what they are doing now if you were not on them. You don't hire new guys out of school. You are after guys that have been around and have xxxxx amount of inspections behind them.

    You are not offering clients anything more than what they would have gotten anyway.
    Actually I don't really hype that information in advertising. Maybe I should? But, I don't really agree with the last statement. By hiring us the client takes away the chance of getting the rogue inspector. Now I can't make that statement for all multi-inspector companies, just us up here.

    It's fluff and hype. All the companies that boast multiple inspectors boast of the thousands of inspections behind all their inspectors and that number is a stretched thousands as in combined and the experience a combined total of 40, 50, 60 years of experience. It offers them nothing they would not be getting unless they are opting for the 150 dollar inspector then they are getting what they ask for.
    I don't combine experience in our ads. If you check my sig link and go to our inspectors page, you'll find separate experience and certifications listed for each inspector. The way it should be. We also don't do $150 inspections. Our average inspection fee for last year in MN was about $340.

    Your sampling of reports??????? That is like in Texas where we have to randomly lift shingles here and there to check the amount of and proper type fasteners. Well....All the rest of the shingles may just be all screwed up.
    I agree sample reports really don't give you a clue about the inspector's quality. The items in the report are only what the inspector found, not what they missed or neglected to inspect or report.

    As far as every poor innocent home buyer , and many read this post, check into things and see what you are really getting. Should you opt for the inspector that has a masters in structural engineering, a masters in electrical, plumbing, HVAC etc etc etc or for that matter even one with all the hyped up code certificates?????????????????

    Its a home inspection. Get yourselves someone who has a decent background in all around construction, has years of inspection behind him and if you are from a unlicensed state dig a little deeper. Ask for their background in detail and see if they hic up when trying to push it off on you. How long have they been inspection. Don't go for the useless home warranties unless it is from someone that specializes in them and you actually pay for. Better business bureaus are good in some cases. I don't belong the BBB. Just another one of the thousands of places I could spend money that gets me about nothing in return.

    So much for the end of day run off of the mouth. I will let you all be now.

    Taking the referring idea out and or away from anyone is a joke and in my opinion a serious detriment to all businesses. Businesses live and die from referrals...all businesses. If referrals were taken out of the picture then everyday in business would be a new day and you would never get anywhere. It would be like starting your business over everyday of the week. Take the referring power away from her or him or them and then who is next. It is a never ending slippery slope. Why on earth would you want to take the referring power away from any business. Folks will just have to step up and do a little thinking on their own and watch out for themselves.

    Ashi's sampling of reports....same thing. Hype and fluff
    Agreed 100%

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  47. #47
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    When I moved to my town 9 years ago I didn't know who the inspectors were in the area. Initially I did what everyone does - I looked in the phone book. There were plenty of ads for inspectors and nothing to tell me which were good, which were so-so, and which I should avoid. I needed someone to help me discriminate.

    Who does the consumer turn to? Friends? What makes them qualified to refer an inspector - after all they only buy a house once or twice a decade. The listing agent? As I wrote before, the listing agent's interest is in closing the sale, and as many of you meticulously detailed inspectors know, the better job you do, the more likely you are to be labeled a "deal killer" and make your way off the short list.

    If you're a less than detail oriented inspector, you're probably happy to have listing agents make the referrals. You keep the listing agent happy (i.e. don't kill too many deals) and the listing agent keeps your wallet stuffed. It's no stretch of the imagination to envision a conflict of interest arising from the arrangement.

    The buyer (aka your client) wants an inspector who will do the best job to protect their investment, or help them avoid making a bad one. There are two parties to the sale who have similar interests and are in a position to help the buyer. First, the buyer's agent (if they even have one). They will be familiar with the inspectors and which are better at finding things that are wrong. Unfortunately they also are interested in closing the deal (most work on commission like listing agents) so their interests are a bit torn.

    The party I suggest is perfectly aligned with the buyer in obtaining the most comprehensive and detailed inspection is the lender. Unfortunately it appears few lenders are interested in assuming this role, and with many mortgages sold by brokers working on commission, the party that would benefit the most to make the best recommendation may be at too much of a distance to do so.

    I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem, and while the regulations in Massachusetts are far from perfect, they at least acknowledge that a problem exists. However I believe regulation is not the solution to the problem (don't choke on that pretzel Ted, I'm still a bleeding heart liberal). I suspect the best way forward is through some type of nation-wide clearing house where consumers can rate their inspectors. I don't think Angie's List is that place, given how general it is and that it requires paid membership. I have an idea of another site that might be a good fit.

    The inspectors who are good at their job (and I suspect, Ted, that you would include yourself among this group) would welcome the opportunity while the lousy inspectors that miss major defects, resulting in out of pocket expenses for their clients, would not be so keen on their performance (or lack thereof) seeing daylight. This is why a market driven solution by an interested but neutral third party is, in my estimation, the best solution.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    What a waste.. started a thread, didn't show back up for a few days, came back to over reactive replies and obvious agent inspectors sounding off on the drum beat of ??, checked out a few and found SERIOUS deficiencies and there ya go! Have a great life, you obviously have too much time on your hands and not enough real world experience! Get some training and go give that great quality you THINK you have... To those of you who do have the experience and DO protect the buyer regardless of how it affets your wallet!


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    By the way Mr. Rowe,
    You can ONLY get an A+ rating if you give the BBB your money EVERY year! I have no and have had NO BBB complaints....... so keep keepin em' agents happy Mr. Ro.


  50. #50
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    When I moved to my town 9 years ago I didn't know who the inspectors were in the area. Initially I did what everyone does - I looked in the phone book. There were plenty of ads for inspectors and nothing to tell me which were good, which were so-so, and which I should avoid. I needed someone to help me discriminate.

    Who does the consumer turn to? Friends? What makes them qualified to refer an inspector - after all they only buy a house once or twice a decade. The listing agent? As I wrote before, the listing agent's interest is in closing the sale, and as many of you meticulously detailed inspectors know, the better job you do, the more likely you are to be labeled a "deal killer" and make your way off the short list.

    If you're a less than detail oriented inspector, you're probably happy to have listing agents make the referrals. You keep the listing agent happy (i.e. don't kill too many deals) and the listing agent keeps your wallet stuffed. It's no stretch of the imagination to envision a conflict of interest arising from the arrangement.

    The buyer (aka your client) wants an inspector who will do the best job to protect their investment, or help them avoid making a bad one. There are two parties to the sale who have similar interests and are in a position to help the buyer. First, the buyer's agent (if they even have one). They will be familiar with the inspectors and which are better at finding things that are wrong. Unfortunately they also are interested in closing the deal (most work on commission like listing agents) so their interests are a bit torn.

    The party I suggest is perfectly aligned with the buyer in obtaining the most comprehensive and detailed inspection is the lender. Unfortunately it appears few lenders are interested in assuming this role, and with many mortgages sold by brokers working on commission, the party that would benefit the most to make the best recommendation may be at too much of a distance to do so.

    I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem, and while the regulations in Massachusetts are far from perfect, they at least acknowledge that a problem exists. However I believe regulation is not the solution to the problem (don't choke on that pretzel Ted, I'm still a bleeding heart liberal). I suspect the best way forward is through some type of nation-wide clearing house where consumers can rate their inspectors. I don't think Angie's List is that place, given how general it is and that it requires paid membership. I have an idea of another site that might be a good fit.

    The inspectors who are good at their job (and I suspect, Ted, that you would include yourself among this group) would welcome the opportunity while the lousy inspectors that miss major defects, resulting in out of pocket expenses for their clients, would not be so keen on their performance (or lack thereof) seeing daylight. This is why a market driven solution by an interested but neutral third party is, in my estimation, the best solution.

    I'll throw another flaw at you. Any disgruntled home buyer that did not listen to you or read your report and then follow thru with suggestions can give you a bad review. Google or yahoo local or Angies lists are perfect examples.

    I had a felonious review from a marketer placed against me and they were tied to yahoo local and the review showed up. Every single item you could think of inspecting was on this review that I supposedly missed. There was no back checking where this review came from and there was never such a client. I am fortunate to work in a licensed state where if someone has a legitimate complaint can file against you. There has never and will never be a complaint filed against me nor has my insurance ever had a cliam filed against it and that is not because something was settled otherwise. That felonious review was picked up on by Google. It took me a year to find out where it came from. Unfortunately when my marketing account stopped so did any back tracking on who left the review. I know who it was. The page the marketing company created for me to get the hits had this review attached to it. Yahoo finally tracked it down and I fiollwed thru with the company on many occassions to find out why I had anything attached to nme from them where I was not marketing thru them anymore. They brought the info up time and time again and found nothing. About the 6th time I called the company a girl was seriously concerned and never left the phone until she found it. It was not attached to me in a sence but was in their files and could be picked up by the spiders. They still could not prove how it got there but I know this girl new but just could not state it for a fact.

    Yeah yeah. Long drawn out story but true. Anyone with knowledge can screw you over ten fold if they want and never be found out about if they know the ins and out of the internet. Clearing house for reviews????? Word of mouth and reviews from past buyers and sellers and Realtors is the only way to go.

    I didn't choke on the pretzel. I lived in the Liberal state for thirty six years and then had to deal with it off and on over the rest of the years for one reason or another. I know all about the Liberal state. It's kind of like an 'altered' state with liberal backing

    A little edit here

    ASK NOT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR STATE AND EVERYONE ELSE IN IT. ASK HOW MUCH YOU CAN GIVE TO YOUR STATE AND EVERYONE ELSE IN IT. .

    The perfect example of how everyone saves and wins by health care being forced upon them. The idea was to get everyone covered with health insurance so prices would stop going up and the actual cost would go down. The idea was so no one had to pay anymore for those that did not have health insurance and they would have to have their own. The cost was so great because everyone was footing the bill for those uninsured. Let me tell you. You have seen the wonderful affects of more regulation right there. Now everyone is covered and it is the most expensive state in the US for health coverage and the cost is still going up.................................................. .Go figure. So much for regulation. You were already helping to pay for others coverage. The only difference now is that you pay a lot more.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 03-16-2010 at 07:50 PM.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    .

    I had a felonious review from a -------- placed against me .
    .
    Dang,

    You Got Me Ted .
    .



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  52. #52
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    By the way Mr. Rowe,
    You can ONLY get an A+ rating if you give the BBB your money EVERY year! I have no and have had NO BBB complaints....... so keep keepin em' agents happy Mr. Ro.

    Your BBB complaint is posted right here. It's kind of hard to claim it doesn't exist. By the way, I'll keep my clients happy, you can keep up with the "Advertising Issues". Looks like you have a problem telling the truth.

    Commonwealth Home Inspections, Inc. Review - HOME INSPECTION SERVICE in Louisville, KY - BBB Reliability Report - BBB serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky


    When considering complaint information, please take into account the business's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.

    BBB processed a total of 1 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total 1 complaint(s) closed in the last 36 months, 0 were closed in the last 12 months.

    These complaints concerned:
    1
    regarding Advertising Issues 1 regarding Advertising Issues

    These complaints were closed as:
    1
    Resolved 1 Resolved


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  53. #53
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Perhaps "clearing house" is the wrong terminology. Rather I think it's important that whichever entity runs this, it do so in a manner that allows it to maintain a de facto monopoly much the same way Craigslist has over classified advertising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I'll throw another flaw at you. Any disgruntled home buyer that did not listen to you or read your report and then follow thru with suggestions can give you a bad review. Google or yahoo local or Angies lists are perfect examples.
    This is true regardless. Their friends are going to get plenty of "word of mouth" reference about you. You only really have two modes of recourse though. First, you can try to turn them through whatever diplomatic means you have at your disposal (perhaps not "whatever" - I know in Texas many include firearms among their diplomacy toolset). Second, the site should provide you opportunity to counter any negative claims. I suspect that if you're honest and straightforward these types of complaints will be relatively infrequent.

    As for fraudulent complaints registered by bogus entities, this will need to be taken into consideration. There are ways of dealing with this as well - both in preventing them from occurring and in removing them when identified.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Ken,

    Since when is an advertising complaint that was initiated by a competitor and member of ashi anything to be ashamed of?? I meant customer complaints, just because I didn't remove an ashi logo from my site after switching to the much better KREIA association who truly does work to help the H.I. and get affordable continuing ed. credits and other benefits doesn't mean a thing. And your accusation of dishonesty on my part is nothing compared to your reports lack of protecting the buyer. It was you who said " While it's great that you're looking after yourself and your client, who's looking after those independent inspectors who do a crappy job, don't look after their clients, are "in bed" with agents and are generally the ones giving the rest of us a bad name?" and goes on to say " What would happen if agents could not give referrals? All the HI's would spend more money on advertising and the uninformed general public would hire the cheapest inspector they could find. We'd all bring home less money."
    "Crappy job" to me is not fully reporting what is present and handing the issue to the new owner and "you" still getting "making more money" which is basically what your saying when you say " We'd all bring home less money."
    And to the comment and question from Mr. Ramsey,
    Interestingly kenny is willing to bash others and their reports but is unwilling to share a sample report on his website for potential clients.
    Don't have a need to.. it's got nothing to do with quality of my reports, I'll assure you they blow away what I've seen by a mile.. better pics, better recommendations.. just plain better inspecting and protecting the buyer. If you protect what is online to be viewed at his site you also are an agents inspector and not a buyers or just plain inexperienced..
    And the "Hopefully kenny will share some tips or tricks so we can all become better and market ourselves more appropriately to the public" Sure will but just one, get off your *ss and go knocking on doors and giving free mini inspections at houses for sale! There's alot more but when you report like what I see online you don't need to, just go work "for agents" that's what their usually looking for.. not that they would know anyway. Now stay here and play in your sandboxes kiddies.. No need to come back here for anything when most of what I see is bickering B.S.

    P.S.
    The bad name given to good thorough H.I.s is poor reporting that makes the buyer assume most of the repairs or corrections to the property the last lazy owner didn't do and HE still gets to make the profit??


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I have no and have had NO BBB complaints.
    I meant customer complaints, just because I didn't remove an ashi logo from my site after switching to the much better KREIA association who truly does work to help the H.I. and get affordable continuing ed. credits and other benefits doesn't mean a thing.
    Yes, I see. Because the complaint was about your unethical advertising practices and not your inspection practices it's not really a complaint.

    P.S.
    The bad name given to good thorough H.I.s is poor reporting that makes the buyer assume most of the repairs or corrections to the property the last lazy owner didn't do and HE still gets to make the profit??
    I don't agree with this statement at all. Since when is a home inspector supposed to determine who fixes anything? A home inspector's job is to inspect and report. (An unbiased third party evaluation of the home). Determining who fixes anything is part of the negotiation between the buyer and sellers and their RE agents. That's an area an HI has no business being in. An inspector who gets involved in the transaction is no different than an RE agent who gets involved in the inspection.

    When I have a client ask me if they should take care of the repairs themselves or make the sellers do it I say. "It doesn't matter to me who fixes it, but it should be fixed. You'll need to determine if it's something you're willing and able to fix on your own and talk it over with your agent". Heck, I don't know my clients, I just met them. They could be an electrician, contractor, millionaire or their relatives or friends may be. Maybe it's because I don't get involved in the transaction that I get so many agent referrals.

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  56. #56
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    No Ken it's obvious you get the referrals due to the type of inspections you perform.. and no I don't consider that BBB complaint of any problem. Great to see money is your concern in life!


    Yes, I see. Because the complaint was about your unethical advertising practices and not your inspection practices it's not really a complaint.

    That's right!!
    No more chit chat..


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    Perhaps "clearing house" is the wrong terminology. Rather I think it's important that whichever entity runs this, it do so in a manner that allows it to maintain a de facto monopoly much the same way Craigslist has over classified advertising.



    This is true regardless. Their friends are going to get plenty of "word of mouth" reference about you. You only really have two modes of recourse though. First, you can try to turn them through whatever diplomatic means you have at your disposal (perhaps not "whatever" - I know in Texas many include firearms among their diplomacy toolset). Second, the site should provide you opportunity to counter any negative claims. I suspect that if you're honest and straightforward these types of complaints will be relatively infrequent.

    As for fraudulent complaints registered by bogus entities, this will need to be taken into consideration. There are ways of dealing with this as well - both in preventing them from occurring and in removing them when identified.
    Infrequent ??????????????????????????????

    You say that like that is absolutely nothing to worry about. I can guaranty you that that review cost me thousands, many, many thousands. Who cares how infrequent. Once in 2 years could cost you in work what som folks make in a year if you get a large amount of work from the internet.

    This man is from California. The company removed all info, or should I say the spammer removed any tracing to the review. I know who it was but cannot prove it.

    You also make this sound easy as well to remove a review. Try it sometime....even if it is a good one. You must be able to contact the person. If there is no person, that part never takes place. Good bad in indifferent review needs to be substantiated. Do you realise that if you have a local Google account and want to change things up most of the time you have to get a pin number to enter before a change takes place. This is even if you are sign into your account with your account email and password.

    If you want to enter a review there is no validation. Everyone on this site can leave anyone a review on about any sight and it is never questioned.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Dang,

    You Got Me Ted .
    .

    That's OK. Vinny is coming to visit you


  59. #59
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    Yes, I see. Because the complaint was about your unethical advertising practices and not your inspection practices it's not really a complaint.

    That's right!!


    Well, at least you admit you're unethical.

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  60. #60
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    Post Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    OK - how about the potential expectation that the inspector might report findings in a fashion acceptable to any real estate agents or brokers involved. That is the real issue, isn't it? Is there a way to reduce or eliminate undue influence on the inspector?

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  61. #61
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    If the buyer can't trust their agent to give them a list of qualified inspectors that will do a proper inspection, then the buyer probably should never have entered into a contract to buy a house with that agent.

    As a practical matter there isn't a perfect, or even adequate way of finding any professional (e.g. doctor, lawyer, agent, inspector, etc.) That's just life.

    In Washington we now have to disclose what our relationships have been with each inspector on the list. So we have to disclose that one inspector is the one that inspected our house when we bought. He's done a much higher percentage of our inspections since that law went into effect, which I don't think is what was intended by the law. That's fine in a way because he is good, but at the same time I'm a bit uncomfortable with that.

    BTW, one of the other inspectors on the list is there because he probably found the most things wrong with a house I've ever seen, on one where we represented the seller and the buyer picked him.

    Anyway, I guess the question I'd throw back at you inspectors is do you really want to get referrals from an agent where you think that agent wants you to come up with a relatively clean report?


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    hey all and Kenny

    maybe everyone should go to " IS THIS A JOKE " thread in the chit chat archives. 90% of my refererrals are from agents who trust my work, use me for pre-inspections reports, and whom i also trust as good agents.the other 10% are from clients that liked my work and told their friends or from agents my agent showed my report to and liked my honesty and report

    business here with my agents and state are the best in my eight years in business--i am up $15,000 from last year.

    all agents are not dis-honest.if you don't trust your agent. don't do an inspection.

    charlie


  63. #63
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    BTW, one of the other inspectors on the list is there because he probably found the most things wrong with a house I've ever seen, on one where we represented the seller and the buyer picked him.
    I get a lot of work in this manner... but to be honest, I rarely did when I was new. Probably because I didn't find as much stuff and was less accurante with what I did find and report on. I wish it wasn't the case but it's an unavoidable fact in this business. You just get better with time and experience. Of course, if you don't, you won't be in the business long.

    My point is an agent that has seen and been around inspectors is in the best position to filter us out. Those of you always complaining about agents might be better served to focus your energy on making yourself a better inspector instead of looking for ways to be guarenteed work.


  64. #64
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    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    If the buyer can't trust their agent to give them a list of qualified inspectors that will do a proper inspection, then the buyer probably should never have entered into a contract to buy a house with that agent.

    As a practical matter there isn't a perfect, or even adequate way of finding any professional (e.g. doctor, lawyer, agent, inspector, etc.) That's just life.

    In Washington we now have to disclose what our relationships have been with each inspector on the list. So we have to disclose that one inspector is the one that inspected our house when we bought. He's done a much higher percentage of our inspections since that law went into effect, which I don't think is what was intended by the law. That's fine in a way because he is good, but at the same time I'm a bit uncomfortable with that.

    BTW, one of the other inspectors on the list is there because he probably found the most things wrong with a house I've ever seen, on one where we represented the seller and the buyer picked him.

    Anyway, I guess the question I'd throw back at you inspectors is do you really want to get referrals from an agent where you think that agent wants you to come up with a relatively clean report?

    The answer to your question for me would be NO.

    rick


  65. #65
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    rick

    exactly

    there are bad inspectors and bad agents.

    bad agents go to bad inspectors, tell those agents to go to the the $199 inspectors, they will come back when they get burned

    cvf


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