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  1. #1
    Brad Deal's Avatar
    Brad Deal Guest

    Default Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Guys,

    What about the way the standards of practice and the laws prohibit an inspector from performing any repairs on the homes that they previously inspected. This language was inserted into the standards of practice and state law in order to prevent conflicts of interests for home inspectors.

    I submit this short sighted concept was inserted into the industry back in the mid 1970’s to give the industry an image of professionalism, but this ill conceived idea changed the nature of competitive business practice and ultimately boxed us into the discussion of unfair competition in the previous thread.

    It is interesting to note that while pest inspectors and appraisers work for the loan companies so they are not considered conflicted. On the other hand, home inspectors, who prepare the only purchase document specifically designed to benefit the client are considered conflicted. Accordingly we are prohibited from performing any repairs on the home. (Maybe the National Association of Realtors does not want us to have too much influence on the purchase transaction?)

    Who else would be more qualified to identify and repair negative conditions in a home? Allowing home inspectors to repair the homes they inspect would change the nature of the business and allow a chance to make some commensurate money. This makes sense for the industry.

    I understand that at this late date changing this restriction would be impossible, but understanding its impact on the industry is important if we are to understand how it changes the nature of the industry.

    What do you think?

    What other industry has similar restrictions?

    Brad Deal
    20/20 Home Inspections

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Brad, home inspectors are apparently an unscrupulous bunch who need to be kept in line to ensure we don't bilk our customers. I really don't know where the perception came from that we can't be trusted to inspect and perform repairs for defects we discover.

    Dentists find cavities and drill and fill them. Doctors find ailments and prescribe medicine, operations, or therapy. WDI inspectors find termites and treat properties. Mechanics find worn brakes and replace them.

    Why are we so suspect as a group that our clients need to be protected from us? If we are so untrustworthy, why are we allowed to perform inspections?

    I have no desire to perform any repairs but I do not begrudge any HI the right to do so as long as it is allowed.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    I don't know where to start replying, so I'll start here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Deal View Post
    What about the way the standards of practice and the laws prohibit an inspector from performing any repairs on the homes that they previously inspected. This language was inserted into the standards of practice and state law in order to prevent conflicts of interests for home inspectors.
    Correct.

    I submit this short sighted concept ...
    Please describe what is/was "short sighted" about that concept. It is what truly separates us from fly-by-night contractors who are (typically) unlicensed and find stuff wrong just so they can fix it.

    ... but this ill conceived idea ...
    Again, please explain why this concept escapes you and you feel it is ill conceived.

    ... changed the nature of competitive business practice and ultimately boxed us into the discussion of unfair competition in the previous thread.
    That concept did not change the nature of the competitive business practices and it did not box us in as discussed on that other thread. What boxed some of you in is your inability to think outside the box and expand your services.

    It is interesting to note that while pest inspectors and appraisers work for the loan companies so they are not considered conflicted.
    Huh? Not sure how that relates to the "ill conceived" high ethical road you are failing to negotiate ... home inspectors ARE allowed to work for loan companies and they are not considered conflicted.

    You need to follow what you are espousing and stay on track, the higher ethical road does have steep drop-offs one must stay clear of.

    On the other hand, home inspectors, who prepare the only purchase document specifically designed to benefit the client are considered conflicted.
    They are? By whom?

    Oh, wait, yeah, by those who try to make the agents their sole or primary source of business and therefore fudge the results to favor "the deal" instead of "their client".

    Accordingly we are prohibited from performing any repairs on the home.

    Who else would be more qualified to identify and repair negative conditions in a home?
    Who else would be more qualified to make repairs?

    Are you kidding us ... or is this for real???? ... LICENSED AND COMPETENT CONTRACTORS, that is who else. Jeez, I always thought that was a no-brainer.

    FEW (if any) home inspectors are licensed in ALL trades, and those who are licensed in a trade are (should be) capable of doing the work, but again, the high ethical road is to "find the work" and let others "do the work" ... UNLESS you are brought in as THE CONTRACTOR BY THE CURRENT OWNER (which totally takes this away from home inspections for houses which are for sale and the buyer is your client) to FIND AND FIX whatever is found.

    See the difference?

    The CONTRACTOR is hired by THE CURRENT OWNER to find and fix, not hired by a potential owner to find and negotiate a discount on the purchase price.

    Allowing home inspectors to repair the homes they inspect would change the nature of the business and allow a chance to make some commensurate money. This makes sense for the industry.
    Are YOU LICENSED in EVERY TRADE? If not, you have NO BUSINESS making repairs.

    What part of that do you not get?

    "and allow a chance to make some commensurate money. This makes sense for the industry."

    Yeah, at a cost to the buyers, to the sellers, and to the home inspection profession - all so you can make some money on repairs because you cannot make it on inspections ... I think I see the problem right there ...

    You did ask:
    What do you think?
    I see Nick fails to grasp the difference I stated above too.

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

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I don't grasp what you're saying Jerry. I see what you're saying......I just don't agree with you. You have your opinion and I have mine. I don't see why you feel the need to make your passive aggressive statements.

    I never said an HI should be allowed to perform repairs on every issue he finds. If the HI is a professional in a specific field of expertise, performs repairs in that field of expertise only, and is working in the clients' best interests, where is the issue? Is it out of the realm of reason that an HI can also be a "LICENSED AND COMPETENT CONTRACTOR"? Many HIs come from a work background where they are or were a practicing professional contractor in plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, etc.

    This statement "Yeah, at a cost to the buyers, to the sellers, and to the home inspection profession - all so you can make some money on repairs because you cannot make it on inspections ... I think I see the problem right there ..."........illustrates that for whatever reason you don't think HIs can be trusted either. Or you think that all HIs can make a living just on performing home inspections alone. Not all areas of the country have enough housing sales/population/housing density to allow an HI to subsist entirely on home inspection revenue alone. We live in a very diverse country where you don't have to travel very far to end up in an area that is unlike anything like the area where you live.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 07-27-2010 at 07:46 PM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Can I say I think you are full of .... without violating the rules.
    This is so ridiculous I won't comment further.

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  6. #6
    Mike Inspector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Deal View Post
    Guys,

    What about the way the standards of practice and the laws prohibit an inspector from performing any repairs on the homes that they previously inspected. This language was inserted into the standards of practice and state law in order to prevent conflicts of interests for home inspectors.

    I submit this short sighted concept was inserted into the industry back in the mid 1970’s to give the industry an image of professionalism, but this ill conceived idea changed the nature of competitive business practice and ultimately boxed us into the discussion of unfair competition in the previous thread.

    It is interesting to note that while pest inspectors and appraisers work for the loan companies so they are not considered conflicted. On the other hand, home inspectors, who prepare the only purchase document specifically designed to benefit the client are considered conflicted. Accordingly we are prohibited from performing any repairs on the home. (Maybe the National Association of Realtors does not want us to have too much influence on the purchase transaction?)

    Who else would be more qualified to identify and repair negative conditions in a home? Allowing home inspectors to repair the homes they inspect would change the nature of the business and allow a chance to make some commensurate money. This makes sense for the industry.

    I understand that at this late date changing this restriction would be impossible, but understanding its impact on the industry is important if we are to understand how it changes the nature of the industry.

    What do you think?

    What other industry has similar restrictions?

    Brad Deal
    20/20 Home Inspections

    This keeps home inspectors unbiased and stops them from making crap up( even though some do). As another ststed I would not want any part of repairing anything I inspected not matter the fee. Get in inspect, write report, get check, help client and move on.

    Mike


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Hmm

    Home inspectors not being trusted.

    I guess this would be that a few over time have flim flammed a client or two.

    Hmm, I wonder if that has happened in any other profession.

    I think the OP made some good points and some not so good.

    I also think Nick made some good points as well.

    Why is it that the home inspector profession is held to those standards.

    Why can a contractor come in. Price work. get the contract and perform the work.

    Hm...... What if the home inspector was a licensed electrician.

    I guess if he were then he would be held in check more than any contractor on the market.

    He would have the buyer getting other prices either through his folks or would get a list thru the Realtor

    On top of that the listing agent would counter with her or his folks giving some prices and the seller has the option of even countering all of that ....which is huge....before the home inspector ever has a chance to do the electric work.

    On top of that the buyer may back out of the contract. After all it is not even their home yet that you are putting a proposal together for.

    I guess I could keep going on the checks and balances that a home inspector/electrician has on him but I do not thin k it is necessary.

    Did I say that the home in question getting priced for electric work is not even the buyers home yet.

    Bad thought and bad questions and or opinions....I think not.

    Now being a sickeningly honest person I could see all that taking place. I do not think (being a sickeningly honest man) that anyone would distrust me.

    After all, I am in homes every day that I inspect alone for some portion of the time. I had a seller finishing some computer work and then came in and said "make yourself at home. There are drinks in the frig and a whole slew of snacks in the pantry. Feel free. Just lock up when you leave. Have a nice day"

    Damn....I think that woman trusted me. Matter of fact I do believe that every client trusted me because I exude honesty.

    I do not think 99 percent of the folks I inspect for or the sellers that I am inspecting their home would have a problem with me giving a quote for repair. Would they check my pricing....sure...they all would. That is human instinct. Oh wait.....that is them protecting themselves and the standards were not even quoted to them first that protects them from big bad me.

    Imagine that. People with their own thought process. What is this world coming to.


    Brad....Nick......Good thoughts and opinions. To bad that the rules are the rules and we must follow them.


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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I don't grasp what you're saying Jerry. I see what you're saying......I just don't agree with you. You have your opinion and I have mine. I don't see why you feel the need to make your passive aggressive statements.
    That was "passive"?

    From your other post:
    Dentists find cavities and drill and fill them. Doctors find ailments and prescribe medicine, operations, or therapy. WDI inspectors find termites and treat properties. Mechanics find worn brakes and replace them.

    Why are we so suspect as a group that our clients need to be protected from us? If we are so untrustworthy, why are we allowed to perform inspections?
    Do you not see the difference?

    - Dentists find cavities and drill and fill them.
    - - Your teeth, your choice, no third party inferring/assisting with your choice.

    - Doctors find ailments and prescribe medicine, operations, or therapy.
    - - Your body, your choice, no third party interfering/assisting with your choice.

    - WDI inspectors find termites and treat properties.
    - - When done for CURRENT OWNERS, see above two. When done for real estate sales - same conflict as with home inspectors.

    - Mechanics find worn brakes and replace them.
    - - Same comment as with dentists and doctors - YOUR car, YOUR choice.

    With real estate sales, the SELLER OWNS the property (the teeth in your first example), the BUYER says 'Yank them all out or give me money.' based on the inspector's report (the dentist's advice in your example).

    That is a heck of a lot different than YOU going to the dentist and saying having him pull YOUR teeth.

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

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Choose your job, do it well, or pick another. If you want to be a handyman, fine, do it,
    If you have time to make repairs on homes as well as inspecting homes you are in the wrong business as you cannot make enough to survive in either, and I recommend that you try selling houses, because as we all know, ALL realtors are mulitaskers, and can drive, talk, and text at the same time,


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That was "passive"?

    From your other post:


    Do you not see the difference?

    - Dentists find cavities and drill and fill them.
    - - Your teeth, your choice, no third party inferring/assisting with your choice.

    - Doctors find ailments and prescribe medicine, operations, or therapy.
    - - Your body, your choice, no third party interfering/assisting with your choice.

    - WDI inspectors find termites and treat properties.
    - - When done for CURRENT OWNERS, see above two. When done for real estate sales - same conflict as with home inspectors.

    - Mechanics find worn brakes and replace them.
    - - Same comment as with dentists and doctors - YOUR car, YOUR choice.

    With real estate sales, the SELLER OWNS the property (the teeth in your first example), the BUYER says 'Yank them all out or give me money.' based on the inspector's report (the dentist's advice in your example).

    That is a heck of a lot different than YOU going to the dentist and saying having him pull YOUR teeth.
    Teeth at the dentist......Really....You are a captive with the dentist looming over you with tools waiting to drill. It is either now or later. Guess what you do. Get em drilled.

    You certainly do not run out and get prices from other dentists. You do not have a list from the party sitting next to you. The neighbor down the road. Your Minister. There is no time to back out. Go ahead and drill. No checks and balances there as there is in a Real Estate transaction. You are sold, drilled and filled before you can blink your eyes.

    As far as Your car....Your Choice. Hm, it aint your house yet. There is time for other bids. They are coming from all directions. Will someone somewhere get screwed...sure. Just like at the Dentist.

    If you make foolish accusations about the home and the seller gets a few evals and prices and they all say you are full of crap.....there goes your reputation.

    You are looking at it in the old light. Before there was internet and everyone can pull up a list of folks that fix these things and even find out if you are talking crap. There are so many checks and balances on a home inspector today than there use to be 15, 20, 30 years ago it is ridiculous.

    The world is not full of blind or should I say ignorant people as there used to be. Once upon a time folks never had the tremendous access to knowledge as they do today. Most buyers are pretty savvy. Most buyers hearing a comeback about the roof is fine from 2 roofers and an insurance adjuster after you just priced it out for 6 grand will land you in jail for fraud. And all that is to easy to happen today.

    This is no longer the dark ages.

    We have rules and must follow them but just because they are there and were put there for reasons gone by, it does not mean they are still good or hold water.

    An inspector.....giving a price for drywall repair.......a builder giving the buyer a price for drywall repair...... and the difference is.....and what protection is that offering.....and you don'r think your prices are being countered or negotiated....and what makes you think you will get the work anyway.

    This is getting on the lines of a home inspector having a supra key and being in a home by himself...........................trust issues........................everyone knows he is there............................bidding on drywall work............................there is a buyer....................a buyers agent......................a seller...........................a sellers agent. The checks and balances are there.

    This business, profession is like so many others. The trust has to be put back into the home inspector. All those rules were put in place when the home inspection industry was starting out in a serious manner so the home inspection industry could get off the ground. Most homes are inspected now unlike the past when 1 in 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 homes had a home inspection. Home inspectors had to prove they were not a sham. They were a real and worthy lot. The hype fluff and bull and yes professionalism was flying everywhere back then to get the amount of homes inspected up and convince folks that it was a worth while need in the home buying process.

    For those of you that still feel home inspectors cannot be trusted to be an honest lot and well meaning bunch....shame on you. For those that have the opinion that the rule is there for a serious and meaningful reason...good for you. For those that have the opinion that there would be nothing wrong with it...that is because you trust yourself and wish to instill it in others. Nothing wrong with either opinion. But that is what they are is individuals opinions.

    The statement "yank them or give me money" That I assume is because you feel that the home inspector is being dishonest and scamming everyone or scamming with the buyer to form some kind of plot to get money and split it up.

    That is a horrible way to go through life thinking. Do you really think that is the main stream or just one in multiple thousands and thousands or more transactions that would be running scams.


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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    I think it stems from the "appearance" of a potential conflict of interest.

    I don't think home inspectors have any business doing repairs on houses they inspect.

    If they want to double dip and do inspections, repairs, and maybe go into pressure washing too, more power to them. Just not on homes they inspect.

    When I lived in CA I was a licensed General Contractor, and ran a small contracting business. I did a lot of home inspection list repairs, just not on homes I inspected. There was plenty of business from the homes that other guys inspected.

    To me it was an ethical issue, and trying to avoid any potential conflicts of interest, or the appearance of.


  12. #12
    Brad Deal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Mr. Peck,

    Thank you for your kind remarks. I see by your signature that you are a litigation consultant, not a home inspector. By the nature of your cross examination it appears that you are trying to change the nature of my comments much the same way as an attorney would do during a trial. The object of your comments being to win at any costs, not to impart useable information. This technique serves only to dampen free and open discussion and chase away men who are unwilling to expose their selves to ridicule. This lack of respect breeds contempt and distrust for these types of bulletin boards.

    All I am trying to do is generate an open discussion regarding restrictions imposed by law on the home inspection industry and how it effects our pricing decisions. It is difficult to think “outside of the box” when confronted with comments that are designed to be diversional. You do not know me, and you do not have any idea of my limitations.

    I will ask you the question once again,

    “What other industries have similar limitations imposed on them by law?” Not very many I bet.

    Brad Deal
    20/20 Home Inspections


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Mr. Deal: I am afraid that the list you are looking for is very long.

    (1) Research scientists. See the NIH conflict of interest guidelines.

    (2) Defense Department contractors. See the Defense Department conflict of interest guidelines.

    (3) Medical researchers. See almost any medical school conflict of interest guidelines beginning with Harvard and working your way down the list.

    (4) State officials. Start by researching your own state's Ethics Orientation for State Officials from the Office of the Attorney General.

    I could continue to list groups here, but I think maybe you get the idea.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Deal View Post
    Mr. Peck,
    Thank you for your kind remarks. I see by your signature that you are a litigation consultant, not a home inspector.
    Brad,

    Uh-Oh. You should have done some more research here. Jerry Peck is a "long-time" now retired inspector and currently a successful litigation consultant. He was quite successful in our profession. He also has quite strong opinions about all of us doing the 'right' thing and doing all we can to keep out of the gray and questionable areas.

    He pushes people to excel and understand some of the detail nuances of the codes and other better building practices.

    I don't always agree with him, but I fully respect his opinions and observations.

    I agree with some of your observations as well, but I do not agree with allowing any inspector to do work on a property they have inspected.


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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    and maybe go into pressure washing too, more power to them.
    What? the pressure washer??


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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    The conflict of interest provisions are not there to protect the public from ethical home inspectors, they are there to protect homeowners from unscrupulous home inspectors, for example the IL Law was passed in part due to well publicized instances where inspectors had scammed (sometimes elderly) clients into unnecessary or overpriced repairs.

    IMO, unless ethical inspectors want to be tarred with the blowback from such behavior, they probably have to accept a blanket prohibition on this sort of potential conflict of interest.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 07-28-2010 at 07:28 AM.
    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    If the home inspection profession is so concerned about perceived conflicts of interest (and it sounds like that is the prevailing thought process), then why does the profession as a whole allow home inspectors to......

    - market themselves to realtors for work
    - visit offices and drop off food/bribes
    - do office presentations
    - join the local realtor board

    These marketing techniques are far more fraught with perceived and actual conflicts of interest. Placing so much importance on not allowing HIs to do repair work on houses they inspect is like hunting the little grey mouse while nobody wants to even acknowledge the 800 lb. bright purple gorilla standing in the corner.

    If you want to really eliminate perceived conflicts of interest and hold HIs to a higher standard, then eliminate all marketing to realtors. HIs performing repair work is penny ante.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Nick I can agree with most of your last post, at least the part about not marketing to Realtors. Unfortunately, in Texas at least, the Realtors have control over inspector licensing through the Texas Real Estate Commission and appear to like the status quo. This issue HAS been brought to light MANY times with some entire inspector associations devoted to the cause along with state laws in some places.
    There is a federal law which also addresses it, see RESPA. HUD RESPA Statute:
    Sec. 2607. Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees (a) Business referrals
    No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback,
    or thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or
    otherwise, that business incident to or a part of a real estate
    settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan shall be
    referred to any person.
    You may say it does not go far enough... and you may be right. Contact your congressman. If you know of specific instances of violation an inspector in Texas (not sure of other states) is bound by law to report such instances.

    I may rail against the practice of schmoozing realtors but all in all if there were no new laws passed for the next few decades we have enough to govern 99% of the problems known to man. Heck, there are so many laws now that it is almost impossible to abide by them all.

    IMHO this is a marketing issue for individual inspectors, not a legal issue.

    On the prohibition of repairs, leave it like it is. It works. The only reason not to have this in place is for inspectors to double dip and drum up work for their repair business to a captive audience. For me, I won't even recommend a particular trades person to do the repairs just to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Deal View Post
    Who else would be more qualified to identify and repair negative conditions in a home? Allowing home inspectors to repair the homes they inspect would change the nature of the business and allow a chance to make some commensurate money. This makes sense for the industry.

    Brad Deal
    20/20 Home Inspections
    Personally, I do not want to repair anything. My father installed a belief in me to always remain above reproach.

    For a home inspector to find the problem and then make the repairs is so close to a car mechanic! Whenever I have tires rotated or the oil changed and the mechanic tells me I need to have X done or replaced, I always say thank you and I'm just getting the oil changed today. I then do some research on my own or go to a different mechanic that I trust to tell me the truth. Over the years I have found that most of the work I was told that needed to be done really did not need to be done at all. No matter what the profession is, folks will try to add on to the sale to make more money. I could see the same if home inspectors got into the repair business.

    As for Termite guys doing the inspection and the treatment, I don't like it one bit. You can find examples all over the country of PC contractors getting into trouble for treating a home for termites when they had none.

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

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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Its pretty basic, called "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" like giving the wolf the key to the hen house; its a matter of ethics. Unfortunately that is a forgotten word. Go for it make repairs get all that extra money. Cargo pants win again!

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector


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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    ...Cargo pants win again!...
    Say what?

    You young people with your lingo!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Personally, I do not want to repair anything. My father installed a belief in me to always remain above reproach.

    For a home inspector to find the problem and then make the repairs is so close to a car mechanic! Whenever I have tires rotated or the oil changed and the mechanic tells me I need to have X done or replaced, I always say thank you and I'm just getting the oil changed today. I then do some research on my own or go to a different mechanic that I trust to tell me the truth. Over the years I have found that most of the work I was told that needed to be done really did not need to be done at all. No matter what the profession is, folks will try to add on to the sale to make more money. I could see the same if home inspectors got into the repair business.

    As for Termite guys doing the inspection and the treatment, I don't like it one bit
    . You can find examples all over the country of PC contractors getting into trouble for treating a home for termites when they had none.
    And who else would do it, the treatment that is.

    Look

    I think you know me well enough on this board where I add and or say things to get thoughts going and people thinking.

    Termite folks inspecting and then treating.....Oh my God...what an awful thing to even think of.

    A contractor sitting there with an old lady and discussing signing the contract for work....Oh my God what a ridiculous notion.

    The mechanic checking your breaks out and then doing the work.........Oh my God, what a horrendous thought. Who would ever dream up of allow such things.

    Every one of them has a captive audience (Jim Lutrall)

    It's a matter of "Its pretty basic, called "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" like giving the wolf the key to the hen house" (Thomas McKay)

    What key to what hen house. What key

    There has been no one addressing the topic of discussion about the tremendous amount of checks and balances over every other trade or profession out there.

    I for one would not be doing the work after inspecting. That does not mean I think there is a conflict of interest. Check and balances, check and balances, checks and balances. More checks and balances than any other trade or profession. There are so many people between the inspector and repairs that far out way any trade or proffesion it is scary .

    Jack Feldmann

    I have tremendous respect for Jack and believe he is an asset to the profession but......

    Jack you say that you use to do odds and ends of repairs and pressure washing.....never on a home you inspected.....BUT....there was plenty of work from the other inspectors

    So all you buddy inspectors used to refer Jack...the other inspector...for work to be done.......which symbols did I use.... talk about the key to the hen house.

    The way it looks to me especially the way Scott puts it that no trade or profession should have anything to do with anything they have anything to do with because no one can be trusted. "remain above reproach"

    The protection for everyone for everything and taking all and any risk away from and being responsible for their own decision making with out there being a rule or law for it or against it is starting to get totally out of control and border lining insanity.

    I love the statement from a few....."If you cannot do inspections and make a living with out having to do something else"???????????????????????

    You folks are not serious.......right? How many of you have a wife that works. How many of you have a retirement from something else before you got into this?

    How many of you invest in property for extra income and future retirement?

    How many of you have a contract business or something of the sort besides home inspection?

    How many of you city inspectors have wifes that work, second jobs, other businesses, investment property?

    I am not sure if many of you are even thinking before you speak/write.

    Again folks. I do not and would not do rehab on the side and would not and do not do work or give pricing or should I say bid on work on homes I inspect.

    It is not believe that it is some horrific Conflict of Interest or any other dastardly thing as such. I also do not do those things because I believe those laws or ethics rules are needed. I do not do those things because I choose not to.

    Just because some old ladies got taken once upon a time by some flim flam man or some single mother got taken by some unethical rip of inspector it does not mean that all home inspectors or even a very minute percentage of inspectors are crooks or should be looked badly upon.

    In Southlake Texas a man posing as an inspector ripped some folks off and???????????????????????????????????????? What of it. There are crooks out there. Just because you do not price work for those nice folks you inspect for DOES NOT make you a better person or make you BEYOND REPROACH.

    I myself would trust almost every inspector I have met. There are some out there that screw people....can you believe that? But the other 999 to that one are very trust worthy and could be trusted in anyone's home to do an inspection (all by themselves) or price out some work from the folks they are inspecting for.

    Now....you want to discuss a lawyer saying "give me 2,000.00 up front and when we get to court the clock starts ticking at 200 an hour...................no matter if I do anything for you or not"..........................Now that is something to discuss.

    You do not have a captive audience. There are far to many checks and balances for home inspectors.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    A realtor I have done inspections for called last month and asked me to do a reinspection on the repairs on a townhouse. The buyer had his own inspector and at the end of the inspection he announced that he had a friend that was a contractor and would give a discount on the repairs. Apparently at that moment the buyer and the agent lost confidence in the inspector over a possible conflict of interest.

    Also here is a paragraph from the last NCHILB news letter about conflicts of interest:

    4. Staff noted that some home inspection reports reviewed have been found to include advertising information for home warranties. The Board disapproves of this practice and cautions against it in light of Code of Ethics requirements. One form of advertisement includes payment of a referral fee back the inspector for clients. Similar arrangements were also noted with solicitations of inspectors by alarm companies. The Board believes inclusion of such endorsements in reports or summaries creates an appearance of a conflict of interest – whether compensation for the ad is disclosed in contract language or not. Rule .1116(e) no licensee shall accept or offer commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from other parties dealing with the client in connection with work for which the licensee is responsible.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    John Arnold,

    I am sure I am older than you; my reference to cargo pants goes to the non professional inspectors in my market. They don't know their ass from a hole in the ground are uneducated, dress unprofessionally and some do repairs based on their inspection reports. Even have Realtors who love them because they fix things during the inspections.

    I will reserve additional comments regarding this post:

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Ted, My reference to a "captive audience" is not that there is anything forcing the person to use an inspectors repair services but merely that they have the person in a position to give their sales pitch where the other guy does not. It gives the inspector/repair person an advantage over the other repair people.
    If not for the advantage of gaining clients this way, what is the discussion about? Do inspections and do repairs, just not on the same house.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    So cargo pants are a direct indicator of a poor inspector????

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Ted, My reference to a "captive audience" is not that there is anything forcing the person to use an inspectors repair services but merely that they have the person in a position to give their sales pitch where the other guy does not. It gives the inspector/repair person an advantage over the other repair people.
    If not for the advantage of gaining clients this way, what is the discussion about? Do inspections and do repairs, just not on the same house.
    Like I say , I do not do both and a matter of fact I don't do anything to anyones home anymore.

    The red highlight is my argument for the folks that are just discussing the reasoning or the idea of doing both. I do not believe there is an advantage. As I keep stating the home in question isn't even their home yet. To get money for repairs or repairs done the buyer has to negotiate with the seller, usually thru an agent. In those negotiations the buyers agent and the seller are more often than not going to get pricing for the work to be done from different sources.

    If in fact they do, and they always do, and it is found out you are trying to conn or screw someone over then your history as a home inspector is about over or soon to be.

    I just do not feel that the inspector has any advantage in this case. Maybe once upon a time and maybe still in some necks of the wood but not in most markets. A closer contractor has more of a captive audience.

    The absolute mass majority of inspectors and what I mean by mass is ethical and honest and professional and they are not going to or even think about screwing someone over. I am sure there are a few out there as I said. There is the good, the bad and the ugly in any trade or profession.

    I for one do not and will never consider myself unscrupulous or unethical or dishonest and I know for a fact my clients could trust me if it were allowed (but I still would not do it) Isn't that really the question ??????

    How about you. How do you feel about yourself. Never mind Jim. I will answer that for you. I have met you and I am a very good judge after short meetings with folks. I would trust you completely with inspecting my home and performing work on it. I would not consider ethics in that equation . Not at all.

    Now...that Neil or Rick or Aaron or would not trust as far as I could throw them


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Do repairs for houses that you are not inspecting if you want to. Then after your done with the repair, I don't think there is anything from prohibiting you to give your card and say "I also inspect houses".


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Had a phone call today from a client that has a home in the Plano area that was just recently inspected for a buyer.

    Seems the buyers inspector has told the buyer that the home needs foundation repairs and gave a written estimate and even quoted how many piers and types it needed.

    What happended to not being able to do repairs on homes that you've inspected in the last 12 months.

    This homeowner called TREC and some fool there told her that as long as he disclosed upfront that he could do such repairs, it was ok.

    I say BS. It states in the code of ethics that this is prohibited.

    rick


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Had a phone call today from a client that has a home in the Plano area that was just recently inspected for a buyer.

    Seems the buyers inspector has told the buyer that the home needs foundation repairs and gave a written estimate and even quoted how many piers and types it needed.

    What happended to not being able to do repairs on homes that you've inspected in the last 12 months.

    This homeowner called TREC and some fool there told her that as long as he disclosed upfront that he could do such repairs, it was ok.

    I say BS. It states in the code of ethics that this is prohibited.

    rick
    I think the client might just be a b it on the tipsy side of the day. I think if TREC was called to verify the story might be a tad different.

    If in fact someone actually tried that I would be totally blown away. Any inspector in this area has to know that anything they do will come back on them. There are multiple inspectors out there that know exactly what I have done in the past. The good, the bad and the ugly. As A licensed home inspector in this state I would never try something like that.

    I think if push came to shove it is a disgruntled seller that more than likely needs foundation repair and was not happy with it.

    There are two sides to every story and I (not being a betting man) would bet the other side of the story is juuuuuuuust a bit different.



    Man...Still working on my second inspection report.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Ted,

    She is a seller who is upset for sure.

    The only thing is she has a copy of the report that the buyer received and was reading me the verbiage on his report.

    Under the foundation comments, she read to me that he stated the foundation had movement and was recommending 16 piers....... and a bid of XXXXX of dollars for the repair.

    Guy is out of Carrollton.

    rick


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Ted,

    She is a seller who is upset for sure.

    The only thing is she has a copy of the report that the buyer received and was reading me the verbiage on his report.

    Under the foundation comments, she read to me that he stated the foundation had movement and was recommending 16 piers....... and a bid of XXXXX of dollars for the repair.

    Guy is out of Carrollton.

    rick
    I may be an advocate of others opinion and like to spur convo on but that is screwed. Simply not in the stars. offering work on inspection findings under the present rules and regs is not allowed.

    I barely give a price. If I do it is verbally and an extremely wide range and also tell them to not hold my pricing on account that I do not know current pricing and do not do any of the work.

    If that was done I would guess whom it may be. He is getting a lot of work lately. I give Fort Worth pricing for Dallas area with a couple bucks thrown in for gas and I am getting beaten to death......250 for a home and termite and and and and for a 2500 sf home. My pricing over there is pretty much in line with you folks but the quotes coming back are foolish. Everything for one set price.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    How many of you city inspectors have wifes that work, second jobs, other businesses, investment property?
    I don't. And no I don't take bribes nor have I ever. Was offered one back in 1984 for $1000 though!


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    I may be an advocate of others opinion and like to spur convo on but that is screwed.
    Mr. Menelly: "Spur convo"????????????????? "


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I don't. And no I don't take bribes nor have I ever. Was offered one back in 1984 for $1000 though!
    Mr. Carlisle: I think that would make you the exception in your profession, and not the rule. Just my opinion.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    John Arnold,

    I am sure I am older than you; my reference to cargo pants goes to the non professional inspectors in my market. They don't know their ass from a hole in the ground are uneducated, dress unprofessionally and some do repairs based on their inspection reports. Even have Realtors who love them because they fix things during the inspections.

    I will reserve additional comments regarding this post:

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector
    Wow, I was going to keep quiet until I saw this comment.
    Cargo pants = unprofessionalism?
    ...Way below the belt...


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    [quote=Ted Menelly;139292]Hmm

    Hmm...... What if the home inspector was a licensed electrician.

    (Original message heavily edited in form & content to run in the time allotted and re-formatted to fit your screen....)

    In Nevada Reg's, Certified H.I.'s are 'prohibited' from repairing a defect identified during the inspection (NAC 645d.470.12 and NRS 645d.710.5).

    On the other hand...

    In Nevada Reg's, Certified H.I.'s are allowed to perform any job-function they have a license for (specifically cited are 'engineer, architect, plumber or electrician').

    You hit the 'nail' on the head-Ted.

    I've trained several local licensed General Contractors, who are now State Certified H.I.'s and still continue with their G.C. work. At various times, all three have referred H.I.'s to me when they get a client who wants an inspection AND contractor repairs.... I do the H.I. and they do the repair-work. I see no reason, based on our State Laws & Regs' why these guys couldn't do both...but all three have consciously chosen the 'arms-length' risk-management path.

    If a local H.I. / G.C. decided to combine the two activities, he'd just have to keep both 'job' activities within the purview of his license/certification. When he's 'inspecting' he operates under the 'Certification' issued by the Department of Business and Industry and when he's 'contracting' he's operating under his General Contractors license and the State Contractors Board. The 'safeguards' and 'overview' of both State Agencies are in place to monitor his performance accordingly. Any 'funny-biz' would be handled at a hearing at either or both Departments, after a complaint is filed...(and I've been involved at both levels as a consultant or S.M.E. with the State) and they 'work'...for us (re: Nevada H.I.'s and G.C.'s).

    Glenn R. Curtis CMI
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Inspecting Nevada since 1982

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    IMO - and yes, we are all allowed to have one (or more) without being flamed...the 'Code of Ethics' is way to broad . I know that may be in conflict with most but...I am a Handyman AND perform Inspections.

    I am extremely ethical and fair with all my clients and customers. That's probably why I get calls to repair some of the issues I have I identified during the Inspection. I don't offer a bid at the time of the inspection. I don't find things wrong, just so I can fix them later. I report what I find and leave it up to the client. If they want to use my findings as a bargaining chip or have them repaired before or after the sale, it's their choice. In fact I encourage them to get bids from any and all other sources. If they want to call me, perhaps a month or two later - after the inspection (and the sale) to change out a perfectly good toilet or install new faucets - I see absolutely nothing wrong with providing that service nor am I conflicted in any way. I'm sure there are those that do, but I simply can not follow their reasoning...the old saw..."conflict of interest" just doesn't cut it for me. I have built numerous relationships with customers, with the handyman side of the business, which have lead to dozens of inspections and vice versa. I know my limitations and fully abide my my State's Contracting and Licensing regulations.

    If you have your own personal standard and live by that, that's your perogative. It doesn't mean that someone who has a different standard is less or more ethical. I am not convinced that you are a better or more ethical person than I or perform a more thorough inspection, simply because you support a wordy, incongruous statement. It really is about honesty, trust and integrity, a 'Code' I'm a dues paying member of and fully subscribe to. There are simply too many variables and 'what ifs?' with 'ethics' to be functional.

    Furthermore, where is the conflict of interest in attending to items that were not part of the inspection in the first place? Recently a client for whom I had done the inspection for called me to construct and install a gate - at the inspected house - which was not even in existence at the time of the inspection. And that makes me 'conflicted' how? I also have several clients, from inspections, who have called on me months after the sale to paint and hang wall-paper (a profession not readily found in which I have decades of experience) - areas not specifically subject of any home inspection. I chose to perform that service, if you don't that's your choice and maybe your State's mandate. I personally like to make repairs etc. and consider it a very rewarding service for those that don't or can't.

    Perhaps any HI 'Code of Ethics' might be more workable if it referred specifically to items which were found "...in need of repair" during the inspection rather than the blanket statement of not performing work period. I happened to have taught several 'Ethics' classes in a previous career. One thing I am sure of...there is no right answer.

    Okay...your turn


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Hi, ALL &

    I've been asked - even begged - to do repairs (ie. noting a leaking faucet, for example or a gutter puling-away - very obvious - and not just something 'discovered' such as a gas-leak or roof-leak), but have always Thanked 'em for their trust in me and for recognizing the ability for me to do so & then politely declined...


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Frankly and simply it all comes down to ETHICS and if one doesn’t understand what they are they probably don’t have any. It is hard to figure out why anybody in this profession would suggest that it would be ethical to inspect a home, tell the seller or buyer what defects you found, and then give them a bid to fix the very defects they found? Unfricking believable?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Frankly and simply it all comes down to ETHICS and if one doesn’t understand what they are they probably don’t have any. It is hard to figure out why anybody in this profession would suggest that it would be ethical to inspect a home, tell the seller or buyer what defects you found, and then give them a bid to fix the very defects they found? Unfricking believable?

    Jerry

    It is all just food for thought and good conversation. Memory cells are a wonderful thing but if not testes grow weary and die.

    I personally like to know the thoughts of others instead of just thinking that what is is and that is all there is to it. There is a wonderful world out there. I love the experience and thought of others. I love encouraging folks to see there response whether one way or the other.

    It is nice to get up in the morning and saying something different then "It's time to make the donuts"


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    It is nice to get up in the morning and saying something different then "It's time to make the donuts"

    You could always try saying something different, oh, like "Would you like fries with that?"

    (Sorry, could not resist. )

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

  43. #43
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You could always try saying something different, oh, like "Would you like fries with that?"

    (Sorry, could not resist. )

    I should stop saying this or no one will ever respond anymore.

    I like to encourage thought. Swing an idea one way one day and swing that same idea another way another day. Thought is a powerful thing.

    I actually do believe you understand that after the few years I have been on here.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote from ian Page in San Diego:

    "If they want to call me, perhaps a month or two later - after the inspection (and the sale) to change out a perfectly good toilet or install new faucets - I see absolutely nothing wrong with providing that service nor am I conflicted in any way. I'm sure there are those that do, but I simply can not follow their reasoning...the old saw..."conflict of interest" just doesn't cut it for me. I have built numerous relationships with customers, with the handyman side of the business, which have lead to dozens of inspections and vice versa. I know my limitations and fully abide my my State's Contracting and Licensing regulations."

    Ian,

    You have already broken the laws of the State of California as provided in the Business and Profession Code regarding our industry. To announce this on this message board has potential liability for you. Better go back and read all the laws concerning the Inspection Industry...then re-evaluate your approach to this issue. You have crossed your "limitations" legally.

    Also, do you belong to any of the commonly recognized Inspection Associations here in California? If so, their SOP's prohibit the practices you are suggesting that you do. You may be subject to their ethics boards.

    Last edited by Mitchell Toelle; 08-02-2010 at 07:38 AM.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Ian,

    You say you taught ethics in a previous life???? I can drive safely and with skill at 70-80 MPH in a zone posted at a lower limit. Does that mean I can break the law? No!!! Should I be held accountable when I break the law? Yes. Your Honor...this law was written for other people..people who can't distinguish between what others should do and what I have the ability to do. Please don't fault me for that.

    You are scary. Just ignore the things that you feel don't pertain to you...that's real ethics at work....


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    Wow, I was going to keep quiet until I saw this comment.
    Cargo pants = unprofessionalism?
    ...Way below the belt...
    I've mentioned this before here but I found an inspector, in VA, that advertises he shows up for every inspection in a white shirt and tie. I guess he feels that makes him a real professional. I only have one company logo white shirt and that's reserved for meetings, classes, and other similar functions.

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

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Mich
    Before you fall off your High Horse, may I suggest you re-read my original post, then re-read section 7197(a) (1) CA Business and Professions Code. I do, however, thank you for your concern.

    Nowhere in my post did I claim to make repairs (following an inspection). The B and P code specifically prohibits 'repairs' - only identifying them as a bad business practice. The examples I gave (and was very careful to chose my words wisely) included installations or improvements. Installing a previously non-existent gate and 'changing out a perfectly good toilet or faucet and hanging wall-paper or painting' are not repairs. Repairs are usually what happens after something is broken and you fix the same thing to make it whole. The aforementioned items are purely cosmetic in nature and are not precluded under the wording of the above regulation. Hey, I didn't write the regulation, don't blame me. Certainly they may fall under other aspects of the Licensing regulationsand Trades. I do not represent myself as a Contractor of any nature but as a Handyman. I limit my work to under $500 per job, therefore no specific trades license is required, under current CA regulations. BTW, I have a very good attorney.

    I also believe that being a Handyman makes me a better Home Inspector (not better than anyone else - just better). I am able to impart my knowledge to the customer and at least know what I am talking about through practical experience.

    Oh, while you are looking things up - take a peek at 'Ethics' Wikipedia - which one of the definitions or categories do you hold yourself to? I do not belong to any organization, I'm too ethical for that. Nevertheless, I do incorporate ASHI's practices and priciples, including ethical conduct, as I go about my business.

    As I said before, and it's worth repeating...A Code of Ethics is far too broad and convoluted to be practical. There are simply too may alternatives. The various professional organizations may call it a 'Code of Ethics' but in reality it is a Code of Conduct and, as written unfairly precludes the free enterprise this country was founded upon but if you are okay with it, that's your choice. It's a little like saying you can not be religious if you don't attend a place of worship.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Mich
    Before you fall off your High Horse, may I suggest you re-read my original post, then re-read section 7197(a) (1) CA Business and Professions Code. I do, however, thank you for your concern.
    ...Snipped ...
    I'm pretty sure that what you provided as an example, is allowed, at least by ASHI. You would be providing service for something outside the results of your inspection. As long as you don't use the inspection as an opportunity to solicit other work, there shouldn't be a problem in MHO.

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

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Thank you Stuart...a bright light at the end of the tunnel!.

    And Mich, what's more scary are people jumping to conclusions, failing to follow basic cognitive recognition and making accusations or statements in support of their eroneous beliefs. A trait all too often found in Inspection reports.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Ted, Just to clarify...
    I did not do pressure washing. I used that example as a tongue in cheek response for someone wanting to do a bunch of work drummed up from a home inspection.

    AS far as getting jobs from inspection buddies......... this was between 1989 and 1994 and I have to say I didn't pal around with that many inspectors. I didn't go to that many CREIA/ASHI meetings.

    I got most of those type of jobs from Realtors that knew me and needed repairs on their listings, or personal properties. I can't tell you how many water heaters I added earthquake straps to in those years.

    Ian said: "I do not belong to any organization, I'm too ethical for that. Nevertheless, I do incorporate ASHI's practices and priciples, including ethical conduct, as I go about my business." WTF???????
    Too ethical to belong to an organization?, but is OK with using the ASHI creed?
    I read that as either too cheap to belong to ASHI, or can't pass the membership requirements (test/ report verification), or just not committed enough. Why bother trying to ride on ASHI's coat tails as a benchmark for practices/principles and ethics. But TOO ETHICAL? Come on.


  51. #51
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    562

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Jack
    "...too ethical..." was my luke warm attempt at a little light-hearted pun humor.

    My reasonings for not being an ASHI or CREIA member are many-fold. I can not support the 'Code of Ethics' requirements in either affiliation which, to some extent, precludes entreprenurialism. There could potentially be conflict with the organization(s) and with membership at large by continuing my Handyman business. I recognize (bute dispute) that I am perceived by some to 'cross the line'. I have no desire in subjecting myself to the wrath of any associative Board and have to defend my position. I decline judgement by those who might disagree with my business practices. The alternative is both compromising and hypocritical. I abaide by State law, which largely mirrors ASHI and CREIA's s.o.p.

    Furthermore, paying to belong to an organization, including BBB, which is then used as a marketing ploy, strikes me as being unethical. You, yourself asked if I was "...too cheap to belong...?" Maybe so, but that comment also underscores my position with emphasis being placed on the value of the subscription.

    There are many, I'm sure, who will disagree with my position and that's okay. We are entitled to our own opinions but I refuse remonstration or rebuke due to my lack of affiliation. If my inspection work load suffers, then I only have myself to blame. Disarmingly to many, I have found very few prospective home purchasers who are pursuaded one way or the other by membership (or lack thereof). Usually the first question is, how much do you charge?


  52. #52
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Thank you Stuart...a bright light at the end of the tunnel!.

    And Mich, what's more scary are people jumping to conclusions, failing to follow basic cognitive recognition and making accusations or statements in support of their eroneous beliefs. A trait all too often found in Inspection reports.
    First...it's mitch. Second: the Calif. BandP code section you are referring to is: (1) To perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any
    repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or the inspector's company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months.

    Oh, and ASHI section 1, F. Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection. (I think that includes sink faucets and toilets, and maybe gates and fences)

    Not sure how you define "any repair", "shall not repair, replace or upgrade" and "structure" or "systems or components". Pretty clear to me.

    Last edited by Mitchell Toelle; 08-07-2010 at 01:42 PM.

  53. #53
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Ian said: "That's probably why I get calls to repair some of the issues I have I identified during the Inspection. I don't offer a bid at the time of the inspection. I don't find things wrong, just so I can fix them later. I report what I find and leave it up to the client. If they want to use my findings as a bargaining chip or have them repaired before or after the sale, it's their choice. In fact I encourage them to get bids from any and all other sources. If they want to call me, perhaps a month or two later...."

    Ian,
    Just to be clear, I am all for Inspectors broadening their horizons...doing "handyman stuff" and maintaining a "Contractors" license if they please...but not doing work on a structure they have inspected for a year. Go for it otherwise! Either you can't read, can't understand, your' ethics need some adjustment, or you just don't care.

    There does not appear to be a gray area here...been looking at this B&P Code and discussing with other Inspectors for years. Just not any wiggle room.

    Carry on whatever business you wish, or multiple businesses, just don't entwine them on the same property.

    Last edited by Mitchell Toelle; 08-07-2010 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Added quote

  54. #54
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Hey Stuart,

    Perhaps you don't have State regulations regarding our industry...I'm not sure and I'm unfamiliar with VA's laws, however, we in California do have mandates. And these mandates are in place whether we belong to an association such as ASHI or CREIA or ???? That being said, it would behoove you to hold your opinions until such time as you have done a little research (easy to do since the Calif. B&P was already referred to). These laws trump any Association Code of Ethics.

    Ian,

    Affiliation with a reputable Association benefits anyone far beyond the marketing value. How about education, knowledge, sharing with other Inspectors...and maybe, just maybe, a boost to ones ethics.

    What I have found in 13+ years of inspecting in this State is that most of those who do not want to belong to an Association such as these are usually those who do not want to be held accountable to others (including the law) and who can't stand the light of scrutiny. That can't be you, so I will assume that you might reconsider your stance...in several areas.


  55. #55
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Toelle View Post
    Hey Stuart,

    Perhaps you don't have State regulations regarding our industry...I'm not sure and I'm unfamiliar with VA's laws, however, we in California do have mandates. And these mandates are in place whether we belong to an association such as ASHI or CREIA or ???? That being said, it would behoove you to hold your opinions until such time as you have done a little research (easy to do since the Calif. B&P was already referred to). These laws trump any Association Code of Ethics.

    Ian,

    Affiliation with a reputable Association benefits anyone far beyond the marketing value. How about education, knowledge, sharing with other Inspectors...and maybe, just maybe, a boost to ones ethics.

    What I have found in 13+ years of inspecting in this State is that most of those who do not want to belong to an Association such as these are usually those who do not want to be held accountable to others (including the law) and who can't stand the light of scrutiny. That can't be you, so I will assume that you might reconsider your stance...in several areas.
    Ahhhh......maybe he just does not want to belong to a groupy thingamabob.

    Just saying!


  56. #56
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Maybe that's true Ted. I really can't read his mind or difinitively determine his motive. I can, however, say that he uses the ASHI SOP's and COE's for his own benefit by stating he follows them (here on this board, and probably with his clients and in his marketing) without giving the organization benefit back. Really, it's just lip service.

    Also Ted, the B&P Code in Calif. is not a group thingamabob. It's the law. Perhaps Ian should write a check to that Lawyer he says he has. Then have the Lawyer read the Code to him and advise him regarding his ethics. That's almost funny...having a Lawyer advise anyone about ethics.

    Well, anyway, you guys down there (Ted) are governed by some pretty intrusive stuff. I love Texas in most ways, especially regarding some of your laws. But I think the whole hold it over the Inspection industry thing often goes abit far. Seems to work for you guys though. And, your market in most counties is much better than ours. Got that going for you too.

    Guess we'll see if Ian has a change of heart regarding his claim to follow the B&P and ASHI COE's.


  57. #57
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
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    562

    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

    Sorry Mi(t)ch...I don't know how I could be more clear - but I'll try, again.

    I follow, as a matter of business practice, what State law mandates - not necessarily what various organizations dictate - though most aspects (SOP) mirror each others do's or don'ts. So, therefore, by default I do follow ASHI and CREIA's guidelines and operating procedures because they are basically the same as State law. Where I disagree with the various organizations is in the area or repair versus upgrade. State law only dictates that I shall not repair...(though there is no specific penalty and only refers to doing so as 'bad business practice') for one year etc. etc. ASHI and CREIA also go further and dictate to 'not performing work'. So I decline to join because that directive is simply too restrictive for my business and would be dishonest. Legally, I am therefore beholden only to State law.

    As I see it, your argument is that if I installed home theaters systems - or installed other items not required to be inspected during an inspection - and was also a Home Inspector I would not be able install sound systems etc. in a home I had inspected within the previous year. An item not even present at the time of the inspection and not covered for inspection purposes even if it was present (reference 'gate' in previous post). If that's your position I hope you re-read ASHI and CREIA's guidelines specifically where they refer to '...an Inspector shall not (or is not required to) perform inspections of... and specifically covered by ASHI's Standards of Practice.' If an Inspector is not required to perform an inspection of something then, in my view, (and my attorney's) that area is outside any organizations purview or jurisdiction as a regulatory body. Furthermore the language as written may well be overly-broad. If that's ASHI and CREIA's position then IMO it should be changed. I doubt any other occupation is, could be or should be controlled in this manner with such a restrictive business practices. As a dues paying member I would hope you get some clarification from both or either board's official representatives. And please, quote my example...

    Nevertheless, I do not belong to either organization so the point is moot. State law only dictates that I should not make repairs- and goes no further (also overly-broad IMO). Installing something new as a cosmetic upgrade, or otherwise, is not making a repair unless, perhaps, the item was broken and required replacement. My original and previous posts explained that. State law and that within local jurisdictions, is the law of the land and I follow it. As you said (to Stuart) State law trumps any organizations' mandates. AND further, it does NOT require me to be a member of any organiization in order to perform inspections.

    Neither ASHI nor CREIA's Codes of Conduct are law - other than within their own organizations and then only limited to its membership. Incidentally they are both fine organizations but currently I have issues with them, hence my non-membership. If you or others do not then good for you. I hope you get your monies worth and I'm not asking you to defend your decision. As for 'boosting my ethics'. You have assumed that because I have a differing opinion on a specific area of business, that I am unethical. That's neither a logical nor ethical position to take. And, of course, ALL (ASHI/CREIA) members are ethical, honest, have the highest integrity and are absolutely beyond reproach...because of their membership and anyone that isn't, is not - nice try! Now what's your position on the 4000 odd different religions in the world?

    First and foremost, my responsibilities are specifically in the interests of my customers. I specifically tell each and every customer that I am not affiliated with any of organization and give the reason(s) why. I also tell them I conduct my Inspection to a greater standard than State law requires. I provide my credentials, background, and experience, and of course, price. Customers seem to be happy, I get referrals and recommendations - must be doing something right. How 'bout you?


  58. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Succasunna NJ
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    Default Re: Are we more conflicted than the other guys?

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

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