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  1. #1
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    I was chatting with a young man the other day who is attending Texas A&M as an engineering candidate ... soon to graduate.

    He shared with me that he had some conversation with a husband/wife Real Estate Brokerage team who told him to sit and take the Texas inspector's exam (they said it was a slam dunk) and they would hire him at their brokerage (yes, salary ... NOT 1099) and they would be keeping him very busy with "all their inspections".

    I first bit my tongue to temper my initial response and then spent about 30-minutes with him to give him a dose of reality and ethics and other costs and liabilities related to this profession.

    He opened his eyes pretty wide as he said the husband/wife brokers didn't say "anything" about such to him.

    Their presentation was that the inspection was nothing more than a quick observation of the home and check some boxes off on a report and off you go.

    I applauded him for asking and his due diligence and to continue to research.

    His approach (as presented by the agents) was to have inspections as a quick-money gig as he pursued his engineering focus from A&M.

    I'm pretty sure he got my point.

    After reading the post from Ryan (also in Texas) asking about getting into this profession and getting some very good input ... especially from some long-term and well-respected Texas inspectors ... I figured I would post this conversation I had this week.

    In so many ways people continue to get hyped by the 'less than ethical' elements of the Home Inspection business.

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Nolan:

    Consider the source - the TREC - TAR - NAR. Each of these entities condones a concept called puffing. Black's Law defines it thusly:

    puffing. 1 The expression of an exaggerated opinion - as opposed to a factual representation - with the intent to sell a good or service.

    Call me crazy, but in my opinion, that is nothing short of lying.

    These same organizations, not at all by chance, regulate home inspectors, (and appraisers, and home warranty companies) at least in Texas. It should come as no surprise to anyone that an organized pack of liars will tend to attract other liars.

    The hardest part of this job, for me, is to work in this pigpen without getting it on me. That is job number one for the ethically-oriented Texas inspector.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Nolan:

    Consider the source - the TREC - TAR - NAR. Each of these entities condones a concept called puffing. Black's Law defines it thusly:

    puffing. 1 The expression of an exaggerated opinion - as opposed to a factual representation - with the intent to sell a good or service.

    Call me crazy, but in my opinion, that is nothing short of lying.

    These same organizations, not at all by chance, regulate home inspectors, (and appraisers, and home warranty companies) at least in Texas. It should come as no surprise to anyone that an organized pack of liars will tend to attract other liars.

    The hardest part of this job, for me, is to work in this pigpen without getting it on me. That is job number one for the ethically-oriented Texas inspector.
    Aaron,

    Agreed. While growing up "on the farm" back in Montana i raised pigs and learned early on to wear knee-high waders.

    To this day I keep a pair in my truck along with a hard-hat.

    I can slog through the $hit and deflect the arrows from above.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Aaron,

    Agreed. While growing up "on the farm" back in Montana i raised pigs and learned early on to wear knee-high waders.

    To this day I keep a pair in my truck along with a hard-hat.

    I can slog through the $hit and deflect the arrows from above.
    I have been looking for turtle-neck Tyvek/Kevlar waders. No luck thus far.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post

    Their presentation was that the inspection was nothing more than a quick observation of the home and check some boxes off on a report and off you go.
    Well, don't throw stones at the truth. That is what the profession has become, for the most part. The reporting in the 50's through the mid 80's was top notch, "it's broke fix it and here is how to fix it". Now it seems that the reporting has become, "I think it's broke and you need to hire another guy to confirm that it's broke and to tell you how to fix it". The dumbing down of the profession has led to the perception noted above. That is also verified by the fees charged, which are pretty much the same and are half or more less than fees charged in the early years of this business. Very few of you will ever retire from your HI practice with any significant savings. A large number of the early pioneers in this business earned 6 or more figures annually and retired with 7 figure pensions. Not going to happen today. Advice? Be bold, be brave, tell them how to do what needs to be done and stop passing it off to another individual. Realtwhores will hate you. Clients will love you. If you cannot analyze the problem and tell them how it needs to be corrected you are as good as the, well, there's sometimes an extra teat on a sow. Just my two cents. Jerry, you care to join in on this one?


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz
    After reading the post from Ryan (also in Texas) asking about getting into this profession and getting some very good input ... especially from some long-term and well-respected Texas inspectors ... I figured I would post this conversation I had this week.

    In so many ways people continue to get hyped by the 'less than ethical' elements of the Home Inspection business.
    Nolan,

    As a professional, the ethical thing to do should be to report this incident to the Realtors state licensing board.

    No disrespect BUT - by not reporting this to your state board you are personally contributing to the 'less than ethical' elements of the home inspection business.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Nolan,

    As a professional, the ethical thing to do should be to report this incident to the Realtors state licensing board.

    No disrespect BUT - by not reporting this to your state board you are personally contributing to the 'less than ethical' elements of the home inspection business.
    Ken,

    I had a long reply keyed and ready to go for your "no disrespect", but it is not worth the effort.

    You were not there ... you don't know all the circumstances ... NOR do you know/understand TREC.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Nolan,

    As a professional, the ethical thing to do should be to report this incident to the Realtors state licensing board.

    No disrespect BUT - by not reporting this to your state board you are personally contributing to the 'less than ethical' elements of the home inspection business.
    Ken: At first blush this sounds like a grand idea. Then reality sets in and your argument disintegrates. The state board - the Texas Real Estate Commission - will not even accept complaints from inspectors regarding agents or brokers. I am speaking from experience here. Unless you are a party to the real estate sales contract your complaint will immediately fall on deaf ears.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    The reporting in the 50's through the mid 80's was top notch
    That's a joke. The dinosaurs in my market who were operating then will be the first to tell you that they did as many as 5 inspections in a day because they were mere drive-bys. This is how they can, with impunity, boast that they have performed 20,000 inspections in their 25-year career.

    Very few of you will ever retire from your HI practice with any significant savings. A large number of the early pioneers in this business earned 6 or more figures annually and retired with 7 figure pensions.
    Not everyone equates money with excellence. They are not mutually exclusive, but they are not equivalent. I have yet to see one of the multi-inspector firms in my area that consists of excellent inspectors. Without exception they advertise to agents how they will not kill their deals, populate the state board to bend policy to suit their business models, and perform nothing that even remotely resembles thorough home inspections. No legacy is so rich as honesty.

    Be bold, be brave, tell them how to do what needs to be done and stop passing it off to another individual.
    Sure, step right out there and pretend to know it all. Pontificate about repairing engineered systems, smart house systems, $30,000 air conditioning systems, et al. Call your attorney first and see how he feels about this.

    If you cannot analyze the problem and tell them how it needs to be corrected
    I think I have just analyzed the problem with your blather quite nicely. I'm not sure that there is a cure.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz
    Ken,

    I had a long reply keyed and ready to go for your "no disrespect", but it is not worth the effort.

    You were not there ... you don't know all the circumstances ... NOR do you know/understand TREC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller
    Ken: At first blush this sounds like a grand idea. Then reality sets in and your argument disintegrates. The state board - the Texas Real Estate Commission - will not even accept complaints from inspectors regarding agents or brokers. I am speaking from experience here. Unless you are a party to the real estate sales contract your complaint will immediately fall on deaf ears.
    Nolan and Aaron,

    Your points are well taken. I truly meant "No disrespect" and I do not understand your State Board - so I can't speak to it - BUT - I do believe we owe it to our industry and clients to maintain, preserve and present a very high ethical standard. They industry is fraught with favors and unethical behavior and I'm tried of it. It ticks me off!

    With that said - In addition to each one of us maintaining high ethical standards, it is in our best interest and obligation to "police" and report any unethical behavior that puts a negative impact on our profession.

    I don't know about "TREC" - but if they won't address unethical behavior then it's time to "throw the bums out"

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Ken, I don't know squat about Texas, and without getting into the other aspects of what you said (and I agree with much of it), what was described in the OP would have to be considered 'hearsay' since the brokers didn't try to recruit Nolan. Their conversation was with the student.

    Now if the student wanted to sign a statement naming names and all, then I agree that should be pursued.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    In addition to each one of us maintaining high ethical standards, it is in our best interest and obligation to "police" and report any unethical behavior that puts a negative impact on our profession.
    While I agree with your motives, reporting questionable broker behavior to a broker-friendly TREC is tantamount to a death wish. Once the dust from the circling wagons settles one will find that he has been run over.

    I don't know about "TREC" - but if they won't address unethical behavior then it's time to "throw the bums out"
    My sentiments also. But, they are appointed and not elected. By whom, you might ask? Rick "Big Hair" Perry. Remember him? One in the long parade of buffoons that has been trotted out to run against the Evil Black Man for president. I think Rick is still in surgery having his feet removed from his mouth.

    Texas Inspector
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    While I agree with your motives, reporting questionable broker behavior to a broker-friendly TREC is tantamount to a death wish. Once the dust from the circling wagons settles one will find that he has been run over.

    My sentiments also. But, they are appointed and not elected. By whom, you might ask? Rick "Big Hair" Perry. Remember him? One in the long parade of buffoons that has been trotted out to run against the Evil Black Man for president. I think Rick is still in surgery having his feet removed from his mouth.
    Aaron,

    There has been a new report that the Doctors have stopped all surgical efforts as they feel that removing the feet will cause the hairdo to collapse. They are not totally sure if the collapse will be caused by creating a large void in the cranium or if the exposed hair is really an extension of foot hair. They are now performing a research study to determine what the outcome will be. The study has been funded by your tax dollars as it is felt the results will help many other politicians as well and keep this country on track to a strong economic recovery by maintaining the current brain trust and not disrupting their efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Nolan,

    As a professional, the ethical thing to do should be to report this incident to the Realtors state licensing board.

    No disrespect BUT - by not reporting this to your state board you are personally contributing to the 'less than ethical' elements of the home inspection business.
    Ken,

    No disrespect to you but your concept is one of an idealist and there is nothing wrong with that, but it just does not happen in Texas. I've been down that road and it does not work! I spoke with a Master Plumber several weeks ago who was recently down that road handing his license board a slam dunk case and they ignored it. The State of Texas licensing boards (not just the real estate licensing board) only concern themselves with complaints by consumers AFTER they have been wronged! Every license board in Texas has ethics rules, as well as others, that they publish and make publicly viewable that their license holders are required to follow. However these are merely rules of convenience used to punish license holders when their license boards decide to do so.

    The only way to affect the tide of improper and/or unethical behavior in any profession or trade is to educate the consumer. That though is almost impossible when the ethical professionals are not the ones they turn to for advice and their main concern when hiring any professional is price. Another possibility is to write stronger laws such as what the State of Washington has enacted concerning trades and professions, with some even in the licensed Inspector arena. Another possibility is what the California Contractor Licensing Division does is to post the "Ten Most Wanted" list of illegal contractors on their WEB site for the public to see (complete with pictures of the people when available).

    None of the problems will change in my lifetime as long as there is money to be made and money to be paid to prevent enforcement of legal and ethical behavior.

    Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Things are different in Texas. A few years ago when my brother and I were selling our parent's home after our mother had passed away, I warned my brother to expect some significant repair requests from the buyer's inspection.

    To my utter astonishment, no such request ever came in. When I asked our real estate agent about it, she told me that the buyers were advised that an inspection wasn't really necessary.

    Holy Cow!!! In Colorado, an agent telling a buyer something like that has just stepped out onto the thinnest of ice.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Things are different in Texas. A few years ago when my brother and I were selling our parent's home after our mother had passed away, I warned my brother to expect some significant repair requests from the buyer's inspection.

    To my utter astonishment, no such request ever came in. When I asked our real estate agent about it, she told me that the buyers were advised that an inspection wasn't really necessary.

    Holy Cow!!! In Colorado, an agent telling a buyer something like that has just stepped out onto the thinnest of ice.
    That is the best way for the agent to be sure they get their commission check.

    Short of that if "their" inspector does the inspection to ensure it is of the 'drive-by' fluff type that will also ensure the agent gets their commission check.

    It is happening more and more over this past year.

    It is very sad for the buyers and sellers.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    That's a joke. The dinosaurs in my market who were operating then will be the first to tell you that they did as many as 5 inspections in a day because they were mere drive-bys. This is how they can, with impunity, boast that they have performed 20,000 inspections in their 25-year career.
    Aaron: John is from the east coast where H.I.ing got its start. I did my training in 1993 just outside of D.C. through PITI which was started by John Cox. I still have his training manual and can tell you that it was really advanced education. Back then there was a very clear differentiation between what those guys there were doing and what the rest of the country was. As far as I am concerned there is absolutely no training available now that is of the caliber I was fortunate enough to experience - I was exceptionally lucky.

    I suspect that you are correct about the older guys in your area and how many inspections they did and I don't think that it was much different here in Illinois. But speaking from my first hand experience I think that John is on the mark for what the guys out east were offering back then.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Nolan,

    Dare I ask if the aforementioned husband/wife team are in Tyler? No wait. Don't answer that unless you want to PM me.

    On the flip side, I receive probably 3-4 calls a year from guys who want to get into the profession. They generally call right as I've poured milk over a big bowl of cereal. The nice guy side of my doesn't mind helping out other folks, but I do wish they would call someone NOT in their own future service area. I may tell them to call you from now on.

    The realistic side of me does share with them some of the eye-opening aspects of this job of which TREC does play a part.

    I feel that these would-be inspectors believe that I don't want the competition and am just shoo-ing them away, but, hey, if I had had the audacity to call a future competitor and ask him to give me the low-down on the trade, I would've wanted the straight scoop.

    Oh well, there are good days and I'm trying to see each day as a "good day".

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    If you Google his company you might be surprised at the comments you find.

    But, as you say, maybe he was better back then . . .
    John Cox and Speed Williams both passed away several years back. It is not the same organization..... That I'm sure can be found on Google as well.

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

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    John Cox and Speed Williams both passed away several years back. It is not the same organization..... That I'm sure can be found on Google as well.
    I was referring to the Omnipotent OP, who I can only assume has not passed on.
    He is also named John.

    Texas Inspector
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I was referring to the Omnipotent OP, who I can only assume has not passed on.
    He is also named John.
    Not sure what you discovered when you googled my company. I sold it to US Inspect in 2006. Goldring Home Inspections was the original home inspection company in Connecticut and was started in 1956. We were the largest in the State and performed thousands of inspections. You seem to be sneering about some salacious information. A link would be great.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    You seem to be sneering about some salacious information.
    That has a nice hissing sound to it. Well done. I'll send it to you.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    That has a nice hissing sound to it. Well done. I'll send it to you.
    Don't send it, post it here.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ghent View Post
    Don't send it, post it here.
    I sent it to you via PM. You post it if you want it posted.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I sent it to you via PM. You post it if you want it posted.
    Below is the "event" Aaron has googled which for some reason seems to titillate him. You should know that in 2005 we did a few thousand inspections and I am sure I can go through my files to find a few others who were not happy. But I happen to remember this particular individual, who, after many phone calls showing him things in the report he didn't understand, made some nasty comments. Aaron, isn't this similar to the guy (the seller) you say has called you three times threatening to smear your business? I am not sure how this discourse on my post began but it seems to have rubbed you the wrong way. You picked a really stupid complaint to illustrate something, I am not sure what, about the way we ran our business. Be bold, be brave. Tell it like it is.

    Insider Pages Reviews for Goldring Home Inspections Incorporated
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    ★☆☆☆☆
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    Disgruntled B.
    I had a horrible experience with Goldring Home Inspections. I am a first time home buyer and as a result, was very naiive about the process. The inspector sent by this company was unprofessional and did the job as if he were in a hurry. He missed glaring problems with the house (central air didn't work, phone wiring was a disaster, appliances not working), and at the same time did not do any investigation into things that didn't work (one appliance which he stated was broken, actually just needed the power turned on). Not getting any inspection is better than the false sense of security you'd get from a report from these guys. Look elsewhere.
    September 19, 2005
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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Be bold, be brave. Tell it like it is.
    You need not worry, amigo, I always am and always do.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    One of the disappointing "things" about too many threads here is how they degrade into personal attacks, insults, and occasionally worse. Many others have commented on this and yet it continues. There is nothing constructive with the direction you guys are going with this. This one is particularly bizarre since it is started about a lack of ethics topic.

    I assume there is some kind of monitor for these threads and I recommend that he/she cut this stuff off and tell folks slipping into personal insults to just pm each other and not bother the rest of us.

    As for me, I am done with this thread.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    As for me, I am done with this thread.
    Ditto. And, I deleted my original post out of deference to the members of this forum. But I will never genuflect to the likes of the OP, initials JG. Never.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 08-30-2012 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Correction
    Texas Inspector
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Ditto. And, I deleted my original post out of deference to the members of this forum. But I will never genuflect to the likes of the OP, initials JG. Never.
    You need therapy.


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    Default Re: Ongoing "Lack of Ethics" ??!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    genuflect
    I had to look that one up!

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

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