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  1. #1
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    Default Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    I may be getting back into home inspection. I was a home inspector back in 1991 to 2002. I left because a couple of my customers took me to small claims court. They both won. But it turns out that if you make a realtor's client (the home buyer) unhappy, then all the realtors in your county will be unhappy with you also, and your brochures will be removed from their offices. That reduced my business by about 2/3 after that. All-in-all it was very discouraging.

    But that was then, and now I am determined to settle every complaint and to avoid going to court at all costs. I'm convinced that win or lose, going to court will hurt your business and the trust that people have in you.

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Hello Tom Nicholson,

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Curious what the claims were over.
    Surprised you didn't go on a campaign to market yourself as the "not in the pocket of the Realtor HI".


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Hi Tom, Welcome back…..

    First off we should not have claims, sure they happen but I have been at this gig since 1995 and have never been to court. Yes, I have bought a few things and repaired a few things along the way to make problems go away. It's the right thing to do, even if you think you are not really in the wrong. I also have E&O coverage just in case I really screw-up or something happens that I can't solve.

    Just do the best job you can and write a report that is easy to understand and life is good… Next you need to not depend on real estate agents, sure they can help but we should never depend on them to keep us in business. I bet that around 20% of my referrals come from real estate agents. The rest are word of mouth and from my website..

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    I'm not happy until the Realtors are not happy.

    I pity those who through necessity have to grovel to agents.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Hi Garry,
    I like your idea of marketing myself as the "not in the pocket of the Realtor HI".

    The first claim was for not writing in my report that the asphalt fiberglass shingles on the roof were showing signs (the characteristic crack patterns) of defective shingles. I knew the shingles were defective, I've seen it many times, including on my own home but I did not report it.

    The second time there were rain leaks detected on some of the window sills of the sunroom, six months after the new owners moved in. The formerly water-stained sills had been painted over by the former owners and I did not notice the slighly different shade of the touch-up paint during the original inspection. There were no obvious stains during the inspection but there was some evidence of soft spots on the sills which I did not notice.

    My penalty in both cases was just to refund the inspection fees per my contract. However, as I said before, the real loss to me was that the local realtors no longer thought I was a good inspector.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Nicholson View Post
    Hi Garry,
    I like your idea of marketing myself as the "not in the pocket of the Realtor HI".

    .
    Tom,

    Many years ago, when I was first starting, I had an in line ad in the yellow pages (remember those things) which said:
    - We are your best friend, their realtors' worst nightmare

    That set the stage and tone for my inspections for almost 20 years ... then I retired from HI.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Nicholson View Post
    Hi Garry,
    I like your idea of marketing myself as the "not in the pocket of the Realtor HI".
    ..................................

    Not an original idea by myself. As Jerry demonstrated it can work as others have. There is a referral group directory that comprises only those that disclaim any connections to Regulators as part of membership. It may not be as easy as playing patty cake with an agent but it may be more emotionally and ethically gratifying .

    Thanks for being willing to disclose the root cause of two cases. Pretty sure I can extrapolate why you ended up in court. Always curious what causes litigation. Thanks again.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Tom,

    Take a look at: Truth About Real Estate Agent Referred Home Inspectors
    and their home page.

    Not a recommendation to join or not to join, just a information source/example of what is out there and a concept.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Tom,

    Take a look at: Truth About Real Estate Agent Referred Home Inspectors
    and their home page.

    Not a recommendation to join or not to join, just a information source/example of what is out there and a concept.
    I never joined them - didn't like the attitude of the person who started it (Dennis was his first name as I recall), too negative for me. I accepted referrals from agents, had 2-4 (as I recall) actual buyers agents (worked for the client and no reservations about walking a way from a deal if in their client's best interests or wishes) who sold high end homes and only recommended me as their inspector.

    I remember one client I inspected 7 houses for before she grasped that what she was looking at was not what she was looking for - and I got many referrals from her after her inspections ... which helped establish me in the high end market and led me to the top of the market.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I never joined them - didn't like the attitude of the person who started it (Dennis was his first name as I recall), too negative for me.............

    Dennis R. Robitaille, but that is all I turned up with minimal effort. For developing the group, attitude had to be number one. Going against the Realtors I am sure he had to start with an "in your face " attitude. Thus separating the independent group from those who would shade in favor of the Realtor/agent/seller.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    The Truth About Independent Inspectors
    House Inspections BC - Independent Home Inspections - Bruce Hunter & Associates

    I don't know of any association which does not promote its services to brokers and agents.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post

    Dennis R. Robitaille, but that is all I turned up with minimal effort. For developing the group, attitude had to be number one. Going against the Realtors I am sure he had to start with an "in your face " attitude. Thus separating the independent group from those who would shade in favor of the Realtor/agent/seller.
    His attitude also separated him and his group from the real independents ... those of us who knew how to handle the agents he feared and those of us who knew how to make those agents 'work for us' instead of running away from those agents.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    For the record, I was joking when I said I liked the idea of marketing myself as the "not in the pocket of the Realtor HI". That idea suggests to the public that some HIs are dishonest and working to help realtors sell houses rather then working solely for the best interests of the buyer. It's bad PR for the whole HI industry.

    I think I hear a lot of you guys suggesting that Realtors do not like HIs because they see HIs as potential deal breakers. That realtors would rather not have their buyer client get a home inspection because it just makes it less likely that the house will sell.

    I disagree with that. I believe that the best realtors want and welcome home inspections because they know that it helps to protect themselves from being blamed by the buyers, if the buyers discover later that their new house was a lemon. Also, if the realtor suggests to the buyer that they might want to get a home inspection it shows that they are looking out for their buyers best interests. They know that if a buyer has a good experience with them on this sale, then that same client will come back to them later as a repeat customer. There is no antagonistic relationship between HIs and realtors when the realtor is experienced and knows what is best for everyone involved.
    So, that's my two cents on the subject.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    And all used car salespeople are honest.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    dang,,,,, where did I put that Soap Box.....can't find it..will keep it short..

    Standing up and drawing a line in the sand is hard to do, which is what the organization did to have no question about independence. I can commend them in that respect, no hedging their bet, all or nothing. Membership does not equate to ability to perform and could create a wolf in sheep clothing. Though I can be cynical since I have worked on all sides of the proverbial fence and know collusion takes place.

    It may be analogous to seeking advice on investments. Do you go to someone that is selling products based on their advice or someone that is only selling their opinion and advice getting no kickback or commission from their recommendations????

    Brokers push for sales and indoctrinate agents that they know nothing about construction and are there to get numbers. Agents use the HI to take the burden of liability and place it on the HI. The agent has no problem in letting the HI take the rap since the agent can just find another HI if their guy is burned bad and becomes unusable. Many a HI sells his sole to the devil for a few coins, not to mention to extend the notion that they know something about what they are doing when they really have no clue due to ego, arrogance or greed.

    As far as the truth being bad for the real estate or HI industry I disagree. Do I hear a ?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I'm not happy until the Realtors are not happy.

    I pity those who through necessity have to grovel to agents.
    Agreed...

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Former home inspector may be getting back into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I'm not happy until the Realtors are not happy.

    I pity those who through necessity have to grovel to agents.
    Amen brother Ray.....many inspectors in smaller communities are at the mercy of the local re-litters. I have nothing but compassion for them but as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather drive a truck.....and I have!

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

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