ASHI disclosure

Had a new one today.

Client who was referred to me from a past client schedules an inspection for Friday. Her agent has told her that she want her to sign a disclosure stating that they recommended she hire an ASHI inspector and that she was hiring a non-ASHI inspector in spite of that. :roll:

Fortunately I was able to tell my client that her agent was full of crap, and recommended that when her agent tells her to sign it, tell her no. What a bunch of BS.

Anyone know if that crap is even legal?

To the contrary…and you know this from your own experience, Mark…the agent is actually increasing their liability by limiting the client’s search for a home inspector.

Tell your Client to ask the Realtor to cite what law or regulation requires such a waiver to be signed. Sounds like the Realtor wanted their favorite boy to be hired and got pissed when it did not go their way.

Also… the Client should ask the Realtor if they will attached a guarantee and warrantee against all defects if they choose their favorite inspector.

Since when do Realtors pick the best inspectors? I see very little of that going on.

Correct.

We regularly sue any real estate agent caught recommending any member of a known no-entrance-requirement diploma mill (like ASHI). The suits don’t go very far (we actually don’t even file them, we just send them and say we are filing them). We send a copy to the agent’s broker and their insurance company. From then on out, the agent never forgets to fulfill his/her fiduciary duty to his/her client to recommend the very best inspectors based solely on merit. And from then on out, never recommends any member of any known no-entrance-requirement diploma mill (like ASHI). You can join ASHI in less than 35 seconds, online, with nothing more than a valid credit card. Fax me the disclosure and we’ll explain to the agent how it is in his/her best interest (and in his her client’s best interest) to check the ASHI website to make sure the inspector is not a member of ASHI.

I’ll see if I can get a copy of it from my client.

Well, the agent never had the client sign a disclosure. Apparently their e-mail communications was good enough for “her Broker”. So I don’t have the disclosure to give to you.

However, the client informed me that she had told her agent that she didn’t want her to rush me. She wanted a good thorough inspection. Which gave me a chuckle. Surprisingly, the agent was very cordial and very professional (even helpful). So I was pleasantly surprised.

Mark -

Living by St. Louis you should be very aware that ASHI has had a Chapter there since at least 1982 (27 years) that I know of. There was no other inspection game in town back then.

  1. St. Louis has 3 past NATIONAL Presidents of ASHI there.
  2. The 1st Chair of the ASHI / EBPHI that ran the NHIE is in St. Louis.
  3. Until they started closing the home inspector schools, the ITA / Kaplan guy that kinda was in charge of the home inspectors lives in St. Louis.
  4. As MAR (realestators) started pushing for licensing, the guy that formed MAHI (the coalition of ASHI chapters - MAHI hired a lobbyist to go to the legislators in Missouri and She often indicates they represent all Missouri home inspectors) lives in the St. Louis area.
  5. The St. Louis ASHI Chapter for 20 years held a 2 day Annual inspector seminar that often pulled in 150-180 inspectors from 4-5 states around. The result of which is those boys regularly had $35,000 - $40,000 in their bank account to spend on PR for their group, etc.
  6. Its been told in years past that the sitting ASHI Chapter Pres down there had a courtesy seat on the local Board of Realtors.
  7. I’ve seen a trifold brochure in years past that one of the St. Louis area Board of Realtors gave out to the home buyers explaining the home inspection process, and recommending using ASHI inspectors and the ASHI Standards of Practice in the inspection process.

Given all that type history , is it any wonder that RE Agents in St. Louis recommend ASHI. The guys in ASHI sure don’t fight it AND often brag at seminars I’ve attended that if you’re in St. Louis - “You don’t work unless you’re ASHI or willing do work real cheap”.

Mark -

One other thing … Twice in the past 4-5 years I’ve had FRIENDS in other states call me and say their Son or Daughter was buying a house in the St. Louis area and the realtor told the kids that:

a) Because of past problems with other inspectors, the realtors couldn’t use ANYBODY but an ASHI member for the inspection (the parents wanted to know if I knew if this was a state or city ordinance or law, etc).

b) Because this RAISED such a “Red Flag” in the parents eyes, they then asked me if I would go to St. Louis to inspect the house for their kids (3.5 to 4 hour drive each way for me). I said yes. They then told the RE Agent they were sending me down from Kansas City and I was ASHI. The next day the parents called me back - the Agent had got on the web and, researched me a little; called another Agent they knew in KC and asked about me (I was told the Agent heard that I was a DK - nicknamed the hammer); and the Agent apparently looked us up on places like “Angies List”. Something the Agents heard or saw apparently spooked them And The END result was the kids were then told in each case THE Inspector had to BE a St. Louis ASHI member to “know how its done down here”.

I was really not that interested in driving 8 hours just to inspect a house, but was getting REVED UP thinking this might be good PR.

As most of you know if you’ve been on this Board awhile, one of my degrees was in Real Estate. In Missouri up until very recently most RE Agent took 45 hours of classes to get a license. I have over 600 hours of real estate courses with a lot in RE law. I had also done several TV exposes on bad builders, bad Code Inspectors, bad inspectors, etc AND been used on a dozen newspaper stories on the same.

I called the Agents involved, explained the situation and offered to make them a media STAR. After we talked (actually I talked - they listened), it turned out to be a total mistake. The kids had misunderstood the Agents, AND the Agents would be only to happy to let me inspect AT my convenience. When I got there, the Agent couldn’t have been more gracious AND neither house had any significant issues (which makes you wonder why the Agents were so **** to the kids to start with).

Last year I had the same scenario come up in Wichita Kansas (3 hours from me). The Agent would only let an ASHI inspector inspect the house. But wait Dad was an ASHI inspector from New Jersey. So then it could ONLY be an ASHI inspector from Kansas. I was asked to go down there and AGREED. Then it became ONLY an ASHI inspector from Wichita. I gave those kids an ASHI inspector I know in Wichita that EVEN I think is out in left field a lot (I don’t think he’s ever seen a house he can get out of in under 4 hours - and thats if its under 2,000 sf).

The Agents really flipped out on the kids when they got his name. After about 4 - 5 days of shuffling the kids dropped the Agent and house.

Makes you wonder why the Agents don’t have more fear about this kind of chicanery in our areas.

A$HI with the help from Realtors owns Missouri and as long as the inspectors and other inspector organizations just let it happen, they always will. Sad but true.

We checked all week and can find NO evidence that such a form exists or ever existed. We even called the local boards of REALTORs and they know nothing of it and said that they would never use such a form.

Nick,

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to set up a sting operation with the help of the professionals at NACHI.TV.

A person with the vast real estate experience you have would be the perfect conductor for this ASHI train wreck.

I say do it.

Then release the tapes to the media, along with posting it on YouTube.

Then I’d call the Justice Department …

It would be from the local Coldwell Banker Gundaker office: 1030 Woodsmill Plaza, Town & Country MO 63017. (http://www.cbgundaker.com/search/office/detail.jsp?code=011)

I don’t know if it is a “form”, or if the Broker just told his agent to “get it in writing”.

I never saw it, and the client said that her agent said that their e-mail conversation was sufficient for her Broker.

I personally think that Coldwell Banker Gundaker and ASHI have a thing together. When I was an agent with them (not this same office), it was stated as fact that the inspectors HAD to be ASHI (as in it was a law or something.)

Same thing when it goes to real estate offices having a preferred inspector list. Most will deny even a list exists but I have seen them, I have even seen them pull them up on their main computer. I guess I just have a vivid imagination because everybody knows Realtors do not lie. :shock:

There is even one real estate company in my area that has only two inspectors on their list. How do I know because on two separate occasions, a real estate agent that had left that company has confined in me. Too much of a coincidence for me. If they are going to have lists than all certified inspectors need to be on them even the Hammer Dan, not just the softest inspectors.

The RE/MAX in my area is bad about telling their clients that they got to have an A$HI inspector. The sad part is the A$HI inspector that they constantly refer has been in the business way longer then me and is not a full member. I have asked other A$HI inspectors about him and they said he just has never taken the test. Sad but true.

Ha, all it would take is some publicity and most Realtors would change this practice.

I check the ASHI website daily to make sure I am not a member…:mrgreen:
Whew…!

Funny you should say Coldwell Banker. During our investigation this week we uncovered something new. CB is telling their agents nationally to AVOID ASHI members due to their lack of requirements.

Do you have a source? I could easily forward that to the particular agent.

I’m trying to get the “Don’t Use ASHI Members” on Coldwell Banker letterhead so that I can blast it out to the entire real estate community, however you need not wait for me and Coldwell Banker to say that ASHI is a diploma mill (third party).

Show the agent (yourself) that anyone can join ASHI in less than 35 seconds, online, with nothing more than a valid credit card. I generate tens of thousands of hits to this link: http://www.homeinspector.org/join/application/default.aspx

Agents get paid huge commissions for mostly professional advice. Inspections are a big part of today’s real estate transaction and EVERY licensed real estate agent has a duty to familiarize themselves with the qualifications of every inspector they recommend. That is why Chris built the new transcript tool. ASHI has ZERO entrance requirements. Their highest “full” membership level uses the exact same exam that is used by many states to license newbies. I don’t state this personal opinion lightly… but ASHI is a diploma mill. I offer free expert witness to any consumer who got a bad inspection after their agent steered them to an inspector without first checking the ASHI website to make sure the inspector didn’t *leap frog *into the industry. All agents collecting a commission in return for professional advice, have a duty to check the ASHI website to make sure the inspector they are recommending is NOT a member. I continue to testify to this under oath in deposition after deposition as a witness for consumers who get steered toward diploma mill inspectors. I say it under oath all the time: In my opinion, any agent that recommends an ASHI diploma mill inspector should be hung, and if lynching isn’t legal, the agent should at least pay for all the repairs missed by the inspector. I shouldn’t have to say this. The information is online for all to confirm: http://www.homeinspector.org/join/application/default.aspx Use it.