I often talk about potential conflict and liability issues by the way Inspectors conduct their businesses here. Seldom do we see real life reactions to these practices, but this is one of those.
When you as an inspector ride the ethics line too close, someone will pass a law that is more far reaching than the issue at hand; thus Home Inspection Licensing requirements which are controlled by REA’s and are over the top to protect “Their” financial interests. An ethics concern as well.
As you know I am outspoken when it comes to the ancillary services like HVAC and Thermography by Home Inspectors because HI’s learn a little bit, just enough to become dangerous to their client, and plaster it across their web site as a marketing advantage over other Hi’s. This is exactly what this BC Inspector is doing. It is not that any one thing was wrong, but the way he presented things he was quite transparent as to his intentions.
If he was not screwing the buyer, he was misrepresenting himself to the REA’s. Both are ethics issues.
REA’s represent the seller in all cases, period. Buyer or seller, their client is ultimately the Seller! When an REA brings a buyer to your listed house, this is disclosed and understood by the seller. Any REA does not get paid until the sellers interests have been fulfilled. So even though they are working with the buyer and must consider all ethics, they are agents of the seller.
Take a look at your marketing material. Do you offer things that you really are not an expert in?
HVAC diagnosis is not taking air temp readings of the supply/return with an IR Thermometer. Finding blue spots with a pocket IR camera is not Thermography. Home Inspection is about “Observation” and reporting those observations. If you can’t see something, you must be an expert in that field to talk about it. Many Inspectors are such experts from a previous occupation. This does not mean your web master can stick the same stuff as other inspectors do on your site to be competitive. Reading about a subject in NACHI Training provides you great insight on the subject, but in no way makes you an expert.
If you disregard this you may get away with it, but it may cast a bad light on the entire industry which ultimately will effect you as well. This BC Inspector will effect the world wide Pre-Listing Inspection program due to public opinion (not just case law), even though everything he said was true individually, throwing them all in the mixing pot at once created the projectile to shoot himself in the foot. And you can count on the Provencal Government to step up and protect him from himself!