Is the BPCPA going to have any jurisdiction over VIREB, REBGV or any other Real Estate board?

Is the BPCPA going to enforce the policy of home inspectors not recieving referrals from Realtors due to potential of conflict of interest?

Certainly does not look like it!

REALTORS® are licensed by the province through the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, as legislated by the [FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][size=2]Real Estate Services Act[/size][/FONT].

Hey Mark - Claude is correct in his facts. The Board is not the right body. It is the Council and the Minister of Finance. However we as an organization are working to stop this practise and the interference with the inspection process in general and we believe that although not under the SG’s control that he may help lobby for change when the time comes.


The vast majority of realtors in our area give out a list of home inspector phone numbers and allow their clients to choose for themselves. As long as this practice continues I don’t see a problem.

They are not the enemy, and it is in their best interests to refer clients to qualified home inspectors.

Don’t start a war where there isn’t one.

I am not starting a war where there isnt one. Unfortunately, I can assure you that the majority of Realtors in my area use individual home inspector(s) on a fairly consistent basis.

I have been asked to my face if I want to work for a particular Realtor, like an employee or something. Hmmm… conflict of interest

I have also been told that I better not make it sound too bad or I wont get another one next week. Hmmm… conflict of interest

I have recieved email(s) from Realtors after marketing them saying something like, you sound really great but we only use…

I have talked to members of the general public that recently had an inspection and asked them if their Realtor gave them a list or any options when it came to their inspector choice. The vast majority say, no, my realtor picked him/her for me and it usually ends up being the same consistent inspector.

Here is a perfect example of a Realtors website in my area:


I wonder how many inspectors are on this realtors list?

I have never had any of the experiences with realtors that you mention. What about other inspectors on the board … what are your experiences?

Similar to Mark or not?

Hi Paul,

I can assure you I am not trying to start a war. I can also assure you that Marc is not alone. As a BCIPI Board member I hear cases every week of specific referrals, interference with the inspection or worse black-balling of specific inspectors that may do too thorough a job for the liking of some Realtors. I can also confirm as an inspector in the business for the last two years that in the majority of cases, I have had the selling or buying Realtor, trying to limit my time in the dwelling (because I do not conform to the 1-3 hours that the majority of inspectors take) or they have tried to interfere in some way with my findings. I am not going to argue whether there is 5% or 95% of Realtors that act in this way. The point is that they exist so the system needs to be tweaked so it is harder for these types of events to take place.

The facts are that a majority of the public, when asked, agree that a Realtor recommending any specific inspectors constitutes at least an implied conflict of interest. The Realtors are not to engage in any activity that may bring distrust on the industry, so it is also in their best interest to adapt a policy of just referring the clients to the BPCPA website of licensed inspectors and this is what we will be asking for. The problem is when these same people are asked where they got their inspector from, the vast majority state their Realtor. So it is our job as inspectors to try and educate the public and bring this issue to the foreground so that the next time they go to buy a house they independently find their inspector to ensure that inspector is very clear who his/her client is.

These are my thoughts. Obviously there is those that will not share them. Fortunately there is enough roight now on the BCIPI Board that we are actually going to try to change the industry so everyone can benifit from a level playing field.


Do agent’s in your area pay for the home inspection. It’s rampant out here. Now that is a conflict of interest. (I refuse to do any inspection payed for by an agent unless it’s a property they are purchasing)
I have been asked if I would sub for an agent once. I know not in B.C. But it is everywhere.

Hi Gerry, I have heard of this happening but would not say it is a common occurrence. What has been reported in the last couple of months is a situation where the Realtor refers a small selection of inspectors, a specific inspector low balls the price of the inspection to get the job and then after the house sells, the inspector receives $200 cash back. This was reported by a Realtor who refuses to go on record so we have no way of confirming this is fact. All we could do was send an unanimous complaint letter into that inspector’s association. Again - can you say COI!


Wow, sounds like you live in a real snake pit. In my area agents have tried to pay for the inspection because the client was not available, but I haven’t allowed it, and they have tried to sign the contract for the client but I haven’t allowed that either. In all of those cases it was because they had not allowed enough time and were trying to rush everything along (a common thing with realtors.)

One problem with the BPCPA website at the moment is that the database is arranged so that if the area being searched is not where you live, your name does not pop up.

For example, I live in Roberts Creek, but most of my business is Gibsons and Sechelt. If you don’t know my name or the name of my business then you will not find me if you search Gibsons or Sechelt.

I would be happy for people to use the BPCPA site as long as it had the capability to show multiple towns. As it is, it isn’t much use. I’ve written to them with my concerns.

Sean was on the radio the other day, and there was a fairly quick response from a realtor via talk-back, saying that his comments were incorrect. The point here is not that there aren’t ethically compromised realtors, but that the vast majority of them are ethical and why insult them?

Education, not confrontation, is my preference.

I totally agree about the BPCPA website it needs to be fixed and we should be able to post our listing under several communities. I too, am in the process of writing them.

Educating some of the Realtors in my area isnt an option. In fact, some of them feel that I should be trained to their process. Unfortunately, I disagree due to the fact that we are informed by education and experience and controlled by SOP and COE. Some of them dont even know what a sill plate is, yet some insist on challenging our professional opinion. Some that I work with are not interested in searching any further by the time the inspection is booked. Furthermore, booking the inspection, essentially, takes them off the hook for alot of due diligence and puts us on the line.

Why, would I take a risk with my business reputation and company assets just to please Realtors? (not that i would)

I will tell you why… because they are the low hanging fruit who process the transactions on a daily basis and at times refer a piece to us.

The whole process, right from the top, has HUGE potential for conflict of interest and it needs to be fixed.

If it were controlled by an authority, this discussion would end and it would protect the consumers and allow fair business in BC.

Currently, it is NOT looking out for the best interest of the consumer and it is allowing unfair business practice for our industry.

Sure, its great we are licensed to protect the consumers but how many unqualified inspectors did it actually wipe out? I think it was a very small percentage. If we really want to protect the consumer, ask them to call 2 or 3 inspectors with a list of interview questions.

Here is a thought, since we are now licensed shouldn’t a home inspection be mandatory.
Take the home inspection out of the Realtor process and put it in with the legal aspect.
The lawyer then has to give the client a home inspector list generated by BPCPA .

Absolutely not! As much as I would like to line my pockets, I hate the idea of mandatory rules and regulations.

Here’s a tidbit from a prior study on mandatory home inspections.

Hi John,

The Realtor’s handbook already provides some pretty strong language that Realtor’s are to use on their contracts. They recommend heavily that the client gets an inspection and basically have to sign away their first born if these refuse this recommendation. So I am not sure making the process mandatory would make a lot of difference. It is something that is on the BCIPI’s radar to talk about at the next meeting.

the article that Claude posted is interesting. Its logic is flawed in a few places (you can make pre-purchase inspections mandatory without making the contract conditional on a positive inspection). An inspector does not pass or fail a house. They should only describe the found defects. The client decides if they are willing to accept those defects at the price they have offered for the dwelling.

It was also interesting to read the the Realtors did not like reports that alarmed the clients. Is that not our job? Are we not to alarm the clients when we find defects so they are able to make an informed decision? What qualifications does a Realtor have to determine an inspection report has too much detail. Can you imagine their response if we said their contract was too complicated and should be simplified?

The key is working with the Realtors to try to educate them that it is not in the client’s best interest to interfere with the inspection as far as time on site or our findings. Hopefully if all organizations come together on this we will have some clout and be heard by the REACBC. BCIPI hope to take its step in the very near future once we get past the mechanics of ensuring everyone is licensed and we have processed all of our new applicants.