Do I or Don't I

I’m new to home inspections, opening my busines back in September of this year - I’ve got 12 paid inspections under my belt to date. I’ve just experienced my first client that walked away from the purchase of a home after my inspection. The roof had really bad structural issues, and the house did not present well at all - Very dirty.
The client hired me without a referal from a real estate salesperson, and I had never met the real estate agent working on behalf of my client. As the story goes “If you kill a deal for a real estate agent, they’re never hire you for another inspection.” But since he didn’t refer me, would it be wise for me to contact him about future business? Is there a time frame I should wait before calling him? This couldn’t have happened at a worst time since I’m ramping up a new business Any help would be appreciated.

Clive Peacock


Congrats on a good first few months in this economy!

If you are worried about what agents think you are setting yourself up to become one of their puppies. Make sure you have E&O insurance.

The home buying public is starting to get smarter and hire their own inspectors so wasting time marketing to agents is well, a waste of time.

Just had an agent tell me that her office used to have only 2 guys do all the inspections and now they are forbid to recommend them anymore. I’ll let you figure that one out.

Go ahead and contact the agent. You’ll probably be doing a second inspection for the same client in a few weeks when the find another house. Be professional. If the agent is a low life “used house salesman” they will never recommend you anyway if you are worth anything. If they are professional and interested in their clients best interest, your professionalism may impress them, and you’ll get future referrals. You got nothing to loose.

I generally send agents I’m unfamiliar with a generic “thank you, nice to meet you, remember me in the future” email after the inspection. If they like the report, they’ll at least call back and get a price. If they didn’t like it, you’ve lost nothing.

Agree, nothing to lose. Why not. I usually send email and say sorry the house wasn’t maintained enough for my clients preference and hopefully the next one will be in better shape. Hope you had an pleasant experience and refer me in the future. Rarely happens on a kill deal, but again, nothing to lose.

I also do as Joe does. Occassionally, I will step it up a notch, and send a “hand written” Thank-you card if I am trying to get my foot in the door into a difficult area. Gives it that extra personal touch.

YEP… Say it again Mark

You’d be surprised how much of the time we assume wrong. What’s the saying? Ya never know 'til ya try?!

Definitely contact the agent. They will either respect your unbiased report and professionalism and contact you for future inspections, or they will not. You have nothing to lose and only a new agent to gain.:cool:

Congrats on the good start. Others have already given you great advise. I am wondering why in the world you have not capitalized on your last name for a company brand. “Peacock” is loaded down with possibilities not to mention a logo if done right that would knock the clients off their feet. Not likely to forget the name either. It could be a marketing gold mine.

Thanks for the responses gentlemen - Much appreciated.
As luck would have it, the buyer used the same agent for the next house they looked at, so I didn’t have to contact the agent after all. The inspection went well, except for the vermiculite in the attic, and the brother of the seller had died the night before the inspection - Is it the buyer or the agent that’s the bad omen??? And no I not making this up… Anyway, the vermiculite tested negative for asbestos, so all turned out well, and the client purchased the house.

The End
Clive Peacock

Unless you made a mistake, the correspondence should not be apologetic.

Good point. :smiley:

And gongrats Clive on the start of your new career.

Understood!! Thanks for the advice.

There is a used house salesman in my area who claims that in three decades of selling houses she has had only two clients walk after a home inspection. I conducted both of them.

She told this to a client without knowing it would get back to me. In putting out this kind of message, while her intent is certainly not to help me get business, it has resulted in more inspections than she had previously referred to me.

Never “blink” when your client walks away from a house. If your marketing plan includes soliciting referrals from salesmen…do it as if nothing ever happened and establish at the very beginning of your relationship that you simply report the condition of the house and are not influenced by the outcome. If they reject you, they have done you a favor. If they complain about you to others…they are promoting your services to people who do not trust real estate salesmen to tell them the truth about a house. Either way, you win.

Whiners and worriers never should be in business. I sleep very well at night.

Um… The vermiculite may have tested negative for asbestos where the sample was taken from… but this doesn’t mean there is no vermiculite in other parts of the attic.

Vermiculite came in bags from a mine. Some of the bags were contaminated, some weren’t. Apparently the bag that your test came from wasn’t, but just a few inches away there still could be.

The EPA recommends that you assume vermiculite contains asbestos and leave it alone (they have a few other recommendations too) but they do not recommend testing because a negative test result may lead to an inaccurate conclusion.

Who cares what the agent thinks, send your material and be the bigger person. You did exactly what you were hired to do. Present the facts to help the buyer make a decision. Time for the agent to do HIS JOB and find the buyer another house. What you should be doing is contacting that buyer and asking if they need some help or more information to help get the next place lined up for an inspection.

sent them a “PFFFFT”

You’ll learn in any business that you can’t make everyone happy. You’ll lose clients, referrals and agents along the way. But if you did your job and made YOUR client aware of the defects, then you are on the right track.

Don’t spend time on making “nice” with a realtor on a deal that fell through. Spend time on getting your name out there to the general public. I learned a long time ago that depending on realtors for business was a poor use of my time and resources. That’s just my experience, others will disagree.

Good luck in the year to come~!

In my oppinion positive word of mouth advertising is much more powerful then real estate agent referals. Our job is to provide information to our clients so they can make decisions about the homes they are purchasing. If you did a good job for the cleint that is all that really matters in the long run. Realtors will come and go but satified cleints will market for you for a long time to come.

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