Ethics or conflict of interest

Is it a conflict of interest for an Inspector to do a Home inspection for myself , friend or family member ?
here in Minnesota the state does not have any requirements for a Home Inspector . I know as my job as an Inspector I should point out any Major or minor defects and cosmetic defects . such as garage door sensors and latches missing from said door or even a loose jack in the cellar that is suppose to support the floor joist from sagging . Which a 20 year veteran contractor would have missed if I didn’t point it out and im not sure the appraiser saw the the support jack either .

No, but it has been my experience that inspecting for myself should be disclosed within the PA to avoid hurdles at the renegotiation table. Prevents them from calling “BS” due to a conflict of interest as they approved your intent to inspect. As for family… basically same answer for same reason. Some inspectors say “only if same name”, but things can get sticky if the relationship is discovered at a later date. Don’t play games and avoid the potential risks. JMHO.

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Thank you Jeff , The Lender said it would be a Conflict of Interest . I was able to tag along with the inspector and was able to mention said defects that he included in the report.

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Personally I think people are over thinking this. I’m sure that in a state where a Home Inspection is required for the purchase of a house, It would most likely be a conflict of interest “Legally” and maybe even states where you are licensed may forbid it (but you will need to read the regulations that “they passed so you will know what is in it”. And then interested parties could throw a stink.

But if you are in a state that is not regulated by licence and or does not require a Home Inspection, (aka, a state where people can still say “It is a Free country”) I say do the inspection. At the negotiation table I can’t see what difference it is going to make whether the findings of defects are your own or by another… “The Picture” and the Defect is the same. The only thing I can see is that if you miss something, you ain’t got nobody to blame (or sue) but yourself.

No, “PEOPLE” are not overthinking this. I am in one of those “states” you are referring to. When I moved to Minnesota from Washington State, in the process of purchasing my home and starting up my relocated business, my Realtor strongly advised that I disclose my desire to perform my own inspection. A seller has a thousand reasons to say “NO” to an Offer to Purchase, as well as in renegotiations while trying to get concessions for significant repairs needed. A case could be made that your opinion is ‘prejudiced’ and not “credible” as the potential purchaser of the home. Me’thinks you need to get out of Utah and into the real world more often!

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You both are making valid points , Its kind of a catch 22 .
A well documented defect is still a defect .


If I was in this situation I would simply perform my own inspection while the other inspector was inspecting. I would just go around the house in a different order than he was. I would imagine an inspector knowing that he is inspecting another inspectors house would call out everything just so he didn’t get showed up and called out. If he missed anything then you could review it with him and make sure it made it into the report. Then there would be no questions or no conflict of interest.

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The truth shall set you free…A photo of a defect with an honest narrative is hard to argue, no matter whose finger pushed the buttons. If the regulation in your state is silent on this issue, then get-r-dun and move on to the next one.

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That is exactly what I did. The lender told my girlfriend of 3.5 years that it would be a conflict of interest and that I didnt have enough qualification or experience. I have a background in roofing , Electrical and had done foreclosure , Broker sign offs , Insurance loss claims for 10 + years .
The only thing I am waiting on is getting the correct software for my Home inspections. I pointed out those defects mentioned above after the 20 year veteran inspector skipped bye them.
She is moved out of mine and into her new home as I am re evaluating our relationship . LOL :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

People always throw around the term conflict of interest without really understanding what it means. Nick Gromicko posted the legal definition on the MB once.

It is not a conflict of interest. Jeff is right, it should absolutely be disclosed that you are doing your own inspection or for family, that is important, but not because it is a CoI. It would depend on your states Purchase Agreement and how it is written up, along with any applicable HI regulations. NM is going licensed next year, and there is absolutely nothing about forbidding someone from inspecting their own home. It is not a restriction in the PA. Disclose, disclose, disclose.

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Thank you , Where can I find Nick Gromicko`s post on the legal definition ?

John, I remember he used Black’s legal definition, but I found this which will be close:

conflict of interest -

n. a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties. This includes when an individual’s personal interests or concerns are inconsistent with the best for a customer, or when a public official’s personal interests are contrary to his/her loyalty to public business. An attorney, an accountant, a business adviser or realtor cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict. He/she may not join with a client in business without making full disclosure of his/her potential conflicts, he/she must avoid commingling funds with the client, and never, never take a position adverse to the customer.

I put in bold what he rightly pointed out, namely that advocating for one party, whomever that may be, can never by definition be a conflict of interest. In that thread his take was that wearing differing hats, as long as for the same party, is not a conflict of interest.

I believe you were representing the interests of your girlfriend. Were you representing the Seller at the same time??? Of course not. No C o I.

That lender was/is a retard.

He also had no grounds to state that you could not inspect the property. Even in a state with licensing, at least here it just means you can not legally get paid for an inspection. It does not prevent someone from doing so gratis. If the Seller does not accept the findings the Buyer presents then they can decline to purchase the home.

Double dolt.

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Thank you very much , This information has been very helpful and will use it as a reference lf needed in the future .