A brokerage I get many referrals from has partnered with a start up called inspectify. Their business model based on my experience, and the experience of the agents from the brokerage is suspect.
Essentially they present as a marketing company that takes leads from the partnered brokerage, and has inspectors bid on jobs. This all seems fine to me however, in the name of making home Inspections “more valuable” to their clients; they do not allow clients to be present for their inspection. This is because a %15 premium is being charged to the client but presented as being the inspectors bid. Part of that premium is paid back to the brokerage for the lead ( For any inspector to offer kick backs is unethical but I guess through marketing it is treated as a loophole). Furthermore instead of having the inspector present the report to the client inspectify (though unqualified) presents the defects to the buyer and have contractors bid on jobs i assume with a %15 premium. Clients never have the chance to discuss with the inspector how urgent recommendations are. They are encouraged by a marketing team to hire contractors at an inflated rate based on the inspection report.
I think at this point you see why this is concerning, however, there is more.
They have stepped into the telephone game of scheduling. I have no faith that they won’t mess up a time or date and I will end up trespassing into a home. I am comfortable accepting written permission to enter from a real estate agent because they share liability. A third party marketer has no place giving me permission to enter a home.
Because the inspector has no way to contact the client, or even knows who their agent is, we have no way to send a pre inspection agreement to them (inspectify doesn’t want the client to see what Inspectors charge before their 15% fee is added). I’m having real trouble understanding how to handle this. Should I make inspectify sign the agreement and hold them accountable? Do they then explain SOP’s and limitations etc. to the buyer? Is it legal for me to preform a home inspection for an entity who isn’t under contract on the home?
It is my impression that I am one of the first inspectors to deal with this new company. When I asked them about pre inspection agreements over the phone it sounded like they had never thought about it , same goes for with my permission to enter the home questions.
Any advise on how to protect myself from the legal issues I have brought up, would be greatly appreciated. I think this company is very close to if not blatantly violating the ethics codes of interNACHI and or the board of realtors. Please feel free to call or email with any questions or resolutions you may have. Thank you!