Inspector conflict of interest - comparable home

Interested in feedback and thoughts on the following situation:

A home I am selling is currently under contract. An internachi-certified inspector hired by the buyer showed up to complete the inspection today and in talking with him while he was completing the inspection, I learned he personally owns the only other direct comparable home (within 100 sq. ft.; same bed/bath) to ours currently on the market in our subdivision. Additionally, the listing agent for this inspector’s home is on the same realty ‘team’ as the realtor representing the buyer of my home.

Given this inspector has a related financial interest in my property, I feel this clearly violates the professional independence, objectivity and integrity of the inspection but curious for other professionals in this field’s thoughts.

No he doesn’t, actually.


I should mention we lowered our price $25k below his the week before accepting the buyer’s offer. If/when this sale is completed for my home, it will undoubtedly impact his ability to justify his current asking price.

I agree with Dominic.

Sounds like you got him, Brett… :cowboy_hat_face: :grin:

Brett, welcome to our forum!..Enjoy! :smile:

Good Morning Brett,
As an InterNACHI member he is required to abide by InterNACHI’s code of ethics, so it’s not a conflict of interest. He isn’t making any money off the sale of your property. He is collecting a fee for the services he provided to the potential buyer.

Pretty lame. No conflict.

House prices are on the rise he will get his asking price and more and you will be the underdog, he wins.

I get you and that could be Scott. Time will tell.

I’m not seeing that you have a say in the matter.

I do believe you have confused Real Estate Appraiser and Home Inspector.

An appraiser is concerned with comparables and comparing like properties with like properties.

A home inspector is NOT concerned with comparing anyone’s property with anyone else’s.


No confusion, simply questioning a matter of ethics.

let’s say, hypothetically, said inspector cites foundation water penetration through a sealed crawl space due to evidence of water stains on the vapor barrier in their report. This turns off the potential buyer and they withdraw their offer.

In reality, the source of the water was from the air handler’s condensation line being improperly pitched/installed by builder’s subcontractor and had since been rectified by the homeowner via their warranty.

Buyer then proceeds to purchase the inspector’s comparable home, who provided the incorrect information on their report.

Call me crazy but this is 100% unethical and a conflict of interest.

As the homeowner, they absolutely have a say in who they do and do not allow into their home. Additionally, they have a right to voice their concerns about the inspector to their realtor/buyer’s agent.

The question isn’t who ‘won’ and who ‘lost’. The question is regarding ethics.

Only if the statements made by the inspector were fraudulent or deliberately inaccurate. Otherwise, he’s just incompetent.

It’s a bizarre scenario, IMO.

Just curious where you’re located. In 2020 Most areas of the country east, west, north, and midwest, buyers are offering asking price or even more with multiple offers.
Unless you started with an unrealistic price.

Still makes no sense. Like Christopher said, prices are up around the country, and with internet rates low, selling a house is pretty easy.

Hypothetically, doesn’t matter. I’ve inspected tear downs that the client bought anyway, and I’ve inspecter perfectly fine homes that the buyer walked away from over minor issues that could have been easily fixed.

Why someone does or doesn’t buy a house after an inspection is out of the inspector’s hands and doesn’t always follow any logic.

And sometimes a buyer just decides they just want to do something different and they use the inspection report as an excuse to cancel escrow.

I once had clients use my report to cancel escrow because the house next door to their best friend suddenly came on the market and they didn’t want the house I had just inspected anymore, even trough the issues with the house were realtiely minor. As the saying goes stuff happens

In an area of the country where the median sales price for a home is $345k. Both homes in this scenario were listed for $740k originally as we live in an above average custom home community. Homes at these price points attract much different buyers and have more involved sales processes.

A much more justifiable comp. for both homes is in the $705-$715k range, which is in line with where we landed with our buyer ($715k). Needless to say, both were ambitiously priced originally given the strong demand

Everything in the hypothetical scenario I detailed is true, with the exception of our buyer walking away and purchasing the inspector’s home due to the incorrect report.

Whether it was intentional or just incompetence, my point is it’s perceived by myself, my wife and our realtor to be a conflict of interest and unethical.

But none of that happened. You’re crying over milk that hasn’t been spilt yet. Next…

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