Nick, most of this is correct but I do have much more insight into this since I have conducted research, testing and investigation into the inspection business around here.
These are facts and not just my opinions:
There are inspectors who have high fees because they receive a large amount of realtor referrals and therefore can raise their fees. Many of these produce soft reports and some of these spend most of their time at the house “typing” instead of inspecting !
Inspectors have different operating costs. I can offer a lower price and actually make MORE money than many of my competitors because I have some smart business practices in place.
You say when in doubt, for the agents to seek the highest price. They are not in doubt, it only takes a short time to learn who is good and who is average. I estimate there are over 1200 agents that know the high level of detail my inspections include and have very few send me work. This speaks volumes as to the lack of ethics with agents since my fees are around the middle range as well. I don’t market to agents which no doubt causes some of this but if they were truly looking out for their clients I would be overbooked, plain and simple fact. I also see many agents sending me new homes because they know the builder will fix everything but are scared to send me an older home because they DO NOT want the buyer to know what all is wrong with that house.
INACHI should move some of its resources into educating the government so that laws can be formed to stop the agents from controlling most of the inspection work and directing it to the average inspectors. Average inspectors are actually poor inspectors that unethically rip off the public. The nature of this business should require only very good to excellent inspections and report writing skills. The lame duck guy’s need to be eliminated to protect the home buying public, plain and simple.
We all are prone to missing things here and there but blatant acts of poor inspecting to get repeat referrals should be a criminal offense, plain and simple folks. The reason it continues is that the poor homebuying public does not have the resources or skills to go after the bad inspectors. The high volume lame duck inspectors (and/or the agents involved) are just paying off the unhappy clients that push them far enough and the cycle continues.
Well Said! When inspectors stand or fall because of the quality of their inspections and not because of referrals from those, whose interests are directly compensated by the sale of the home, we as an industry will be much better off! Lending institutions, banks and morgage and insurance companies are interested in where the money goes and what you get for the monies invested and they appreciate a detailed thorough inspector.
“I also see many agents sending me new homes because they know the builder will fix everything but are scared to send me an older home because they DO NOT want the buyer to know what all is wrong with that house.”
Bruce, I just had a conversation on Friday with a lady Realtor who has done this for the last year or so… she has sold 4-5 “new” homes and about 4 times that many “older” homes. I did all the newer homes.
She pretty much said what you’ve stated above (“paraphrased” would be a better description!) And I did the inspection on the home she bought three years ago - a 16 y/o home at the time that needed a good bit of work…:roll:
I do what I do because I enjoy it (the discovery of ‘what’s there’ and education of an interested buyer parts, that is). I don’t enjoy a lot of the people outside that portion of the job…
Many of the banks/lenders have employees on commission also or get bonuses based on the number of deals closed. They really don’t want to hear about the real condition of the house either. This may have been ok for them when property values were climbing at a good clip but will now start to bite them when they find out 5 years later that the house is worth less than the loan amount due to lack of upkeep, rot, improper construction and slap worn out hvac and roof that was there when they loaned the money.
The real estate business is mostly a scam and needs to change!
Used houses are rarely in good shape and the dumping of these issues onto poor unsuspecting buyers is WRONG!
I know how you feel, I love the 30-40 year old homes that I can inspect without any distractions. I call it “getting on a roll”, I remember one I did that had about 70 issues, that translates to about 110 entries on my voice recorder, I was moving around the house making my recordings and snapping pictures and stopped for a water break and looked at my voice recorder, it had 60 entries, I thought wow, have I been here that long? I looked at the time and noticed that I had only been there 40 minutes. I ended up taking about 3 hours total and felt really good about what I had accomplished for my client. Then I had to write the report that night… 3 hours of more work. Compared to what the drive by inspectors get per hour I should have been paid $700 for that 2200 sf house.
Wow, 6 hours for an inspection and report of a 2200 sq. ft. home?
I’m in and out of a home that size (with the report handed to my client on-site) in 3 hours tops.
When you get one with 70+ problems do you report each one or just refer the whole thing to contractors? We are required to report everything in the SOP around here, some houses just take a long time to do properly.
I think it is important to work at your own pace. If your comfortable being in and out and report done in 3 hours, Great! I would love to get to that point where I would feel 100% comfortable doing exactly that! Could use the extra time that would give me.
Taking my time and making sure I have covered everything is extemely important to me. I don’t want to forget to put something in the report that should be in there and taking time back at home to sit down and get my head around everything will definitely help reduce the possibility of that happening.
Back to the subject. I’m in my second year of this and have 3 realtors that send me business pretty regular. All have seemed like great people up until a few weeks ago. I have a feeling that they have not sent me business because they expect me to return the favor. Which is all well and good but unfortunately I don’t run into people everyday that are looking to purchase a home. If I did they would each get a fair share. So, even though I felt I had a great relationship with them, it boils down to “what have you done for me lately”! That is a concept I truly hate! I choose to not spend a lot of time marketing to realtors because it seems to all boil down to “is this person making me money?”. It should be all about “who is the best inspector for the job?”.
All that being said. I think in this area, realtors will be my bread and butter. As much as I don’t want to admit it. I’m not sure that there would be enough business from Joe Smith calling my from an internet search to keep me in business. BUT I SURE AS HECK WILL KEEP TRYING!