The used house salesmen of Kansas have quickly concluded that their law that they paid their government to enact…requiring that home inspectors write “deal killing” inspection reports to protect themselves from the unfair liability the law placed upon them…have come up with a new way to protect their commissions.
They no longer will recommend home inspections.
A very large Kansas real estate brokerage used to maintain a list of “approved” inspectors that they provided to their clients. They have replaced it with a three page document that suggests that homeowners, if they feel it prudent, to get “roof inspections” by a roofing specialist, etc. Out of more than a dozen different inspections recommended, a “home inspection” does not appear among them.
Looks like those ASHI members who allied themselves with their used house salesmen “hosts” have been repaid with the same degreeof treachory they used to pass this bill.
I cannot say that I feel a whole lot of pity for the Kansas inspectors who opposed the bill but, out of fear of losing their relationships with their favorite house salesmen, chose to remain silent. Now…they have the bill they hated and have still lost their referrals. It seems only fitting…
And the ASHI members who made up the fake “coalition” who will lose their advantage…it is especially sweet.
Sadly, it seems that representation of home inspectors is woefully ineffective regardless of association. Home inspectors as a group lack leadership, funds, organization and the desire to do anything about it.
Perhaps we should be lining the pockets of state legislators so that we can slide 11th hour addendums into bills that would require home inspections on certain real estate transactions.
If indeed this new development takes place, then it sounds like a win, win for the
consumer and the inspector.
1- Inspectors will now write harder reports (deal killing reports, as you say).
Now that inspectors recognize the liability they have to their client, these more
detailed and harder reports will protect the consumer and the inspector even more.
The realtor is the only looser, in the case of those who do not want full discloser.
2- Realtors no longer recommend home inspectors.
That is how it should be. Now there will be an even playing field for all inspectors,
especially those who have the noble title of “deal killer” because they write detailed
Now inspectors will have to get off the realtor free lunch program and begin
to market directly to the consumer, it will help destroy the ‘good old boy network’.
As far as liability… it has always been there, but now inspectors cannot pretend
it does not exist. If you can’t play with the big dogs, stay on the porch. Can
other professionals limit their liability to the price of an office visit, if they cause
you damage? No.
It is not possible to have the client sign anything that will take away their right to
sue you. It does not exist in the real world, but only in the make believe text
of some inspector agreements.
Why would realtors want a law that creates harder inspection reports and causes
less sales? There must be more to this than meets the eye.
Smell the coffee boys… the inspection industry is changing. Ready or not,
here it comes.
Since 1985, how many states have enacted home inspection laws? We need
to charge more, inspect harder and write better reports. The days of Johnny-Fix-it
with a check list inspection are over.
More and more states are re-visiting their current inspection laws and realizing
they are too weak and have no enforcement. Weak laws produce weak
results. That is changing.
Some said to me that the Texas laws would keep my prices down and our report
form would hinder me from writing a good report. Since that time I tripled
my prices and write a detailed report with no problem. I refuse to believe
the LIE that the STATE is my problem. They do not hold me back. Once
you accept that reality, you stop making excuses and find solutions.
I want inspectors to succeed, not whine and make excuses. You can do it.
Expand your market place into commercial, thermal imaging, energy audits,
working for contractors, insurance companies, pre listing inspections, phase
inspections and other ancillary services.
Get your web page up on google’s front page, market outside the box.
Make it happen. Don’t let anyone or any state law keep you down.
We had a brand new inspector come into Texas who was so loaded down
with work he was turning it away. Others were going out of business while
this guy was being hired by other inspection companies to help them run
their business. After meeting this guy, I understand why. Not even the strict
Texas HI laws could keep this guy down. He simply found the key.
I’m with John on this one, don’t look for this to happen overnight but in the long run I believe that Home Inspectors in general have a better “trust” rating with the public than Realtors ever have and over time will be able to continue to prove their worth to the buying public. The question is can they hang in there until the tide turns?
I said the same thing 31 years ago. Still waiting and running out of time.
**JMcKenna - **
A LOL (limit of liability) is standard procedure for most any professional service today The difference is most of them say they have NO liability or they’ll be harmless period. With home inspections we offer a set amount. It can be the amount of the fee, it can be $1,000, it can be 2 times the FEE, etc.
Wanta get Lasik - sign a LOL. Wanta send your kids on a school outing or let them play on the school soccer team - sign a LOL. Buy a car warranty - sign a LOL. Buy a house sign the realtors LOL.
You go in for lasik surgery and sign a 10 page LOL and the doctor shows up hung over and cause you to lose sight in 1 eye AND there WILL BE a lawsuit no matter what you signed. ITS the SAME with Home Inspectors.
What the LOL has always done is give a judge, arbitrator, etc the ability to dismiss something if they think it doesn’t have merit or is frivilous.
NOW the Realtors and Trial Attorneys are trying to PREVENT home inspectors from doing LOL’s - notice I said HI’s - not doctors, realtors, etc JUST us!
Reece and Nichols will no longer be recommending individual inspectors but rather point to the licensed list, which should nearly triple over the next year. So much for developing and earning market share.
Earning the right to be on the realtors list is not always something to
be proud of, considering what you have to do in order for them to
like you (in some cases).
In locations where the state list is filled with hundreds of inspectors, most
realtors will pick out their favorite few, with “Mr Nice” getting extra
verbal support from the realtor, such as… “we have had really good
results from Mr Nice”.
Earning market share and being part of the good old boy network do
not mean the same thing in most places, from what I have seen.
In a perfect world, realtors would only recommend the most thorough
home inspectors, regardless of the impact their reports have on the
sale of the house. I have met few who have that moral strength.
In a RE agent population that I estimate to be about 1,000, I have 3 and sometimes a fourth, that recommend me regularly but as mentioned on another thread today, in recent weeks, I’m being paid (at much higher fees)to drive into other areas with 3 to 6-7 HI’s to inspect!!
I have built a successful home inspection business in eastern Kansas by NOT having my name/company on any real estate list. I was always uncomfortable “joining” these lists, which would cost me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in “marketing and advertising costs”. They have to stop these “referral lists” under the new Kansas HB 2315 laws. Even inspectors in “business referral groups” will have to stop their memberships in these groups, due to the fact that they have to spend hundreds of dollars to belong to, just to get referrals, a breach of the new law. Nick just needs to help us get to the buyer. That is the key. How does an inspector get/inform/advertise to the buyer, without an RE in the way? A good subject for a thread. As of July 1st, I raised prices, and had my second largest July on record. The length of my home inspection forms doubled. Had to raise my prices due to new insurance costs. Another reason for the new Kansas bill. Insurance companies.
80% (from what I have read) of the people buying houses spend a certain
amount of time on the internet now a days. If your inspector web site is
not showing up on google, then your missing a huge flow of buyers who
may be looking for you.
It is there, but down the list. I have had many hits on my site. It contains a page where you can pre-schedule an inspection, but buyers have only used it three times in three years. I have to put in a fake buyer and send it to myself just to be sure it is working. I am also a KC BBB member, which has helped, probably the best. I advertise in church news flyers, some TV and some T-Bone baseball broadcasts, with few/no results. Lack of funds limit some ads. I have an ad in the Yellow Pages. Nothing from it. Waste of money there. Best thing is the old word-of-mouth/networking/buyer/friend referral.
The Kansas Bill does not prevent agent from giving out lists of inspectors or referring them.
Among the prohibited acts for the HOME INSPECTORS themselves are:
Offering or delivering any commission, referral fee or kickback for
the referral of any business to the home inspector; and
Accepting an engagement to perform a home inspection or to pre-
pare a home inspection report in which the employment itself or the fee
payable for the inspection is contingent upon the conclusions in the home
inspection report, pre-established or prescribed findings or the closing of the underlying real estate transaction.
Note: The bolded text would be an ideal way to **JUSTIFY **why we can’t bill to closing if anyone finds they’re too squeamish to come out and say:
But if my good buddy the used house commissioned sales person doesn’t guide the buyers to me because I’m speedy, cheap and don’t make waves -does this mean I might have to really work to get business??