Please Share your Personal Experiences with Real Estate Salesmen

I have been asked to make a presentation to representatives of a particularly influential group regarding what they have perceived as a potential hazard to consumers in the form of real estate salesmen who use pressure or other manipulative means to influence wording in a home inspection report.

I would appreciate as many first hand accounts as you can present to me. Please email your story to me and be as complete and truthfully accurate with all of your facts. It is important that you be willing and able to be contacted to validate the information you provide, so there is no real interest in “anonymous” stories or “third party” accounts of something you might have heard.

After the meeting with these folks, I will share (by email to those who responded) with a full account of what transpired and how their contribution was received.

Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.

Have to think about this one, it does not quite fit the problem we have around here… Trying to manipulate the report is the old rookie approach.

The tried and true technique around here for many agents is to let the inspector do his job (maybe with a few interruptions etc.) but then bring in a paid contractor friend to dispute or understate some of the serious findings. Most clients do not report this to me and go ahead and buy the property. I have a few that were not outsmarted by this method and told me the whole story.

Another technique:
Some agents call and ask a few basic questions that seems suspicious to me.
This way they can tell the client “well I called the inspector and he said…”
The part about calling is therefore true and the rest is hard to prove.

If someone wants to study this industry, they should try to analyze the human nature situation where an inspector is staring at a problem and does not recognize it for what it is because sub-consciously he knows that it could be a 20 to 30k paycut if he makes an agent mad and word spreads around that office. This is the sad part of inspectors getting too cozy with agents, they may not even realize how it affects their inspections.

Good points Bruce. When an agent gets mad at me for being thorough I pray that I never see them again. That’s comes with experience. The inspectors that worry about not feeding their families if they lose realtor referrals, well they put themselves in that position allowing the agents to go for the kill.

I agree, real estate agents and home inspectors should not be together during an inspection. In the years that I have been doing inspections I have made a lot of agents, both listing and buyers agents mad at me simply for doing my job and putting the client’s best interests first. I hate agents who stand behind thier client while I am talking to them about something, and they are making gestures and faces at me trying to get me to shut up. I tune them out. And the thing I hate the most is an agent who lets a client bring along a general contractor while I am inspecting a home, arguments errupt about what I see and what he sees, and in one case I walked out of the house telling both the agent and the client that if the contractor wants to inspect the house let him, but I guarantee that he will not be there if a problem comes up after closing.
Another thing, agents need to understand that this is our job, we are trained, licensed professionals and by them telling a client during an inspection that the leaking water valve under the kitchen sink is ok is totally wrong, and it has happened to me.
Lastly, a few years ago while inspecting an older home in Chicago, the seller clearly told everyone that was present not to open the garage vehicle door, that some thing was wrong with and was going to be repaired before closing, and what does the client’s agent do? opens the door anyway with it coming off one of the tracks and striking him in the head causing the Chicago Fire Department to respond and take him to the hospital. A few weeks later he tried to sue me and the seller for negligence, in the end his case was thrown out of court, and he was ordered to pay my legal expenses.
So if an agent gets in your way, tell them about it, most agents are pretty good about staying out of your way, but there are some who need the attention so they always butt in, don’t let it happen to you!!!

Got a client e-mail posted right now in the members section. You might call it influence before the report.

Sorry…I can’t as the last time I did my rant on RE Agents Mr. Gromicko got a nice letter from an RE Agent that was offended…:wink: so I can’t share my personal experiences with Real Estate Agents anymore…

For the most part over 12 years, my experiences have been fine. Every industry has it’s jerks though, without a doubt. I posted one of them up in the other thread.

Mostly, all of the agents that I get referrals for, because we are in a rural area, do a very good job for the buyers. I’ve had some houses, that completely fell through, due to some unforseen issues located on the home inspection. Those agents, have since become some of my biggest referrals. All the negative things that are said from some of the big city inspectors, just don’t seem to be the case here. How is it that, two of the largest brokers in this area, that I get numerous referrals from, also seem to be the ones that do the most amount of negotiations to get repairs fixed. What a coincidence, they also call me to do their homes and those of their family members.

Jim, I’m guessing that positive stories are not what you are particularly looking for concerning realtors.

I would expect home inspectors who rely heavily upon real estate salespeople for their business to be appreciative and reluctant to share anything negative.

Accordingly, I would expect home inspectors who rely heavily upon real estate salespeople for their business to post their appreciative responses publicly (here).

This is why I asked (and am receiving) the other view by email.

Jim, I am not, never have been and never will be a sellout. I resent the implications. Yes there are many problems with relationships between HI’s and realtors; but what I was also pointing out is most of those are in the much larger areas. In the rural areas, this based on discussion with other rural inspectors, the thought is more along the lines of word of mouth.

Same goes here in my area. I am in a town of about 400k plus outlying small towns…I do not have a problems with agents here they are looking for full disclosure and do not want to go to court. Sometime when a buyer does not want inspection, the agent tries really hard to get them to have one done. If the buyer still does not want it, then the agent pays me their self to thave the house inspected…Now this isnt to say that pushy agents do not exist here. I have ran across a few and do not like working with them. I would say I deal with a pushy agent 1 to 2 times a year… less than 1% of my inspections deall with a pushy agent.

Another example is the Dual agent scenerio…I do not like this situation, do not agree with it and If I were a buyer, I wouldnt allow it…Some of these “good agents” I am refering to actually bring in another agent to represent the buyer or are very reluctant to represent both sides if the buyer declines to represented by a different agent…then you get that 1 or 2 agents that look to represent both sides.

I am not dumb Jim I realize that the problem you are talking about exists…it just isnt as prevelant here.