Realtor is killing business

What can I do? There is a local realtor that over a year ago was the selling agent on a house I inspected for my client, the buyer. The selling agent did not like the inspection report and has since lied to anyone that will listen. She claims she was at the inspection and that we (my partner and I) never went into the crawlspace. In reality she was not there, and I did go in the crawlspace. For the last year she has been asking the buyers agents to choose someone else other than me and just recently a few realtors came to me to say that she tried to convince them not to use me. We went to her broker a while ago and warned him what she was doing, It does not appear that he ever talked with her. I am so mad, she has cost me money and my reputation, and its a lie. Does anyone have any good recommendation as to what can be done within the industry to punish this type of behavior or is it to the lawyers we go?
Derek Cooley
Cooley Inspection Services

Have you ever spoken to her to find out what her ‘real’ issue with your inspection was ? :neutral:

Try this…

Incorporate into your marketing plan that you will absolutely refuse to work with real estate agents that you know, for a fact, to be dishonest and misleading. Because of this, you must refuse to work with Miss X or any client that she may happen to refer to you, due to what you feel to be her inability to be honest with her clients. Do not elaborate beyond that.

Not recently. We did a long time ago and assumed it was all handled. Guess not.

Photos are a killer. Do you have photos taken inside the crawl space???

Have you considered a complaint to the State Board of Realtors or the local Realtors Association Ethics oversight body?

I think you should take the high road and use this to your benefit. First, promote that your inspections are so thorough that some (don’t name names) selling agents don’t like your detailed reports, but they sure save the buyer.
Get her listings and market to the sellers for a seller’s inspection - even discount to them. Just get in her face, and don’t let up, but don’t sink to her level.
If it gets really bad, make a complaint to the Realtors Assn accusing her of an ethics violation. It is an antitrust violation for her to meet with other realtors and get them to boycot your services.

In one hand what she is doing is slander, but your information is third hand. Slander can be a serious claim.

I think that it is already really bad, She alone has cost me alot of business. The other thing that bugs me is that we had talked to her broker about the issue and he did nothing. So it would appear that this type of behavior is not discouraged, and by default is endorsed by the broker. I am already playing with the idea of making a complaint to the realtor assn. and will meet with a lawyer for legal options later today.

In one hand what she is doing is slander, but your information is third hand. Slander can be a serious claim.

I have several prestigious agents in the area that have witnessed first hand her slandering me. They have all agreed to do whatever it takes, she is not really liked by her piers.

This is A very serious discussion and I am sure many can add ideas to this but it might be good idea to take this to the members section for further thoughts.
Roy Cooke

Roy, I agree it is very serious. I am not sure however how to take it to the members section, I guess I thought that I was already there.

Derek first I would confront her, make sure she is really saying these things. If it is true then report her to the realtor’s association. Take photos to prove you entered the crawl space. Was your clients at the inspection if so get them to confirm in writing that she was not at the inspection. After that if she has cost you money them go legal against her.
I am interested to know what did she not like about the inspection and who gave her the report in the first place

What intitially started the whole thing was the seller. She couldnt believe that since we had done an inspection for them on the same house that we wouldnt have contacted them first before reporting issues to the buyers that hired me. Some of the issues listed in the report are identical to what was reported to the current owners a year or so ago when they purchased the home. The seller actually said we werent acting like part of their team. I quickly replied that I am not on anyones team, I am a disinterested third party, the home is what it is, and I merely state those conditions and my obligation in this transaction was to the buyers. The rest of the conversation was blah blah blah. I am not sure why this real estate agent is so emotionally vested in that deal to vow to destroy a mans reputation.
I believe she was only given the Report Summary which does not have pictures. She would have been given these from the buyers agent for negotiations.

I feel your pain Derek…we all do.

Couple things I’ve learned from reading all this misfortune.
1: take pictures of crawlspaces, attics and other locations you entered regardless of faults or not. Proof if the need arises. I generally do this anyway as a reminder for myself later of the surroundings.
2: Comment in the Summary that there are photos in the main area of the report they can reference to. This lets everyone know there is photographic proof since the photos are not in the summary they may only see.
3: Be professional and kind but genuine as best as possible to all parties involved and expect that somebody involved will be upset because you let the cat out of the bag they were hoping you wouldn’t find, or otherwise simply have a hatred for good people, etc etc.
4: Slander or restraint of trade is not to be igored or taken lightly. Record and take notes when the events take place in case it escalates. Deal with it swiftly.

Wish you luck and keep us posted about all this!!!


Ignore the pig.

Erol K.

I’m curious with what the lawyer said

I make it a point to be a member or affiliate member of the local Board of Realtors. The board will have a procedure to arbitrate this issue among members. What you describe is an ethics issue, unless you think filing a lawsuit and damaging your relationship with all the agents in your area will help.

If you aren’t a member or don’t want to join, I don’t see what constructive avenue you might have.

Welcome to reality. Realtors may not like you, even when you
do everything right. There will be some who will talk about you
just because of their anger over loosing the sell.

The sooner you deal with it and get over it, the less it will
bother you. You are building a very fragile foundation
when you build a business plan that is dependent on realtors.

Start shifting your marketing to by-pass the real estate office
completely. Once you build that type of marketing it releases
you from tons of stress and makes you feel great.

Now you can do a fair inspection and not worry about
the fireworks. If a realtors warns you before the inspection
to go easy on the house… you can reply “I inspect 'em all the
same”. You don’t have to feel the pressure of loosing their
business anymore.

When you no longer need them then they cannot hurt you.
Just watch the crying and smile. You will be so glad you
are no longer stuck in that whole mess of fretting over
some Realtors revenge because of your report.

Tell your clients “some realtors don’t like me, but I work
for my clients only”. Your clients will tell everyone. You
are actually in the process right now of having your feelings
removed and are about to see that their really is life
without Realtors.

This is the way it should be. :wink:

You might want to put a footer on your report pages that precludes the buyer’s agent from giving any part of your report to any other agent. The buyer’s agent can still address and discuss the issues from your report with the sellers agent without giving her a copy of the actual document, which belongs to your client and you only.
Something like this:
**This report is copyrighted and the exclusive property of Spotlight Inspection Services, Inc. and the client whose name appears herewith, and its use by any unauthorized persons is prohibited. Agents are not permitted to share this report with any third party.