Slow Down In Home Inspections

Is it just Kansas City or is everybody else getting slow.

Let me rephrase that - its not slow / its dead-dog slow. In the past 3 weeks I’ve had probably 14 other inspectors I know and trust tell me they’re doing 2-3 inspections a week - and some weeks Nada

These are not brand new guys. They are 4 - 8 - 12 year inspectors. They are ASHI, NAHI and NACHI inspectors.

My scheduling service says they’re seeing the same thing except in Phoenix, the Carolina’s, New York and Northern California.

This the kind of market I expect to see between Christmas & New Year, not at this time of year. In my area even our biggest 2 companies are talking about being dead and doing 2-3 a man per week.

Marketing is not working. Anybody else seeing this.

Same here.

I am a newbie but it’s definitely much slower than I was the previous months.

Slow here too. Hopefully there will get to be some pent up demand and it will be busier than usual in a month or two.

Forgot - 1 other thing. The only guys I see still going halfway strong are guys either giving it away on prices OR reports that say squat. Here is commentary out of a local inspector that is BOTH cheap, fast and does not make many waves AND is still going real strong.

Example of one of his reports I saw recently.

***“Per … Industry standards we spot checked electrical outlets, lights, switches and fixtures at the property. All that we checked were operational. You have a mixture of grounded and not grounded outlets present. At the time this house was built all outlets were ungrounded”. ***

"There are electrical conditions that we consider typical maintenance issues that are present in most 80 year old homes we see. A new owner may want to modify these once they close and move in".

That was his comments on electrical. I noted among others:

(a) live wires with missing grommets in the disconnect panel; (b) none of the circuits were labeled as to their purpose, so you can’t fully tell if a wire and the breaker are properly matched; © double-tapped 120v and 240v circuits (multiple wires on a circuit designed for 1 wire); (d) improperly terminated LIVE wiring at various locations (cap or terminate fully); (e) splicing of wiring in panels by wrapping the splices with DUCT tape; (f) open junction boxes without covers and live wires; (g) OVERSIZED breakers and fues (like a 50 Amp breaker and a #12 cu wire; (h) sharp pointed screws going into electrical panels; (i) missing electrical conduit; (j) outlets, lights or fixtures that were not operational and had no power to them; (k) wires exposed on walls or ceilings surfaces; etc

It all depends on where your market is. Inspectors in southern California and upper east coast are busy, while midwest and some southern states are very slow. Before my injury, I would work 10 days straight then not a thing for a whole month. It’s frustrating.

Pretty dead around my parts in NY. I go into the RE offices and peek at the tote boards. Sold homes are almost nill.

Folks cannot get mortgages. Even those with good credit. Many cannot come up with more than 10% down. Many homes are not appraising, either.

Dan, it’s been slow here in Mid-Mo since August. It was the busiest summer ever in the three years I have been doing this, already up about 20% from all of last year. But it has been door-knob dead since August (which has always been my slowest month). It is slowly, evvvver so slowly, gradually picking up, but it is still very slow. All of the agents/offices I speak to tell me how slow it has been. Hang in there, things are cyclical. It sure has thinned the competition around here already, as far as the fly-by-night guys that pop up from time to time. 2 out of business this summer alone!

I forgot, the inspections that I am getting, seem to be on nicer, upper end homes, and none of the lower end, 80 year old 2 bedroom jobs. This would lead me to believe that people are having trouble getting loans, as Joe said. The only ones buying are the ones that can afford the nice homes!

Joe, David Valley needs an assistant…:stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds like a franchise “white bread” inspector. My reports read like yours, Dan! I don’t work through realtors anymore.

I have been getting busy again.
Loans are scheduled to get tougher in December so many are buying now.

Therein lies the problem. There are plenty of prospective buyers who just can’t swing a deal. Since early this year almost every buyer I worked for had lots of money.

That is EXACTLY what I am seeing here in Missouri.

What slow down? Perhaps some RE are getting rid of their inspectors who belong to every home inspection orginization known to man. My reports are 25+ pages, pictures, verbage, etc. RE do not want the conflicts. Personallity and professionalism are 80% of this industry. I recently did an inspection in Overland Park KS that had a bad roof. Buyer got a $4,000 roof for a $350 inspection. I am way too cheap. I should raise my prices to slow down my business a little. Wait, I am going to Dallas this weekend to see my step-daughter, who, at 38, is finally having her first baby, or should I say, babies!!! Twins!!!

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Brian -

The guy is not a Franchise guy. Hes non affiliated with anything we know of. I don’t know any franchise guys in my area that write that weak.

Gary -

If you’re up congratulations. I haven’t seen but a few that are up in our area. Even out in Lawrence where they seem more stable than us WITH less inspectors, the 2 most active inspectors are talking 2-3 jobs per week. Last week out of curiosity I started calling lenders - then Realtors and discovered that everyone I called was in same boat. Slow. One of the bigger lenders in our area had just laid off 14 various people (underwriters, loan officers, etc).

I think a lot also has to do with price range. I don’t chase big houses but over 50% of my jobs will be over 4,000 sf AND that market seems to be dragging right now. You’re right about the organizations - I have been an education junkie AND am certified, licensed or registered in just about everything having to do with our business. I started out in construction when my dad built 71 Hwy, State Line and Ward Parkway back in the early 60’s. I kept going as a National Appliance Trainer for Farmland Industries, a Factory Rep for Freidrich HVAC, as a Construction Mngr for TGI Fridays Corporate, and then as Project Mngr for National Homes.

Along the line picked up a few degrees such as Real Estate, and went to a few Vo-Tech programs like HVAC and so forth.

From Day #1, I figured I was gonna be GREAT at this or I wasn’t interested in doing it. Its worked for me.

Good Luck,

Dan Bowers, CMI, CRI

Certified Master Inspector, iNACHI
Certified Member ASHI, #1038
Certified Residential Inspector, NAHI
FHA Compliance Inspector
FHA 203k Inspector / Consultant / Plan Reviewer
Licensed Contractor - 1 & 2 Family Dwellings
Licensed WDI Inspector
EDI Certified Stucco / EIFS Inspector
NRSB Certified Radon Measurement Specialist
IAQ2 Mold Inspector
Inactive Licensed Lead Paint, Asbestos & Septic Inspector
ICC, ICBO, BOCA Code Certified Residential Dwelling Inspector
(Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, Building, Combo)

Slowest I have been here since I started the business, and not looking up any time soon. The closings in the paper are two, maybe three a week.

Forget about real estate agents. If you get work from them, fine. They are still a big part of generating work for home inspectors, but the trend is away from them for 3 major reasons:

  1. A greater percentage of homes sell without an agent. FSBOs is the way of the future and that trend started when the economy was strong and so isn’t due to the slower economy.
  2. The economy is causing more and more people to rethink whether or not real esate agents provide enough value to cover their costs. Today, value is king.
  3. The lending that went on in the past combined with the recent housing price drops, leaves home sellers with very little equity in their homes. Remember, the 6 percent the agent charges is on GROSS (selling price), not the NET (equity). Many homeowners don’t have 6% equity to give to an agent.

Instead, play (and market to) today’s hot hands:

  1. Seller inspections
  2. Annual inspections
  3. Commercial inspections

Adapt, migrate, or perish.

You left out ,do a better job of marketing to the buyer.