For over a century Realtors have been successful in keeping the idea alive that their services are essential when selling or buying real estate. Consequently very little skill is required to collect commissions from selling other peoples properties.
Any storekeeper has to purchase merchandise before he or she can sell it. Realtors in contrast have to invest virtually nothing to collect thousands of dollars on commissions for their virtually risk-free services.
Having carried out about 9,000 home inspections - I had the opportunity to scrutinize several thousands of listing information which had been issued to promote the sale of properties I inspected. Very few were actually correct - but emphasis had always been given to highlight irrelevant cosmetic features. Not once was it voluntarily revealed that the roofing was in worn-out condition - or that water was seeping into the basement occasionally. However - illegal basement apartments have often been featured as potential income source. Even lot sizes have been found incorrectly described more than once.
But listing brokers have never forgotten to add their self-serving disclaimers - which always read in fine print that they do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided about properties they are trying to sell. Many of them even suggest that it is the obligation of the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the provided property description is correct. But by suggesting to have a pre-purchase home inspection performed gets them technically even of the hook all together.
The irony is that Realtors and their agents splitting these days at least $20.000 of commission from each sale in Toronto with little or no exposure to risk. But home inspectors who can hardly charge $450.00 per inspection are expected not to have any disclaimer - and to carry $1 million dollar of Error & Omission Insurance for each prospective claim. The odds are certainly not in favour of home inspectors.
RUDOLF REUSSE - Home Inspector since 1976 - Retired