Stay noninvasive or do an invasive inspection, Thoughts and Ideas?

Hello everyone. New to the inspection business, this is my first week handing out cards and getting to know my local realtors. Met a realtor that is interested in my services but wants me to consider doing an invasive inspection of wall cavities behind the shower/tub area. He says he has been caught too many times after a purchase when someone does a remodel they tear out cabinets or dig into a wall and find wood rot that was hidden. If I chose to do that type of inspection I thought I could drill into the wall cavity from the underside in 2 or 3 places and use a scope to check for problems, then fill the small hole with foam. I would have to come up with a different agreement and disclaimer for that inspection. I am not sold on the idea just wanted to get your thoughts.

First, Bryan, welcome to our forum!

You would have to do a lot more than drill 2 or 3 holes and scope the cavities to guaranty there is not a problem in those walls.

It sounds like the agent wants to pass the liability on to you.

I wouldn’t do it. We have a SOP for a reason.


Not your client’s house, they can’t give “permission” to damage the seller’s property, drill holes, cut walls, etc.
Don’t worry what one agent thinks or says, it’s your business, and where does it end? You going to rip out the kitchen cabinets to look for old damage?

If you want to be a contractor, go that route if you choose, but don’t mix disciplines.


I understand you want the new business but areas such as wall cavities are not visible/accessible for your inspection, period.

The only thing I can even phantom is somehow this agent would have to prearrange to have the suspect voids fully opened BEFORE you arrive to be part of your visual only inspection.
This would be fully on the agent to get this done with, of course, complete permission of the seller, and then the walls are now open/damaged - who’s gonna repair them?
In other words, it’s not gonna happen… … …

What you you say if someone asked you to open walls for the inspector.
I know what I’d tell 'em ~ no way, you’re crazy! Take back your deposit & get lost!


I think I would pass on that realtor.


Larry, Dominic, Marc and Joseph, Thank you all for your excellent points of view. I will defiantly take your advice and tell the realtor I will not be willing to go outside of the standards of practice for a home inspection. I hope he still wants to use my services but if not I feel better for the decision to stay with the standards.

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Bryan, one call to your E&O insurance company to see if they would insure this work out of the normal SOP will likely tell you all you need to know.


Invasive inspections are something that you would want to work up to. First focus on developing outstanding home inspection skills. Once you have done that and developed some specialized skills and training, you can consider invasive and diagnostic type inspections. Invasive inspections will require that you have an agreement with the homeowner to perform the invasive inspection. No buyer or buyer’s agent can authorize you to perform a destructive inspection on someone else’s home.

So before you start to offer this kind of service, you will want to make sure that you have the skills, tools, protocols, contract templates, insurance, reporting method and market to perform these services. I would keep such services entirely separate from the home inspection service (i.e., separate contract, separate fee, separate SOP, etc.), even if you do them at the same time you are performing a home inspection.

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Aww just go for it! After all it is a good way to get use out of your sawzall, hammer drill, texture gun, etc.! :crazy_face:

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You will carry liability insurance in case you damage the home accidentally. So your going to damage the home on purpose. You’ll be using the insurance alot! Either that Realtor doesn’t understand his/her responsibilities and ethical limitations or they’re just yankin’ your chain. The rules of the road are - Limit your Liability and Cover your Ass!

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SOP is there for a reason. Stay noninvasive. How about thermal Imaging, moisture meter, other options are available. Don’t let some idiot realtor run your business into a lawsuit. He doesn’t care about anything but a sale.

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Those aren’t in the SOP either - just sayin.

Yes but they are noninvasive ways to look for moisture intrusion which is the point. Just saying.