Blanket statements on either side of this argument are biased IMO. What is really difficult, is for the consumer to have found an agent that does refer home inspectors that provide, concise and thorough inspection reports. They are out there… for sure.
I have found most Realtors only refer me to close friends or relatives. They call me and say some thing like “I need a good inspection because it is my mother-in-law buying”. I always feel like saying “Why are you not calling the inspector you usually refer?”
YEPP! happens to me also. I call that section of business my secondary market. I only get called for the friends and realtives, so who do their regular customers get for an HI? When this happens, my fee goes up for the inspection…if you think I’m better than the average HI, then I’m worth more!
I have a very successful realtor that lives across the road from me down in the woods right on the water on a bay off the Atlantic Ocean. (lot worth $300-$400,000 and new house worth $600,000+). I am connected to his family in 3 different ways and was invited to his birthday party a few years back. He has never recommnded for an inspection but he called me for info/help 3 times during construction. Each time, my answer was “Sorry, I’m really too busy”. He is the type of guy that when you mention him to other realtors, nothing positive comes back! Same with his retired realtor parents…you know where he got it from!
Another broker down the road has only called me twice:
The first was for his brother…Called early Monday, he wanted me for Friday but I told them I already had 2 inspections (my limit) booked that day but I still had a space open on both Thursday and Saturday. “No, It had to be on Friday as that was the only day that worked for them.” So, “Sorry” I said, “can’t do it!” On Wednesday, the realtor called again, but I told him nothing had changed. On Thursday evening, the brother called asking if I could change one of my Friday inspections and get him in…Scumbag!! Dream up some excuse to screw a previous booked client’s day…get out of my life!!
The other time… the broker called me to re-inspect a wood burning installation that one of his “preferred inspectors” messed up!!
Shows what this field is all about…IMHO, only 3-4-5% of realtors have real personal integrity, the rest are “used house salesmen” looking for the commission ASAP!
So the deal is loaded against the consumer…they don’t have the knowledge or skills to choose their own inspector; they end up taking the the RE recommendations and have to hope they don’t have some HI with a fluffy report to keep his spot on the RE preferred list! SAD BUT TRUE!
In my estimation, 5% of realtors or less will recommend the best HI…They recommend the best HI’s for them!!
Realtors should be banned from recommending HIs as they have a large conflict of interest called the commission…and it can be large.
A couple of years ago…a $1,300,000 home being purchased by a doctor (he has family very involved in rental properties). He takes the 3 HI recommendations from the realtor*, throws them away and goes to the phone book. He calls me first due to my website…after introductions, his first comment to me is “From your website, you don’t seem to be a rubber stamper!!”
*(who BTW, is on both sides of the sale…commission- $32,000-$40,000…an estimate from a broker friend…no conflict of interest there, is there?)
He interviewed 2-3 other HI’s that day and got back to me later- I have the job! When asked what made the difference, he said it was attitude and the heating system info I could give him during our earlier phone call. The house had an electric time-of-use hydronic thermal storage system. I told him the brand name and probable model/size over the phone; no other HI interviewed knew what he was talking about.
The realtor had only allowed 2 hours (that’s what his recommended HI’s would need) for the inspection of a 3,800 sq ft house with breezeway to a 3 car garage and a flat roof (2 storey) which required a tall ladder for inspection. We had to come back the next day for another 2.5 hours…peed the realtor off bigtime…
But the real storey is the commission…too much $$$$$$ involved to be in a conflict of interest over!!!