Don't settle for the agents home inspector.

Home Inspector with Merino's Home Inspection & Education Inc.

First, let me acknowledge that this blog will be viewed by some as being controversial. In my opinion, I think it is educational. I want to be clear that I am not accusing ALL real estate agents and home inspectors of wrong doing. But, with any group of people there is going to be those bad apples.

Most home buyers know that a home inspection is a good idea, they just do not know which home inspector to choose. There are a few resources that can be used to find a good home inspector. Some resources are real estate agents, friends, family, lawyers, mortgage brokers, and the internet. This is not an all inclusive list, but gives you a general idea of the resources available.

Home buyers have a lot to do when trying to purchase a home, sometimes it can be overwhelming. The real estate agent many times offers a few names of home inspectors or home inspection companies to the buyer. This can appear to be a beneficial service for the buyer. The problem with this is that the agent and others involved in the home buying process have a vested interest in the buyer purchasing the home, this presents a conflict of interest in my opinion. Why is the agent referring a certain home inspector(s)? Some agents refer certain inspectors because they feel that the inspector will not "kill the deal".

The derogatory phrase "Deal Killer" is used by real estate agents to describe those home inspectors who are objective and provide the buyer with an inspection report which may cause the buyer to renegotiate or cancel the purchase of a property. Many real estate agents believe that the home inspector "Kills the Deal", when in fact, it is the condition(s) of the house that kills the deal. It is the classic "kill the messenger" mentality. Real estate agents believe this hurts their ability to earn income. Real estate agents will use a number of tactics to control which inspector that you select. Be wary of the agent who objects to your desire to use an inspector that they have not referred. Their objection is your clue that your desire to use a different home inspector is the right thing to do.

Some home inspectors are willing to minimize issues that are found with a house so as to not "kill the deal" in order to gain more referrals from the agent. The agents learn which inspectors are willing to minimize issues and will continue to refer them. Some home inspectors are related to or married to the agent, and do not disclose this to the buyers.

Home inspectors are the only service providers involved in the home buying process that do not benefit when a buyer purchases the home. We benefit before the purchase is complete. My job is to inform and educate you on the condition of the home, then you decide what you want to do. 

My advice is to search for a home inspector before, or at least, at the same time you begin to search for the other services needed to purchase a home. Talk to family and friends, co-workers, search the internet and interview potential inspectors. Remember, you have the right and responsibility to choose your home inspector.



Comments (7)

Vince Santos
StepByStep Home Services LC - Canton, MI
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector

This is a touchy topic Michael but I don't think anyone will accuse you of being unreasonable in content.

Like you said it's the house that kills the deal and not the inspector. On the other hand there are inspectors who are "deal killers" because they are afraid of litigation and go overboard in an attempt to protect their neck. Or they are just plain unqualified for this profession. Either way I think they do the public a disservice just as much as the Realtor who might want you to minimize things.

The title of your blog, which I think may rightly bring some rebuke, is more likely to offend than the content .

Jun 05, 2009 10:39 AM
Michael Merino
Merino's Home Inspection & Education Inc. - Oak Forest, IL
Orland Park Ill Home Inspector

Vince- I thought about the title offending agents and it is not meant to offend. The blog is geared more towards the buyer and meant to educate them on what choices they have in home inspector services. I have had a few people tell me they did not know that they could use any inspector they wanted. One buyer told me that their agent gave them a real hard time about not using the inspector that the agent wanted them to use. You are also correct that some inspectors are not right for this industry and I tried to point that out in the first few lines of the blog. I just want the buyers to know that they have options.

In my opinion, I think it is a conflict of interest for agents to refer home inspectors. I have read on many blogs that some agents are beginning to stop the practice of referring inspectors. Also, I do not refer anyone to agents or trademen for the same reason.

Jun 05, 2009 11:14 AM
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Michael - read this for a chuckle.  

It's not tough to tell who the intended audience is.

Jun 07, 2009 09:34 AM
Michael Merino
Merino's Home Inspection & Education Inc. - Oak Forest, IL
Orland Park Ill Home Inspector

That will bite him in the butt someday.

Jun 07, 2009 09:50 AM
Scott Gilligan
Accuracy Assured Home Inspections, LLC - Philadelphia, PA

Good article. I completely agree about the home killing the deal and not the inspector.

Jun 15, 2009 11:02 AM
Gregory Pomp
Just Right Inspection Service - Orland Park, IL


A majority of my business is from Realtor referral. I would like to think the home inspectors of which you speak are the exception not the rule. I had a realtor tell me once that she would not refer my company anymore, because she found a guy who is in and out in less than an hour. I think that says as much about the agent as it does the inspector. A good agent has their clients best interest in mind and will only refer a home inspector, they would use themselves. I think if you trust your agent, you can trust their referal, and if you dont trust your agent, you shoud'nt be working with them anyways. Just my 2 cents.

Jun 15, 2009 04:06 PM
Robert Sole
REM Inspections LLC - Winter Springs, FL

I have to agree, most of my business is agent referrals.  Of course as Gregory mentioned, there are some agents that will not referr me because I do my job.  The agents I get referrals from regularly do know that I will report things as I see them, but will do so in a way that puts things in their proper perspective.  I do not make big issues out of minor itmes.  I think that is what sets most agents off.

I have had some deals fall through due to things I found but the agents agreed that the items were a big problem.  I have see other inspectors who will make an issue oput of small itmes to make it seem that they earned their fee.  It makes the rest of us look bad.

Robert Sole

REM Inspections LLC

Nov 02, 2009 06:34 AM

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