Dewy Cheatum and Howe.....

Home Inspector with Square One Home Inspection

Ok, I need just a few moments of your time to vent on a situation I encountered a few days ago. This promises to be quite interesting reading for some of you. I have discussed this situation with a few others and gotten several opinions on how to best handle this. What's your take?

 I had just finished up my morning inspection and was on my way to have lunch with a friend. I get about half way there and my phone rang. I answered it, and it was a gentleman wanting to hire me for a home inspection. In 4 hours. I told him I was very busy that afternoon, could it be done later in the week. He says he needs it today, so I tell him to let me make some phone calls and I will get back to him. I did have an inspection of a roof scheduled for that afternoon, but the woman told me it would be no problem if I arrived later in the evening or even the next morning. Great!! Now I can go do this other home  inspection and help this guy out.

 So, I call him  back and he tells me that his realtor says he doesn't need an inspection, because he has a report for the same property from two years ago. What? Are you $#^&*@ kidding me? So, I kind of chuckled and told him I wished him good luckj and to have a nice day. He asks me why that is so funny. I explain to him that the inspection was not performed for him, nor paid for by him, and that in the event of a problem with the home he would be left holding the bag so to speak. He asked about the legality of this idea, and I told him while it may not be illegal, it is highly unethical business practice. He agreed with me, and decided to do the inspection after all. Great, I will see you in a few hours.

 Now, I have been out to lunch, discussed this with a friend and had a few laughsd about it. But something just isn't sitting right with me concerning Mr Realtor. So, I head home to grab a few things before I have to head over to the home  inspection. I get about ten minutes from my home, about an  hour before this inspection is supposed to begin. And guess what. Correct, my phone rings again, and it is Mr Homebuyer. Now this is where it gets really good. Apparently, Mr Realtor has found someone that will do the home inspection for fifty dollars less than I will. So I tell Mr Homebuyer that as we talked about earlier my fee is blah blah blah. I procedd to explain to him why mmy price is justified and that I am NOT working for his realtor and he will be getting a very unbiased inspectionn and report from me. So guess what now. Right, the inspection is back on. See you in about an hour Sir.

 Now about this time I have had it up to my neck with this Realtor, and this guy for that matter. I pull into the driveway, and ring ring ring. Mr Homebuyer on the line. He is having some problems with the seller and needs to cancel for today. He ends up giving me this whole story about it, but I'm not buying it. When he is all done, I say, did you decide to go with the other home inspector. He says no, you are my guy. I have to work some issues out with the seller, and I will call you back at the end of the week. It may not be for this house but you will be doing my next home inspection. So, I tell him thanks, and have a great afternoon.

 So at this point I am really steamed about this whole situation, but I am looking for the silver lining. Do I believe this guys' story, probably not, but I may have just found a very grateful client, that may recommend me to more clients. The bottom line is that I held my ground and didn't completely bend for this guy. Yes, I shifted some things around to accomodate him, but I didn't let him and his realtor dictate the rest of the situation. Mr Realtor probably won't recommend me, but that's OK. Who knows, maybe this guy will never call back, and made up the comments about the realtor. I don't know. But if he does call back, he will know that he can completely truct my home inspection and my report. And if he has that, his recommendation will be better than any other.

 So, now I ask you, what would you do in this situation. Would you call and talk to this realtor, and find out if this story holds water? I am quite perplexed on this one. Any

Posted by


Ian A Niquette

 Square One Home Inspection proudly serves Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Dodge, Marquette, Columbia, Winnebago, and Waushara Counties. Complete home inspections and Radon testing available.




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Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

I suppose you could talk to the Realtor, but if this agent is in cahoots with some other inspector, you won't get much out of th econversation.  You probably dodged the bullet by not having to do the inspection for this homebuyer, too - it sounds like he might have decided to stop the check before you could cash it!

Aug 04, 2009 09:11 AM #1
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator


In my opinion let it go and move on.  There are clients out there who are more worthy of your time and who will appreciate you.

Have a great day!


Aug 04, 2009 09:16 AM #2
Chrissy Harrison
Referral Only Realty - Longmont, CO

I wouldn't lose sleep over it. If the client could be swayed that easily by their so-called 'Realtor', then who knows what kind of repercussions you could have suffered from the inspection. Next thing you know, you're being sued for a leaky roof! And I don't think that agent is the type you want to be receiving referrals from anyway!

Aug 04, 2009 09:25 AM #3
June Piper-Brandon
Houwzer Inc - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, just let it go.  However, I might drop the realtor a line or an email and introduce myself.  You never know, but he may be looking for another home inspector.  Maybe you offer a different line of services than the one he is currently using. 

Aug 04, 2009 10:08 AM #4
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

Thanks guys, I just needed a moment to vent and get over it. Good advice.

Aug 04, 2009 02:32 PM #5
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Just another day and just another client.  You did all the right things and you just have to accept "there are some strange people out there".

Aug 05, 2009 03:36 PM #6
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Ian ~ I had to chuckle at your title since Dewey Cheatum and Howe is in my town - Car Talk's got the sign posted in Harvard Square. 

My reaction was similar to those who have commented - best to move on - though I completely understand the need to vent. 

I do think however that this kind of situation often does lead to more business as you suggest - if not with this particular homebuyer then perhaps with his friends.  I try not to sweat the ones that don't come through - and the better you treat them the more likely that business will be sent your way.  I realized recently that one of my biggest business "trees" - a big group of clients who are all friends - stemmed from one person who never ended up buying with me.  Referred a friend, who referred another, etc etc.  It's a beautiful thing!


Aug 06, 2009 02:40 PM #7
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Ian - I've had similar stuff happen to me many, many times. This guy is wishy washy, and I'd bet he doesn't call you back.  If he does, post a comment and let us know how it turns out.  

I definitely wouldn't call the agent - you won't get anything out of it.  I agree with Chrissy's comment above - I was going to say the same thing.

Aug 06, 2009 02:50 PM #8
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

I would have done exactly as you did. I don't really bother with Realtors like that, but I would have asked the Realtor's name so that I could enter it in my database with a little strike by it.

Sep 02, 2009 09:00 PM #9
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