Can I pay for the home inspection through escrow?

By
Home Inspector with Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc.

Randy West with The Daily Courier, in his article Billing through escrow is a conflict of interest for home inspectors, does a wonderful job of explaining the reasoning behind why most home inspectors do not or cannot allow payment at the closing of escrow.

Randy points out that from the position of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), billing escrow is a conflict of interest and would represent a violation of the ASHI Code of Ethics. He goes on to say "it is imperative that home inspectors are totally objective about the homes they inspect. A home inspector should not care whether his client buys the home or not; he should simply report the good, bad and ugly to allow the client to make an informed decision.

What is less obvious is that billing escrow does give the home inspector a financial interest in the home. Billing escrow means the home inspector will get paid by the title company when the home closes. If a home does not close, the home inspector may never be able to collect his fee. He will have to track down the buyer. The buyer did not purchase the home, so even if the home inspector finds the buyer they may not be eager to pay for an inspection on a home they didn't buy. So if a home inspector bills escrow, it is in his best interest for the home to close. If a home inspector gets paid up front for his inspection, no one can accuse him of not being objective in order to get paid."

To be fair, there are other professional home inspector associations that do allow their members to bill through escrow. For me, as a proud associate member of the oldest and largest home inspector professional organization-that is, ASHI-I follow and support ASHI's position and do not allow payment at the closing of escrow.

Comments (3)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jason, of course you know I agree 100% with you on this.  Absolutely ridiculous to think it should be any other way.

(On a side note I trust you are doing well?)

Jun 08, 2010 08:49 AM
Jason Aldrich
Aldrich's Home Inspections, Inc. - Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA Home Inspector

Of course, Charles! And yes, I am doing better, thanks for asking.

Jun 08, 2010 09:38 AM
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate

Lets call it as it is, you guys do a job and want to get paid when you do the job.  Appraisers are the same way.  Us Realtors, well we need to make sure everyone does a good job and guide the buyer to closing.

Jun 22, 2010 12:43 PM