Meet The Home Inspector Who Also Sells Home Warranties...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

A few weeks back an agent I know told me she was bothered by the fact that her buyer was approached about purchasing a Home Warranty through the inspector that SHE (the agent) had recommended. Unbeknownst to the agent, her inspector was also selling home warranties. Oops.

Realtors have referral relationships with inspectors, lenders, title companies, home warranty reps & all kinds of tradesmen. Personally I suggest 3 different home warranty companies to my buyers. That said, I would never refer a home inspector who tried to pitch this extra service. I also feel strongly that buyers should not obtain their loan from a Realtor who is also a loan officer. The two pieces should be separated for obvious reason. As it is, Realtors have more hats to wear than the most people realize, adding the task of "also doing the loan" is typically seen as foolishly opportunistic. But that's MY opinion. I'm sure there's a few 1 Stop Shops around town that I've yet to meet. 

But back to the shenanigans of inspecting the home while also offering "the home warranty." Anytime an inspector tosses in this added service it tells me they are doing more than being creative with a potential revenue stream then they should. I am pro-profit, but I am more interested in doing YOUR job well. I don't believe you can do your job well if you own a Home Warranty Company and inspect houses at the same time. 

Inspectors who also push Home Warranties are knowingly or unknowingly stepping on the feet of fellow co/marketers. Routinely around town vendors will circle together to sponsor Real Estate events for Realtors. Some of the sponsors include: Title Reps, Inspectors, Home Warranty Reps and loan officers. You can can see how the relationships could be damaged from this example. In addition to this, Realtors like to be the one to offer "THEIR BUYER" the referrals for these types of services. 


What are your thoughts and why?

Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




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Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

we have a building inspector who just started a program that gives you a free warranty .... not sure what to think about that

Apr 13, 2017 12:01 AM #10
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

It's not shenanigans, It's Simple Home Warranty. It's the best home warranty on the market. It's from Residential Warranty Services. It covers much more than the standard warranties available today. It does not affect my inspection at all. It will cover pre-existing conditions. It does not prorate the life of a working system. It covers sewer and water line collapses. Mold remediation, Radon mitigation, and termite treatment. and if I do the inspection, the buyer gets 18 months of coverage instead of the usual 12-13 months. I also include a 5 year roof leak warranty. The inspection also includes a coupon for free carpet cleaning, and a free home management system. It is a revenue source, but I'm sure not going to retire on it. What it does is fill the gaps of client expectation and lowers the agents risk. If a sewer line collapses 25 days after closing and your inspector did not include a sewer warranty, who is the unhappy buyer going to call? You. And what will you do? Either pay the sewer company $3-4000, or tell them that's what happens when you own a home. Both not good options. Or, you would gladly tell them that because you referred them to an inspector that offers a warranty that covers sewer line collapse, just call the number on your warranty packet and the collapsed line is repaired. Which option would be best for your buyer? The answer is SIMPLE. Check it out at this website-  I think you might be surprised how many buyers are seriously happy when they look at the options available to them and very happy their agent referred that inspector. Anyone can order the warranty, anywhere in the country, but if I do the inspection, it's an extra 6 months of coverage, a full 18 months. Sadly, I'm only in Illinois, but there are hundreds of inspectors offering this program. You won't be disappointed.

Apr 13, 2017 03:49 AM #11
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

There are some other services such as RecallChek which you may or may not have seen, which is designed for Home Inspectors to provide recall alert services on any appliances in home.  The same company that offers RecallChek also offers Home Warranties.  

Now I do not offer, so am not 100% certain how they work, it is possible the inspector makes a small referal fee, or possible also that they make zero profit from the warranty service, not sure either way.  Most of the RWS services the inspector offers actually cost the inspector money (ie: RecallChek, Platinum Roof Protection, etc. each have a fee with them).

Apr 13, 2017 03:49 AM #12
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Your post should cause us all to stop and think about how and who we choose to refer our consumers to.

I am very particular and like full disclosure. After all, it is my reputation.

Apr 13, 2017 04:35 AM #13
Theresa Akin

I myself am not fond of those who multi-task with my clients. I give them a list and brochures of the home warranties. If they have not spoken with  lender or worked with a financial institution, there's another list. As far as photographers go we have a couple agents in our brokerage who do photography but for our agency and as a personal/family photography. I know of a couple agents who were lenders. One has gone strictly realestate and refers to former co-workers, the other states the ability to help with the loan. Got an offer from the agent who also signed the pre-qual letter. Seller didn't like the offer and also didn't like the idea of the agent wearing a double hat.

Apr 13, 2017 05:07 AM #14
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Who better to sell a home warranty?  They know the issues that come up with homes and can taylor a plan for the house.  As far as handling referrals, our clients are not dummies.  They go to friends and family first.  That may even be how they came to you.  While it would be very nice to be considered THE knowledge source of all things RE, it would be foolish to think that they don't talk to several sources.

Apr 13, 2017 06:03 AM #15
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We live in one big piece of pie and everyone wants their slice

Apr 13, 2017 06:41 AM #16
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The same can be said about termite inspection people. I think their service on repair should be banned. 

Our newer purchase contract no longer permit buyers to specifiy they need to get termite inspection report. If get checked title demand section 1 to be cleared.

I have no buyers wanting to pay termite repair cost as the sellers will not pay a penny on the damages based on report.

Apr 13, 2017 07:17 AM #17
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I like #11's Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector explanation.

Makes sense to me.   I would not have a problem with it but would want to be informed ahead of time.  I am surprised if this is a preferred partner that you were not.

Years and Years ago I also did loan apps as well as the Realty side of the transaction. My clients loved it. One stop...One person to communicate with...and I loved unknown excuses.  The state put a stop to it after pressure from the big boy lenders...and I think that was probably a mistake. When you are a commissioned paid are going to work your butt off for your client whether you are the agent or the lender or both...but if you are both you have more to lose. I don't like to lose!!

Thanks for sharing a great blog!

Apr 13, 2017 07:43 AM #18
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Greg - I haven't run across this before (home inspectors also selling home warranties.) I have received offers written up by a real estate agent who also was acting as loan agent -- luckily we had another, better offer in hand and didn't go that route.

Apr 13, 2017 08:11 AM #19
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

My preferred home inspection company includes an inhouse warranty for 90 days.  If they something is in good working order at the time of inspection and it fails in the first 90 days, they will repair or replace the item.

Apr 13, 2017 10:18 AM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Have never run across this here, yet. I think it's best to wear one hat, and not run the risk of being perceived as a conflict of interest. That said, interesting to hear from Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector had to say.

Apr 13, 2017 10:23 AM #21
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I can see a conflict as the inspection progresses, this boiler, not much life left in this,if you had a home warranty, like this one in my left pocket it is not an issue.

I also agree, agents like to be the one making a referral, even if the client selects someone else. The home inspector offering something else or referrinf someone else is in a way reflecting back upon the agent who made the first referral.

Apr 13, 2017 11:01 AM #22
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I agree with you on this one, Greg!  It's often pretty dicey to try and wear two hats at the same time.

Apr 13, 2017 12:16 PM #23
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

I think the main issue is not letting anyone know they'll be offering another service --- perhaps if they'd let you know about the product and you could ensure it was a quality product, it would be better than just peddling it while inspecting.


That would make you (or whoever else referred the inspector) look good, rather than like a dummy when your client asks "is this warranty the inspector offers any good?" and you're sitting there like "umm, what warranty?"

Apr 13, 2017 12:39 PM #24
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

To follow up on a couple comments. The agents do know about it ahead of time, because I did a presentation in their office explaining the entire program, and how it helps reduce their liability. Everyone wins, especially the buyer. The buyer knows ahead of time, since I mention these valuable peace of mind services when I schedule the inspection. 

Apr 13, 2017 01:14 PM #25
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

This became a legal issue in Oklahoma both for those inspectors who sold their own warranty, and for the conflict of recommending one. They can't do either now.

Apr 13, 2017 02:03 PM #26
Virtual Realty Consultants
Virtual Realty Consultants LLC - Wellesley, MA
Making the American Dream a Reality

25 words or less - screw it.  I don't need the points.  Amen Brother.

Apr 16, 2017 12:15 AM #27
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

If i isn't a conflict of interest it has to be close.  Stick to the job you are paid to do and let someone else get the rest of the business.

Apr 28, 2017 05:47 PM #28
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hmm..I have ambivalent feelings about this one, Greg!  I prefer to give a list of 3 for every trade/vendor. When the inspector 'pushes' a particular warranty company, it makes you wonder if they're getting a kickback. 

WE are offered kickbacks from them (even though they're not technically called 'kickbacks') and I always apply my 'bonus for selling their warranty' to the buyers' warranty - extra HVAC, pool pump, lowering the call fee, etc. 

That said, if they've researched the company and get no kickback, the onus is on them!

May 27, 2017 09:34 PM #29
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