Padding the resume OR Who's fooling who? AND Who may get hurt?

Home Inspector with Clayton Inspection Service, Inc.

I was in a Real Estate office last week, and noticed a new home inspector's brochure on the shelf. Since I didn't recognize the name, I picked it up out of curiosity. I was very surprised to see that he said he had been an inspector for 12 years. He also said he was an officer in a home inspection organization I had never heard of.

I've been an inspector since 1989 and lived in Knoxville since 1994. I have a pretty good idea who was doing inspections here 12 years ago, since there were not all that many of us in Knoxville, and we all knew each other. Doing a Google of the home inspector organization he mentioned also brought up nothing. Doing a quick license search, I found he has been a licensed inspector for 1 year and 3 months. So, if he was an inspector for longer, he was breaking the law (licensed was required as of July 1, 2006).

I have also had the occasion to check out other inspector's web sites. I have found a lot of dubious claims on some of these sites. Some of them can't seem to keep their facts straight between the pages on their own web site. 

One claimed to have been inspecting for over 20 years on one page, and on another page said 16. 

Another claims to have done what turns out to be 1,000 inspections per year, for over twenty years. 

Many claim to be Members of ASHI, yet they are not. Many inspectors are not licensed, even though they claim to be.

A few years ago I had a new guy take a third of my brochure and use it in his own, a simple cut and paste, right down to a hand drawn graphic that was my logo. A letter from my attorney put a top to that, but I have to wonder if he thought there was anything wrong with what he did.

I think the average consumer is not going to know if someone is telling the truth about their background and experience. The other inspectors in town know if the guy has been in business for as long as he says, but no one else will. the Realtors that may give our their names may or may not know if their claims are true. I would think that if a Realtor is pretty active, and they have been in business for a while, they have a pretty good idea of who the inspectors are in their area. 

Who may get hurt??

The obvious answer is the client. Many times they are hiring an inspector based on what they may find on a web site, or a printed brochure they happen to pick up. I understand that if someone said, "Well, I'm just starting out, and I've only done ten inspections, and you are actually going to pay me for learning how to do this job", they would probably not get the job. However, not being truthful may come back and bite them big time.

I'm going to court next week for someone that is suing their home inspector. Without going into a lot of details, lets just say he lied about his experience, background, and credentials, and really blew it.

Ethics obviously are not a high priority with these folks.

OK, Off my soapbox now.




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David Wang
Prudential California Realty - Millbrae, CA
Prudential | 650.504.8190

Jack you are so right If I work in your area I would be dealing with someone like you.  Our home inspectors are like our first line of defence and for a realtor it unthinkable to hire someone who would bend the truth about their work history.

Nov 30, 2008 10:34 AM #1
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

1000 inspections per year?  ROFLMBO!! That's pretty funny (if it weren't so sad.)

Realtors do the same thing.  It's a very sad commentary on our professions.

Nov 30, 2008 10:35 AM #2
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

I agree I know of a local agent that does that, states she has so many years in sales when she hasnt been licensed that long. It not only hurts our clients but our industry too.

Nov 30, 2008 10:39 AM #3
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Jack, Your example cited is exactly why I make home inspector recommendations to my buyers.

Nov 30, 2008 10:40 AM #4
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Like with anyone that is hired by anyone.  Hire on referrals only.  I don't care what industry. Never, ever pull names out of a hat......or you may end up with a rabbit.

Nov 30, 2008 11:14 AM #5
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

1000 inspections a year.  I am wondering if he is inspecting for the real estate agent that is selling 1500 homes a year.

Nov 30, 2008 11:15 AM #6
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Jack- You're right that the client is the one who gets burned in this situation. In tough times, some people result to some pretty slimey tactics. Hopefully clients start doing their homework on their inspectors!

Nov 30, 2008 12:27 PM #7
Nick Hodak
Pillar To Post - New Bern, NC

Throw him under the bus.  I had a pizza delivery guy tell me he was doing home inspections and used to be a city code inspector blah blah blah.  When he saw my truckhe asked what we had to do in NC to do home inspecctions.  A little late if has has already been doing them.  Well I didn;t get his name but I wished that I did I would have reported him to the NCHILB.  I also had a client thaat told me a "freind" of his at work did home inspections.  He said that he "got certified" over the internet.  I explained to my client that in NC we have to be licensed.  The only way to do that is direectly from the NCHILB and take their test.  Nothing else matter in this state.  Yes it's great to be certified by ASHI, NAHI, or any other, but you still MUST BE LICENSED.


If I were you I would point that out to the office amanger, broker in charge or someone.  If this guy misrepresents himself he coculd get in a lot of trouble the agent could get into trouble and he makes the industry look bad.  Let the real estate office question him about his experieince and credentials.  Side note...It may be possible that he did home inspections somewhere else and jsut moved to Knoxville, right?  He may not be dishonost.  But I would encourage the office to check up on it.

Dec 10, 2008 05:54 AM #8
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

And lo those many years ago, just what did you tell your first 10 or 20 clients to get them to hire you Jack?

I think that some of us who've been around for awhile tend to forget the bullshit we engaged in to get our first few clients.

But, it does make for some great reading and head shaking!

Dec 13, 2008 02:03 AM #9
Mark Reusch
A Major Inspection Service & Consulting - Simpsonville, SC

I want to learn how to do 1,000 inspections a year. I could retire in 5 years or when my heart gave out. Which ever came first. LMAO. There are some real beauties out there I guess.

Dec 15, 2008 05:50 PM #10
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Yeah, we've got a few around here who claim to have done thousands of inspections in just a few years.

Must be a real killer.  sometimes the math works out to 10 inspections a day.

Dec 21, 2008 07:21 AM #11
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