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Avoiding "But you told me to hire them!"

Whether new construction or a historic gem, the home buying process can be an emotionally charged life event. Having a home professionally inspected can provide peace of mind to excited buyers. Ideally, a dedicated and experienced agent or realtor can guide clients through the inspection with minimal obstacles, but ever so often, there are issues that arise. The client/agent/inspector relationship can be maintained by providing comprehensive information and realistic expectations when it comes to what to look for in an inspector, the scope of the inspection process, and potential solutions for lingering questions.


When clients want to hold an agent responsible for the inspector they hired, its usually an issue of trust. Agents can technically recommend a specific home inspector, but we advise against it. States such as Massachusetts even prohibit agents from recommending an inspector. To help ensure impartiality, many agents provide their clients a list of options from the Board of Home Inspectors. A s a result, inspectors have no stake in agents’ financial interests. How to help the client avoid issues with the inspectors 1. Get the Client Involved Early when Finding an Inspector Its is very important at this stage to ensure that the client knows the decision to hire an inspector is entirely theirs and that your role is to advise. The sooner the client starts the search the better. Impress upon the client the need to ask a lot of questions, check referrals or references, review contracts, and check out sample reports. A client that does this level of due diligence it is highly unlikely to come back and point fingers at the agent if something goes wrong.

Consider the following approaches:

Approach 1

Now that you've decided to purchase a home, it's time for you to to look into who you might use to inspect the home. I suggest you begin your search now because there are a lot of questions you need to ask to make sure the company or person you choose is the best person for you. If you don't have anyone in mind and need a list of possible referrals just let me know.

This approach places the responsibility firmly in the hands of the client and gives them enough time to seek your advice should they need it. Oftentimes the client will respond by asking who you recommend, but in this instance, you're not proposing solutions before being asked.

Approach 2

It's time for you to decide on a home inspector, here are three inspectors that I would recommend to choose from.

This approach takes away some of the control from the client because you have restricted the number of inspectors to a specific three. This approach creates the impression that the client's choices are limited unnecessarily.

2. Set Realistic Expectations An inspector’s job is to provide professional opinion. It is impossible to catch all the possible things that have gone wrong or may go awry in a house. There are limits, as some components of a home are not within the scope of visibility and thus go unnoticed. Encourage the client to discuss any particular concerns with the inspector prior to the inspection. 3. Who Your Client Hires Matters Not all inspectors are created equal. Be sure any recommendations made are from well-established companies and if possible, make sure they are licensed. This can be done by visiting the International A ssociation of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNachi) site and typing in your address. A s of April 2022, 14 states allow inspectors to operate without regulations. This means there are no license requirements. For a comprehensive list of states with and without license requirements, visit the National Home Inspector Examination website. If you happen to live in a state that does not require licensure, alternative search considerations include whether the inspector and/or company has the following:

  • National certifications

  • Awards

  • Professional association membership

4. Thoroughly Research the Inspector or Company Research on an inspector should include a search of their website and customer reviews. See what they have to offer. You want an objective report, one that effectively communicates issues found in the home. An impartial, third-party home inspector won't have any conflict of interest and will be able to talk freely and frankly about potential issues. You'll also want to keep an eye out for usage of proper equipment. While inspectors rely heavily on visual observations, there are tools of the trade that can provide an even more comprehensive evaluation. These may include moisture meters, infrared thermometers, and infrared cameras. 5. If they're not Satisfied, Encourage the Buyer to take Action If you have a client that feels the inspection and/or report was inadequate, start by encouraging the buyer to communicate their concerns directly with the inspector. This is one reason why making recommendations is advised against. If you recommend an inspector and the client is dissatisfied, it can reflect poorly on you. Limit your involvement in this regard. If the buyer is unable to resolve an issue, advise them to check their local and state rules, or governing body for inspectors. Generally, they have a course of action when it comes to dissatisfied customers.

At Pro Spex, we make the inspection process easy. We have the tools, equipment, and expertise to ensure accurate and detailed reporting. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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