Home Inspection Referrals

2 Replies

I am planning to become a certified Home Inspector so that 1) I can make better decisions when purchasing a rental property or flip home and 2) to possibly create a way to have a second income. Does anybody have any suggestions on a good way to get Home Inspection referrals?

John,

Home inspection referrals usually come from agents, brokers or other satisfied customers. There is something you should know before you get into the game. 

Real estate agents are paid only when a deal closes. If a home inspector creates anxiety in a buyer about a home over a fixable item that isn't fatal or obvious, then that broker will not call that home inspector again. Furthermore, that agent will tell everyone what happened. 

So, you might have the best of intentions to help a buyer, but your client is really the agent, or you have two clients the agent and the buyer. Make sure you have a good, relaxing, easygoing manner. Don't create issues where items are fixable. I once had an inspector hold forth on the fact that the outlets around a sink weren't GFCI's, which was about $50 to fix at the time. The buyer was so put off, he failed the building inspection over the issue. I never referred the inspector again, nor did anyone in my office when I told them. Switches that apparently go nowhere, the odd loose wire, or open junction box, stubbed off pipes, or dead outlet aren't big deals. They are part and parcel to a used house.

If there is a serious issue, like rotten joists, missing roof tiles, lack of joist supports, hidden mold, etc. then indicate that it warrants further inspection from a contractor or engineer. 

Most things are fixable in one form or another, and it's usually a negotiation on the cost. Sellers might not know, and are surprised and willing to help, other times, they have a take it or leave it attitude. Your job is to be factual, separate the important and urgent from the unimportant and not urgent. Low key is the best key here.

Hope that helps.

Good Luck!

Jim

James C. is dead on. 

I only use one Inspector here (30 yrs experience) & he is brutal but for my purposes (negotiating price on the front end of a deal), it's imperative & he has saved me a lot of money. Many agents will not use him for that reason yet that agent is usually to blame if the buyer finds issues with the home after the fact. Yet he is used by both the local Electric, Gas & sewer utilities to inspect the homes for their employees after a home has been left vacant for some time. 

We have a friend suing both their agent & the Inspector they recommended for some serious lack of disclosure & expensive repair issues. It would appear from the pics, the poorly written report & what was discovered that both the agent & inspector colluded but I doubt if it will go anywhere. 

Over the years I have seen a lot of pathetic inspection reports & assume these inspectors only get referrals because agents find them useful.

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