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Hi there. I was wondering whether you guys as HI's personally reccomend / refer other trade companies to client to complete necessary works after an expection.

What wondering as a roofing contractor, if it would be worth talking to some HI's in my area.

Cheers guys,

Phil

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Hey Phil!

Thanks for the question. Most home inspectors belong to local and national professional associations that have what is known as a "Code of Ethics", which forbids us from doing anything that may even remotely appear to be a conflict of interest. Of course, as you might well understand, referring our clients to repairmen makes it possible for us to:

1. Call out unnecessary repairs for the benefit of friends and associates.

2. Set unreasonable repair prices for that work.

3. Receive compensation (a kick-back) from those friend and associates.

Unfortunately, there are home inspectors that do refer associates for repairs. I was floored to see a report about two weeks ago that referred the client to repair companies in writing within the report, but this practice is strictly forbidden - so much so, that we are actually obligated to report such an inspector to our association.

You might visit real estate offices, since listing agents often assist home sellers in finding companies to perform repairs needed due to our findings.

All the best!

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This is from the Code of Ethics used in Louisiana:

6. The LHI shall not accept compensation, directly or indirectly, for referring or recommending contractors, services, or products to inspection clients or other parties having an interest in inspected properties, unless disclosed and scheduled prior to the home inspection.

While I absolutely agree with Michael B that HI's should not engage in such practice, the language used by some state ethical codes seems to suggest that the mere act of referring clients to specific repairmen is not prohibited.

Marc

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Here in Washington State inspectors may refer contractors if they want to assume the potential liability but they are prohibited from receiving any kind of kickback for referrals and must disclose any business or personal relationship between themselves and any other party to the transaction, including service contractors. We are also prohibited from doing any work on a building that we've inspected for a year after the transaction and that includes any companies that we have an interst in - pest control, for instance.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi there. I was wondering whether you guys as HI's personally reccomend / refer other trade companies to client to complete necessary works after an expection.

What wondering as a roofing contractor, if it would be worth talking to some HI's in my area.

If a customer asks me for the name of a contractor who would be good to fix a particular problem, and I know of such a contractor, I tell him. From my perspective, it's the right thing to do.

My recommendation, however, is based on having seen the fellow's work and knowing that he'll do the job right. If a contractor were to cold call me and ask me to refer him, I'd have to see a bunch of his work first and talk with him about his methods.

Especially a roofer. . .

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi there. I was wondering whether you guys as HI's personally reccomend / refer other trade companies to client to complete necessary works after an expection.

What wondering as a roofing contractor, if it would be worth talking to some HI's in my area.

If a customer asks me for the name of a contractor who would be good to fix a particular problem, and I know of such a contractor, I tell him. From my perspective, it's the right thing to do.

My recommendation, however, is based on having seen the fellow's work and knowing that he'll do the job right. If a contractor were to cold call me and ask me to refer him, I'd have to see a bunch of his work first and talk with him about his methods.

Especially a roofer. . .

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Cuncur 100%

Customers ask me all the time for referrals. I only refer two people whose work I've personally seen. In more than 14 years, neither of them has ever let a customer down.

That's not saying that other contractors aren't as competent; only that I won't put my own livelihood and reputation at risk by recommending someone whose work I don't know and trust.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Last Wednesday's client asked for a referral for a general contractor. I replied that I didn't know of any contractors that did good work on existing structures. Some did ok on new construction but dropped their standards on work that they knew would not be inspected by the codes. I suggested that she find a contractor that did new construction on a regular basis then hire a home inspector to monitor it.

Marc

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And don't forget, there are sycophantic contractors who perform the simplest, least expensive, repair to curry favor with unscrupulous realtors to keep the bidness rolling in. I think I'm doing someone a favor when someone I trust and refer comes behind me. On old furnaces, for example . . . does your client deserved the twenty-year-old kid who will perform nothing but a visual on a heat exchanger, or another person who will take the time to slide the blower out and stick his head in the furnace's arse to see what's up?

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Not sure I'm comfortable with that image.........[:-sick]

So many folks look to us as experts in construction. If we're experts, it seems like a natural thing that we'd know folks capable of doing things the right way. It's natural for folks to ask us for referrals.

I give out folks names all the time, but not necessarily every time. When I give out a name, I do it with great care.

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If I knew any good, trustworthy trade persons, I MIGHT refer them (well probably not due to ethics concerns) but it is a moot point because other than one GC that only does high end new construction, I don't know of anyone that meets my standards. Virtually anyone could be better than the hacks that do the repair work I have inspected.

Maybe I should start and ANTI-referral list....

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If I knew any good, trustworthy trade persons, I MIGHT refer them (well probably not due to ethics concerns) but it is a moot point because other than one GC that only does high end new construction, I don't know of anyone that meets my standards. Virtually anyone could be better than the hacks that do the repair work I have inspected.

Maybe I should start and ANTI-referral list....

That seems logical. A list of folks to avoid...[:-dev3]

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I'd be careful about putting that list in writing for fear it could get leaked out and one of those guys tries to sue you for badmouthing his business. Even if it gets thrown out it would be a pain and possibly expensive to defend. Let them see the list or give them verbal warning and put it back in the bag...

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