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I just got a classic call from my client’s realtor. She was very upset with me for the following reasons;

1 I spent too much time with my client. 41/2 hours on a 1400sq ft house with a pool.

2 That I allowed my client to follow me around throughout the inspection

3 That I expressed my opinions too much. Such as the kitchen counter does not have any electrical receptacles.

4 That I asked my client for approval to send her a copy of the report.

5 That my report did not have any estimates for repair. (My report does, it just at the end of the report)

6 That I explained everything to my client about each defect.

7 That my client was a first time home buyer and I scared him by telling him all the things that were wrong in the house.

8 That I used the word “allotâ€

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Comes with the territory. I really try to be as "nice" as I can to Realtors, without compromising my ethics and standards. If they stop referring me, they'll refer the idiot buckethead, and nobody wins.

I personally believe that there are different styles in dealing with homebuyers. All buyers are unique and I adjust my style to the situation.

If a first-time home buyer is buying an entry level home, chances are they are going have to put up with some less than perfect "features".

Is it my place to freak out a first time buyer, and scare them away from a good house, just because it doesn't have the best of everything? I try to educate them, rather than just pound on the shortcomings.

I'm not talking the "fair-to-the-house" BS that the bucketheads pull. I just try to be realistic. Someone who makes under $50k a year has a much smaller pool of homes to choose from than someone in the six-figures. That's reality.

I'm not going to turn the other way when something is serious, but I'm also not going to spend 20 minutes on the dangers of missing GFCI's in a 40 year old house.

that being said, some agents are just plain idiots, and I'll tell them if I have to.

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I'm with you, Chris. It's a misconception with some of the folks who post on this forum that all realtors are shiftless. I've found that the gum-smacking, fast talking, amoral cliched realtor is just that, a cliche. The successful realtors in my area are--for the most part--bright, conscientious, and they want the best for their clients. Let's not forget that their businesses rely on referrals which aren't gonna come their way if clients have bad experiences. I had realtor-referred clients walk away from a million-dollar house a few months ago, and the realtor still sends me business. The troublesome realtors in my area are those for whom every closing dictates whether they can make their mortgage or car payment. They're so desperate, they call the hippo inspectors who check out roofs with binoculars and label all crawlspaces as inaccessible. But then the homebuyer has a bad experience and never sends the realtor a referral, so he or she is always scrambling.

Chris is also right about the less than 50K buyer. It isn't fair to unnecessarily frighten him or her away from a house that's in reasonable condition for its age. The buyer must be fully apprised so an informed decision can be made, but it isn't fair to unnecessarily trash a house.

It's amazing how thick one's skin has to become in this business. I get calls all the time from irate sellers and realtors. I try to just listen for a minute or two before excusing myself, because after all, who has less sense? The idiot, or the person who tries to reason with the idiot?

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I went to pick up a key for an inspection the other day, and ran into the listing agent at the front door of the realtor's office. She stopped me and said she hoped I would "be gentle", because whenever my name comes up around the office all she hears is how I'm "crucifying everyone on these inspections". Who me? I tried to breifly explain that I stake my entire professional reputation on thoroughness and that I was the primary bearer of liability once I've done the inspection, but I think she just wanted vent her fears. In the end I fell back on my favorite old standby, "The house tells the story, I just write it down".

Lately I've heard back through the grapevine that I write up cosmetic items, that I once documented a single black roach, and that I'm just plain crazy. I plead guilty to the last one.

I take more pains than I used to in preparing clients for the Goodman detail level. I think providing honest and realistic perspective is a genuine service to inexperienced buyers, as long as we don't slow-slide into deal-making assistance. Maintain the separation and all is well.

Brian G.

Cosmetic Roach Crazyman [:-mean]

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Interesting that she claims that her broker and other 'big producers' urged her to call you. Why would they do that? If it is true, the simple fact that they think it is okay to dictate to home inspectors how to conduct our business means that things are out of control down in Florida, which surprises me, since there are so many home inspectors down there.

Re. your comments:

1 I spent too much time with my client. 41/2 hours on a 1400sq ft house with a pool.

I've had days when I've done a 1400 square foot house in 2 hours and others when it took 6. There is no set time for how long an inspection should take. It takes the time it takes to do the job right and to answer all of the client's questions - which is what the client and not the zoid is paying for.

2 That I allowed my client to follow me around throughout the inspection

I've done it that way since day one more than 9 years ago. I call my inspections 'The School of the House'. Today's first time home buyers spent 3 hours and 55 minutes with me on a 12 year old, 2700 square foot home and left knowing more about that house than the homeowner who was the builder.

3 That I expressed my opinions too much. Such as the kitchen counter does not have any electrical receptacles.

We're paid to express our opinion about a home based on our knowledge and experience. Telling you you expressed your opinion too much is code for saying that you were being too honest and it isn't necessary from her standpoint because she'd only interested in selling the home and felt like you were queering her deal.

4 That I asked my client for approval to send her a copy of the report.

I would have told her simply, "Well, you weren't the one paying for the report. Who do you suggest I ask for permission to send you a copy?"

5 That my report did not have any estimates for repair. (My report does, it just at the end of the report)

If you're not required to have it under Florida rules why provide one? It won't be worth the paper it's written on to most contractors anyway and it will only piss off the client if he/she calls around to get other estimates and finds out that everyone is higher. It'll look like you were in collusion with someone even if you weren't.

6 That I explained everything to my client about each defect.

What? She doesn't explain the facts about the home purchase to her clients? What in the world do people hire us for if it isn't to find out what's wrong with a house and to gain an understanding of why that is bad for the structure, what can be done to remedy it and maybe, if we know, about how much it might cost?

7 That my client was a first time home buyer and I scared him by telling him all the things that were wrong in the house.

Duh! The client already knew what he liked about the house. He hired you to tell him what he wasn't going to like. Her problem is that she thinks you are there to give the client a warm and fuzzy about his choice of home and you are essentially there to rubber stamp that choice.

8 That I used the word “allotâ€

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"but it isn't fair to unnecessarily trash a house."

I'm sorry you lost me. I tell my client what's wrong. I then explain to them why it is wrong, then I give them an idea as to how important it is in regards to health, safety and or structure.

That's my job, sorta like the standards developed by leading home inspection societies.

As to Realtors one would have to understand our market. A well priced home sells before it is listed in MLS. Most homes priced at market will sell in a weekend. Our prices have been rising 30 to 60 percent per year.

I do not market to Realtors because I truly believe that they are more concerned with their commission then they are with their client. I do get referrals from some agents, and I treat everybody in the process with respect.

Captain

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I had heart melting moment with a favorite Realtor of mine. The house was way below the mark from A-Z. I made it plain that the house was in need of major repairs and that money should be budgeted for repairs in the "not too distant future"- I mean how often do you see a water heater that's older than you? Anyway they all got there written reports and the Realtor called me up and asked (with the client standing next to her) if it was my opinion that this house may be a little too much for a first time buyer. I said very carfully that it was my opinion. She said thank you and asked if I could inspect another house for them pending contract acceptance and they killed the deal.

That is how "PRODUCERS" operate. I had one of my clients tell me after an inspection that this same Realtor handed her 3 fliers and told her to call me first because I don't miss a thing, and she was glad she did. That makes it all seem worth while.[:D]

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"Most homes priced at market will sell in a weekend. Our prices have been rising 30 to 60 percent per year."

Yep, that's been going on out here too. Amazing that a realtors commission today is 3 or 4 times what it was for the same house five years ago but when we raise our prices 10% all the zoids act like we are trying to rip off their clients. The lady above just keeps telling me to raise my prices because I'm not charging what I'm worth.

It's a dingy business we're in.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by allspec33351

She told me that she asked her broker and other big producers if they thought it was all right to call me and they all agreed that she should call me. And she just wanted to let me know if we work together (her words) I will know how she feels about me and how she thinks I should conduct an inspection.

Mitchell,

Next time, give her Jerry's number. Tell her he's a guy who really understands the special needs of realtors and that she'll be much happier with him.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Captain,

What I meant was . . . there are some inspectors in my area who're in love with the sounds of their own voices. These pedantic types are more concerned with impressing all present than with accurately assessing a house. Like Chris said about the lacking GFCIs in a 40-year-old house, yeah the outlets should be updated, but there's no reason to unnecessarily frighten a buyer by elocuting on the shock hazards associated with non-GFCI outlets.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by allspec33351

She told me that she asked her broker and other big producers if they thought it was all right to call me and they all agreed that she should call me. And she just wanted to let me know if we work together (her words) I will know how she feels about me and how she thinks I should conduct an inspection.

Mitchell,

Next time, give her Jerry's number. Tell her he's a guy who really understands the special needs of realtors and that she'll be much happier with him.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

A fews years back before the "as is: days. I was inspecting a smaller house and the realtor ask the infamous question "how much longer?" I said "it would be another 3 to 4 hrs." So I braced for the usually comeback such as "I never had an inspection take this long" instead I got that it is ok "I just did a house yesterday that the client only wanted a roof inspection and this guy was there for 7 hours so this does not seem to bad."

I asked sheepishly if the inspectors name was Jerry Peck she said yup.

Lesson learned it is better to be last than first.

Captain

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I recently inspected a POS home selling for $650,000 (FYI-I was told that the annual real estate taxes for the house were a shocking $26,000). About half-way through the inspection, the real estate agent asked the seller if they really wanted the house based on what I found so far. The buyer said that it was worse than they thought. The realtor suggested to us that maybe since the contract was not finalized that they could just cancel the contract and let her find another house for them. I agreed to reduce my fee because I did not finish the inspection or issue a written report.

About two weeks later I got a call from the same people and inspected a home that was more expensive but in much better condition. The people bought another house from the same agent.

After the inspection I made sure to compliment the agent for her integrity and said that many agents would be angry that they had to work harder to sell another house. I said this in front of my client and the agent was beaming.

Everyone was happy, the buyer found a good house, the agent made a higher commision, and I got paid for two inspections.

That is the type of agent that I like to get referrals from.

Additionally, the agent recommended me to two other people in the last two weeks.

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