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An HGTV Contractor Pundit's Rant About Inspectors


hausdok
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Mike Holmes is a Canadian contractor who hosts an HGTV series - Holmes on Homes - and writes a real estate column for the Canadian Globe and Mail. In this article, after he'd been inundated with critical letters by home inspectors and thousands of home owners who'd read one of his columns about home inspections, he let's home inspectors have it.

To read the article click here.

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Well, who knows what the truth is regarding this pundit's opinions? How many complaints did he actually read? How many did he verify? Of the complaining clients, how many have the knowledge to differentiate between a good inspection and a bad one? How many know the difference between a corbel and a gerbil?

It's pretty sloppy journalism.

That said, I think he's mostly right. HIs, taken as a breed, don't have the skillset needed to do the job right. There are now 760 licensed HIs in TN. That's way too many. I'd guess that fewer than 76 of them -- maybe as few as 6 or 7 -- know what they need to know, are prepared to learn what they need to learn, and can communicate clearly with customers.

I have no data to back up that opinion. I have only about 20 years' worth of experience reading HI reports, correcting HI boilerplate and giving my opinion as to the skill/ethics/capabilities of the HIs who get in trouble...

Nothing will improve until the HI tests get a lot harder. A nine-fingered three-eyed chimp could pass any HI test. (Hyperbole.)

WJ

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I can disagree with almost nothing he said, but it's always easier to throw stones at the other guys. If it weren't for his group (contractors) being just as guilty as a profession, we wouldn't even exist. Most of us stink, most of them stink, most realtors stink, most mortgage brokers stink, etc., etc., etc.

Life goes on. [8]

Brian G.

Another Day, Another Pundit [:-sleep]

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You have to appreciate Mike Holmes uses a sledge hammer most times to get his point across. Thats part of his trademark. No politically correct crap from him.

His lousy reviews in my opinion stems from the fact self regulating bodies do a crummy job of regulating themselves governance wise as well as poor oversight of their membership. While membership is somewhat of a yard stick to competence it is not a total 100% guarantee membership ensures competence. I don't know of any associations in Canada which monitor or audit their members for reports and or onsite test inspection peer review. Nor are these bodies beholden to any form of outside compliance review. Who inspects the inspectors if not their associations.

Mike Holmes has oft repeated that home inspectors should be licenced in Ontario fwiw. I agree with him, I see and know too many inspectors who should not be plying their wares given the ready availability of on online association that certifies all manner of services for a nominal fee and course.

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When he (or a potential customer) requests a reference, what can you do?

It's unusual to hear from a client after I complete an inspection. Some may call to ask a question about the report or ask for a estimate on repairs but that's all.

When I mail the radon or WDI report, I also include a small survey in which I ask if I may use them as a reference, but no one calls me back in 4 months to give me their new phone number.

I may be wrong, but it's tough getting an actual past client as a reference in this business.

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Darren

I place a client questionaire in the front of my inspection report with stamped envelope, and ask the client if they wish to serve as reference, usually getting one questionaire back for every 10 inspections. Almost always the client will state they would be happy to serve as a reference.

In my opinion if you are not getting feedback or only the odd question that to me would suggest your clients are happy with your service.

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I know that licensing infringes upon your freedom to conduct business the way you see fit, but that's exactly the point. How many candidates couldn't pass a state exam? In non-regulated states, these folks could still be working as home inspectors and the consumer wouldn't have any idea what their level of expertise was.

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