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"Why I Love My Deal Killer" Comments On ActiveRain


AHI in AR
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Originally posted by AHI in AR

You might be surprised at this. If only more agents shared the view of the agent who posted this.

Of course, the comments from other agents are generally favorable. After all, how many agents would publicly admit that they don't want their client to be fully informed?

Check this out:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/608408/Why-I-love-my

Her "deal killer" has an interesting report on his website. He describes the heat source as a heat pump, says that there is no cooling system or room cooling sources, and no air handler. He includes a photo of the filter location that shows what looks like an heater exhaust flue. He did manage to nail most of the cabinet scratches, though.

More than one way to kill a deal, I guess.

Tim

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Hi,

Well, if you read above the photo you'll see that he describes the energy source as gas. That is an exhaust vent and it is a gas furnace. I think he was clicking through his program, hit the wrong drop-down selection, and simply didn't proof-read the report.

Very, very, very, confusing report format and the layout is way too busy. I don't understand why anyone would want to use such an obvious boondoggle of a software and report format.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by AHI in AR

I'll admit I didn't go to the guys website, and I wasn't endorsing him. What I liked was that she stressed that using a competent inspector would lower the liability of the agent and protect the client, not "just" make the closing details harder.

I know that you were not endorsing the inspector. I just found it kind of ironic that her 'deal killer' produced a convoluted mess of an inspection report. I see the same thing around here. A zoid brags about the skill of 'their' home inspector, they talk about the value of a good inspection and how 'their' inspector will find every little scratch and dent in the house. More often than not, 'their' inspector can't tell a heat pump from a gas furnace (or the inspector cant describe it and report it if he does know the difference).

Tim

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Originally posted by Tim H

Originally posted by AHI in AR

I'll admit I didn't go to the guys website, and I wasn't endorsing him. What I liked was that she stressed that using a competent inspector would lower the liability of the agent and protect the client, not "just" make the closing details harder.

I know that you were not endorsing the inspector. I just found it kind of ironic that her 'deal killer' produced a convoluted mess of an inspection report. I see the same thing around here. A zoid brags about the skill of 'their' home inspector, they talk about the value of a good inspection and how 'their' inspector will find every little scratch and dent in the house. More often than not, 'their' inspector can't tell a heat pump from a gas furnace (or the inspector cant describe it and report it if he does know the difference).

Tim

I don't appreciate being called a zoid. I have no idea what Jim's sample report online looks like. I know he threw one together as a sample.

While you feel that the format is a convoluted mess, I have never had a buyer think anything like that and we (buyers and myself) have always found the format easy to read.

It's way better than the checkboxes many inspectors use which are totally worthless. Jim takes tons of pictures so repairs are easy to get figured out for sellers.

You guys are free to talk about and debate about my post, but if you call me names again, I'll just delete the post and link.

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Originally posted by Jesse

Melina

I don't think the comment was directed at you. Most of us would agree with much of what you wrote.

Long live the deal killer.

I feel like I went out there to get agents to think about home inspections differently, and I get hit with the same old stereotype junk. Agents are zoids. Doesn't this defeat the entire point of what I was trying to do which was to get people to think differently and step out of the same old box that real estate has been in for a million years?

As a FYI, I did forward these comments to Jim and his response was "They were right about my sample. I should thank them for proof reading it." He did just click the wrong box as Mike stated above.

I glad to see someone was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and not rule him incompetant due to human error. We all do it, even Tim.

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Melina,

I think it is great that you are trying to show the positive side of our profession and I for one appreciate it. When I first started in the business, I was asked if I was a deal killer, and I simply stated that I was not, but the home might be. Your stance is not the norm in the realtor world. It is however, kinda refreshing:)

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No one should get upset about anything here, names or otherwise.

The entire NAR mandated transactional model is an outdated, inefficient, quagmire of a business process. It penalizes buyers, seller, inspectors, and realtors trying to do the right thing. You can't be involved and not get soiled from time to time.

Personally, I just make excellent lists. Deal killing and all that other confusion is a realtor construct.

I try not to think about it. It disturbs my wah.

Apologies to everyone that deeply identifies w/this stuff, but it's just not that important.

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Originally posted by kurt

No one should get upset about anything here, names or otherwise.

The entire NAR mandated transactional model is an outdated, inefficient, quagmire of a business process. It penalizes buyers, seller, inspectors, and realtors trying to do the right thing. You can't be involved and not get soiled from time to time.

Personally, I just make excellent lists. Deal killing and all that other confusion is a realtor construct.

I try not to think about it. It disturbs my wah.

Apologies to everyone that deeply identifies w/this stuff, but it's just not that important.

Ditto on the disturbed wah.

Despite the usual rationalizations, the whole RE agent/HI relationship starts with a whopping big conflict of interest. The RE agent has to sell or die; virtually all HIs have to get RE referrals or die. It's not a good system.

Changing the subject slightly: Here in assbackwards Nashville, we've got investigative reporters on TV outing muni codes bubbas over in Wilson County. The chief codes bubba was caught on tape telling his charges that he won't tolerate any whistle-blowing or meddling with his builder buddies.

Looky here: http://www.newschannel5.com/global/story.asp?s=8757479

Sigh,

WJid="blue">

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Melina,

When you post here you expose yourself to slings and arrows.

I have never met a realtor who wanted to deal with me. At best they hold their nose and submit to hoops jumping when inevitable problems are found. At worst they lead a fife and drum parade of protest against the evil messenger.

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Originally posted by Jim Baird

Melina,

When you post here you expose yourself to slings and arrows.

I'm not sure that I can agree with that, Jim. Whatever criticism's we might have with the inspector's report, the message in her article is that doing what's best for the client is in a realtor's own best interest whether it kills the deal or not. I don't think there's anyone here that disagrees with that; heck, it's the way we're always saying things should be, so nobody here has a reason to to attack her.

She doesn't want to be called a 'zoid. Fair enough; I don't see a reason to refer to her as one; after all, there are those that we call real estate professionals and then there are those that we refer to as realtorzoids - I don't think she fits in the latter category, but maybe she didn't realize when she made that first post that to most of us in this business there is a distinct difference.

Props to Melina for coming in her and speaking her mind; maybe more of us should go visit the real estate sites and speak ours.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I'm pretty sure it's time for me to be further educated by all of you.

I've tracked the comments to this woman's blog since the day it was posted here. Over and over again, "MY inspector" "The inspector WE USE " "MY deal killer " MY, MINE, OURS. Excuse me but, how can this be anything but a conflict of interest? How is it that HI's have allowed this to happen? Who out there hasn't been asked if they were realtor friendly? Who hasn't been told about the inspector that the realtor won't USE anymore? I have.

If you look at my bio, you'll see I've been a carpenter for 31 years. I left out my 11 year career in the new and used car business during the 80s & 90s. No one whose salary is based on a percentage of the profit of a sale, LOVES THEIR DEAL KILLER. The fact that the same person is USED again and again for inspections,

is no different than you asking to take a car you like to a mechanic, and me handing you my mechanics card. Deal killer or softballer it's all the same.

I work for my client and no one else. My job is to tell the truth about what I see and to avoid discussing anything not directly related to my job. That's about as "realtor friendly" as I thought I needed to be. Am I wrong? Do I need to play nice, or risk not being"USED"?

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Depends on who you play nice for,

There are about 3-4 dozen real estate professionals that repeatedly refer their clients to me but I get most of my work from my former clients. There are literally thousands of agents that know who I am and wouldn't piss on me if I were on fire to put the fire out.

Just do the job right. Do it like you'd do it if you were inspecting the home for your own mother and let the chips fall where they may. You'll find some real estate professionals that will appreciate it and will continually refer you to their clients and, yes, they will begin telling folks that you are their inspector and how they use you all the time. So what; there's no harm in it if they aren't expecting you to change the way you inspect. Let them think whatever they like. Just don't ever compromise your inspection for one of them, no matter how bad you feel about them losing their deal or you'll just get marked as one of the bottom feeders.

You'll encounter a lot more 'zoids than you will real estate professionals and if you do the job right they will not refer anyone to you again but will call you whenever they are buying a home for themselves, or are helping a close friend, relative, attorney, or celebrity get a home, 'cuz they don't want to screw those deals up. When a 'zoid does encounter you on an inspection where they hadn't referred you to the client, they'll complain to you about how their regular inspector never inspects the things you do or how their inspector doesn't call the things that you call and they'll try to put words in your mouth and get you to backtrack on what you've just explained to the client. When that happens, ignore them and just do the job right.

And that's the rub; if you do the job right when you're new you risk a whole lot of very hungry downtime between referrals from the real estate folks because you're growing your business by not worrying about whether the deal goes through our not. In order to make up for that lack of referrals, you need to find ways of getting folks who you've done inspections for to tell absolutely everyone they can about you, again and again and again.

Of course, you can also go the other route and turn all that around and become very very busy easily. All you have to do is inspect like you're a nearsighted idiot, gush about how great the house is, talk about how great the new granite counters are or what a great view there is, etc. and talk the house up, all the while helping to reinforce the selling points while minimizing the issues in the mind of the buyer. Do that and the 'zoids will flock to you like gulls to chum, which, at that point you'll be.

ONE TEAM -ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thank you for an honest answer. It's very frustrating for me to think that we as a group, sit back and allow this to continue.

The realtors see us as their venders and they use that to their advantage. Not knowing any better, the public blindly follows the advice of the used house dealer and rolls the dice. If we don't find a way to educate the public and distance ourselves from the UHD.s, and take control of our industry, the day may come when some big wig's daughter's friend gets screwed over by one of these conflicts, and We'll end up with the black eye.

Thanks for letting me vent and thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. The education is priceless.

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Originally posted by gtblum

The realtors see us as their venders and they use that to their advantage.

Well sure, they are in the business of selling, after all. You can't blame them for using every honest advantage they can lay their hands on.
Not knowing any better, the public blindly follows the advice of the used house dealer and rolls the dice.
Still true, but the internet has made it better and the reliance on the real estate folks for recommendations seems to be diminishing somewhat. I can remember when I got into this business 12 years ago that every newspaper article about home inspections, which were pretty few and far between back then, usually included a quote from some member of the BOD of ASHI or NAHI advising folks not to rely on their real estate professional for recommendations for inspectors. People are slow to change.
If we don't find a way to educate the public and distance ourselves from the UHD.s, and take control of our industry, the day may come when some big wig's daughter's friend gets screwed over by one of these conflicts, and We'll end up with the black eye.
You're way too late to prevent that from happening. When I got into this business in 1996 I was shown a video tape of a group of state legislators literally grilling the crap out of a panel of home inspectors and one of the legislators looked like he was going to blow a gasket; seems it had happened to him or one of his peeps.
Thanks for letting me vent
Don't mention it; there are a few gazillion words of my own floating out there on the net from my own vents on this very topic.
and thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. The education is priceless.

It's what the site is here for. No politics, no religion, hopefully as little organizational chest pounding as possible, and honest inspectors giving honest answers to honest questions and not giving quarter to anyone that continues to perpetuate the warped model that is our profession.

That's why it's......

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Depends on who you play nice for,

There are about 3-4 dozen real estate professionals that repeatedly refer their clients to me but I get most of my work from my former clients. There are literally thousands of agents that know who I am and wouldn't piss on me if I were on fire to put the fire out.

Yup.

ONE TEAM -ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Yup again.

The current toilet-ization of the real estate market has worked very effectively in my (or all of our) favor. My customer base has expanded exponentially with all the folks that have been lied to, cheated, and royally screwed by the folks from the NAR during the *boom*. Folks finally get the 'zoid sucker punch for what it is. My thoughts and prayers go out to those that play fair, but there are so damn few, not all that many prayers are necessary.

Once more, the real problem is the transaction model. It's stacked against everyone but the sleazy end of the realtors trade. All the FSBO's I do are a dream of efficiency and honesty. Realtors keep insisting that FSBO's are some sort of dangerous operation, but I haven't got even one instance of that being true.

Apologies to Melina for these comments, because clearly she's playing fair. I wish she'd get into HI work; she's probably more ethically suited to this than realtor work.

"Real Estate Inspection-The Only Profession That is Penalized by the Referring Marketplace"

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Originally posted by hausdok

...

There are about 3-4 dozen real estate professionals that repeatedly refer their clients to me but I get most of my work from my former clients. There are literally thousands of agents that know who I am and wouldn't piss on me if I were on fire to put the fire out.

Just do the job right. Do it like you'd do it if you were inspecting the home for your own mother and let the chips fall where they may. You'll find some real estate professionals that will appreciate it and will continually refer you to their clients and, yes, they will begin telling folks that you are their inspector and how they use you all the time. So what; there's no harm in it if they aren't expecting you to change the way you inspect. ...

Ditto, except I only have maybe 2 dozen that refer me and I've yet to upset thousands, although I'm sure I'm well into the hundreds.

I've said this before but I'll say it again...I actually think it would be a shame if the good realtors, like Melina, who truly care about their clients, were prevented from referring the good inspectors and therefore have to leave their clients to the vaguries of hyped up advertising to find their inspector. Not once has anyone in my small stable of regular agents asked me to go easy on a house, and I've "killed" deals for them all. While I realize that there's a lot of crap that goes on, associated with "owned" inspectors, I dislike laws that prevent good people doing good stuff. You can't legislate ethics into people and what typically happens is the bad guys just find ways around those new rules but you actually make it harder for some to do the right thing.

I don't have the perfect answer, sorry, but agent referrals do not always lead to demonic possession, although agent solicitation might. My head has only spun completely around a couple of times and I haven't puked up an evil soft report since I started this business.

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A couple things:

If HIs would buy some well-placed advertising, targeting the demographic they want to serve, they could bypass the whole RE-agent-referral thing altogether. Simply put, cut out the middleman. Sell yourself directly to your customers. I think brother Kurt has been successful with Angie's List, which allows customers to separate the HI wheat from the buckethead chaff. Once an HI can establish an educated and affluent customer base, everything gets easier.

If an HI can raise his public profile via print and electronic media, as well as word-of-mouth, he can save himself a whole lot of begging for RE agent referrals and a whole lot of being "used" like a menial laborer.

If an HI works at it, he can become the go-to guy for a whole town. Believe me when I tell you, HI life is a whole lot easier when you get up in the morning knowing that all you have to do that day is be right, and tell the truth.

WJ

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Originally posted by Richard Moore

I've said this before but I'll say it again...I actually think it would be a shame if the good realtors, like Melina, who truly care about their clients, were prevented from referring the good inspectors and therefore have to leave their clients to the vagaries of hyped up advertising to find their inspector.

........I dislike laws that prevent good people doing good stuff. You can't legislate ethics into people and what typically happens is the bad guys just find ways around those new rules but you actually make it harder for some to do the right thing.

I don't have the perfect answer, sorry, but agent referrals do not always lead to demonic possession, although agent solicitation might.

Hi Rich,

I agree with these sentiments exactly but I don't have an answer either. Massachusetts has a law that sort of prevents agents from referring inspectors but I think it's got a huge loophole in it and, as you said, it just makes it harder for those who's intent is only to do the right thing.

I don't see the model changing much until the majority of the public has learned not to rely so greatly on agents and has learned to do more of its own due diligence.

The current market situation might speed up that transition. Last year and the years before I saw a lot of agents figuratively spoon feeding exotic mortgage deals to buyers who clearly couldn't afford to be buying a home. I can imagine that with the current mess some of those folks might have lost their home or are in dire straits right now. They're going to be casting around for someone to blame for their circumstances and I'll bet more than a few will rue the day they allowed an agent to convince them that they could afford a home under one of those fancy loan programs when they had misgivings.

I've seen a surge of clients over the past year from Zillow, RedFin, and some other non-typical real estate sites and it looks like more and more folks are doing their own homework. The number of real estate agents leaving the real estate sector might be some kind of substantiation of that belief.

I believe that when people do right by their customers that it comes back to them. Thus, I believe that the slick willys of the real estate world are probably the ones that are leaving right now and it's going to mostly the others who will remain. If we as a profession can continue to try and reeducate those within our profession, and win more folks over to non-suckup side, I think we might just be able to finally get some momentum.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If HIs would buy some well-placed advertising, targeting the demographic they want to serve, they could bypass the whole RE-agent-referral thing altogether.

That's all well and good, Walter, but the franchises are able to afford much larger and probably more appealing advertising than us small, one-man imdependants. I was shown a previous report on the house I did only yesterday, done by one of the larger franchises, and it was a barely understandable, and incomplete POS.

I agree that Angie's list is a good thing.

If an HI can raise his public profile via print and electronic media, as well as word-of-mouth, he can save himself a whole lot of begging for RE agent referrals and a whole lot of being "used" like a menial laborer.

I know you are not being personal, at least I hope so, but maybe I'm speaking for a few others as well as myself when I ask...who's begging? True, six years ago when I started, I threw away some brochures in some brokerage offices' trashcans (I assume that's where they ended up) and did visit some open houses for the first couple of months (hated that) but I never begged then and can honestly say I haven't solicited anyone, anyway since. All of the agents that now regularly refer me started doing so after one of their clients had found me by other means. I can't help it if a few agents happened to like reading a clear and understandable report rather than the checklist mess they were used to. Oh...personally...I don't do "menial" very well.

If an HI works at it, he can become the go-to guy for a whole town.

I don't want the whole town. Couldn't handle it, don't need it, and my empire building days are over. I like being a one-man band. The paperwork is much simpler.

Believe me when I tell you, HI life is a whole lot easier when you get up in the morning knowing that all you have to do that day is be right, and tell the truth.

Then I guess I must have a very easy life! But it's MY obvious duty to MY CLIENT and has nothing at all to do with where the referrals come from. I assume that's the same for the others who have no trouble at all understanding the simple ethical requirements of this job. Well...they seem very simple to me.

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Well, it's surely nothing personal. It's OK with me if some HIs want to use the 70s HI template, and hitch their wagons to RE agents' Cadillac bumpers. And it's OK with me if they develop whole new ways of going about their jobs.

It's just that my experience says that HIs selling themselves to RE agents is a roundabout and counterproductive way of doing things.

In the countless hours that HIs spend visiting RE offices, buying lunches for RE agents, hauling chocolates to RE offices and having their evening chill time interrupted by RE agents who want to "clarify" HI reports, the HIs missed opportunities to create a local system that could've made for cleaner, easier, better-paying and less-likely-to-get-you-sued work. Simply put, an upgrade from menial laborer to respected professional.

I think HIs would get better results by simply advertising their businesses the way other businesses advertise -- through local media and/or word of mouth, rather than through self-interested and conflicted middlemen.

But noooo. We sell ourselves to RE agents, who consider us to be fungible. They effectively set our fees and they lobby state legislatures to control us. Heck, in some states, they even create our report templates.

I know from experience that it's possible -- but not necessarily easy -- to end-run all that petty annoyance, have complete control of a little HI business, and end almost every workday with little if anything to bitch about.

Of course, others' mileage may vary.

WJ

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We've used up a lot of "ink" in cyberspace on this topic in previous posts, and yet it's here again. My belief is still that it's a mistake to categorize all agents as only being interested in the money, not the well being of their client. However, I firmly agree that all too many of them are way too motivated by money. True story: An agent I had not met before represented one of my clients. She met me at the home, left her car running, and barely hung around long enough to get the door open. I told her when I would be through, and inquired if she would be back for the walk through afterward. I assumed she would; after all, her buyers were first-timers. Her response? With a dismissive wave of her hand, she said "I've been through one of these before. I don't need to do another."

As though they were all exactly the same.

This is the kind of thinking we should find disturbing. Anyone believe she cared about her clients?

On the other hand, I now have about 8-10 agents that I regularly get some business from. Not EVERY inspection, but certainly more than the law of averages would suggest. These agents don't force anyone to use me, nor do they pressure them. According to my clients, typically they are given a long list of inspectors (they are lost at this point) and they respond the way most people would. They ask for recommendations. The agent will circle two, three, or four names. If the agent has a particularly close relationship with the client, there may be only one name on that list. Ya know what? I have no problem with that. Then again, these agents are always present at the inspection to assist their clients in any way they can. Their attitude is that there are always more homes to show if this one has too many problems. After all, they are counting on repeat business and don't want to have to list this same home in a few years (or less) if it truly is a dog.

I can't say I've irritated thousands of agents. I'm not in a big market, and while I don't cater to agents, I don't try to inflame anyone just because I might be able to. Those old enough to remember Dragnet will understand when I say I'm a "just the facts, ma'am" sort of guy. I'm analytical by nature, not emotional. I'm certainly no salesman. That generally works out well since I don't get paid to be emotional or to sell anything. I don't care whether my clients buy the home or not. I know there are dozens of agents who don't care to see me at "their" inspection, but that's not my problem. They are not my clients. My reports are based on facts, and I can't change those. Those facts serve my client's interest, not always those of the agent.

I will say that I don't make smart a$$ comments about the home, no matter how absurd the things I find may be. And sometimes, as I'm pretty sure we all are, I am sorely tempted. Do I do that to appease the agent? Not at all. But neither do I see the wisdom in figuratively poking them with a stick just to see what will happen.

I don't hold the view that agents and inspectors must automatically hold adversarial positions. Sometimes, we do...and this is as it should be. If the agent is interested in the commission check, not the well being of the client, than they'll not get much respect from me. I fully understand (and expect) that the feeling will be reciprocated. If they have referred their client to me because they want a thorough, honest evaluation of a home, I'm ready for that job. But no agent -- other HI -- should assume that I will pull any punches or "soft-pedal" anything. Why would I? That's not why the agent recommended me.

I've heard stories of situations where there is an "office" inspector whom "all" the agents use. If so, you can put all the lipstick on that pig that you want. I'm still not kissin' it.

OK. I've said enough. It's after 5, and it was 100 degrees today. My afternoon inspection was a home out in the sticks that was, shall we say, "target rich." I need a shower and a cold beverage or two. Maybe not exactly in that order.

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