I received quite the odd comment from a real estate agent the other day. After teaching a free CE class at a real estate office, one of the agents said to me as we were walking out together “That was a fantastic class. I heard you’re a little psycho though.” I gave her my warmest, hurt smile and said “Psycho? No.”
I didn’t have to wait long to find out what she meant by that; her next comment was “I’d like to use you guys, but I don’t want any deals blowing up.” Ah, there it is. By psycho, she meant I go crazy with my home inspections and scare the hell out of new home buyers. Sometimes home buyers even get so scared that they cancel the purchase agreement on a home after the inspection, all because I’m a psycho. Y’know, running around with arms flailing, screaming… all that jazz.
Without hesitation, I unapologetically told her “that can happen.” There are definitely deals that fall apart after our home inspections. Possibly even more so after our inspections than other home inspector’s inspections. I’m willing to accept that, and I’m fine with that. A large portion of our clients are people who have found us online, read our sample inspection report, read our online reviews, subscribe to my blog, and want someone who delivers the unbiased truth. They don’t want patsy home inspectors with poor eyesight and dull pencils. *
Delivering the unbiased truth
That’s really what this all comes down to. We don’t pussyfoot around serious issues by recommending further inspections and second opinions if we already know the answer. Those are political, time-wasting recommendations that many home inspectors make on a daily basis to keep their referral sources happy without having to expose themselves to liability. We’ve tried very hard to eliminate recommendations for further inspections and second opinions from our inspection reports. There are definitely situations that warrant further inspections, but those recommendations should always be made sparingly.
We inspect houses the same way we would for a close family member. Delivering the unbiased truth doesn’t get us referrals from real estate agents who are simply looking to have their deals close. Fortunately for me, the rest of my inspectors, and most home buyers here in Minnesota, I’ve found that most real estate agents aren’t simply looking to have deals close. They truly care about their clients and want them in good houses, or at least houses that aren’t filled with surprises. Most real estate agents want accurate inspections, even if that means that some deals “blow up”. The better agents are focused on what’s right for their client; not what’s going to help their pocketbook in the next month.
In short, I’m not a psycho. Not even a little. I am passionate about home inspections though, and so is everyone else on my team. We’re all genetically encoded to be home inspectors and it shows.
* I stole the phrase “poor eyesight and dull pencils” from a home inspector in Chicago, Kurt Mitenbuler.