One of the things I have always found critical for any inspection is the ability to be transparent and up front. To demonstrate this, I have even carried that over to my personal life by documenting certain aspects of my personal struggles and celebrations on Facebook. For me, the idea is simple, it helps Realtors, Clients, and peers know I face many of the same issues they do including bad days and growth. For me at least, it has deepened many relationships, provided opportunities to have heart felt discussions, and created yet another avenue to help people as we may be in the same season of life.
Recently, a Realtor asked me why I did not have a private page like one of our competitors. I asked them to clarify to make sure I understood what they were asking prior to responding, because frankly the concept was foreign to me. Apparently, a competitor has a private Facebook page where they only allow their so called “Friends” to join and participate in the discussions. Let me first say and be very clear, I have no idea what goes on in this group, nor do I wish to.
Simply stated, in my opinion it violates the very spirit of who we are as Home Inspectors. We should be an unbiased and transparent third-party in all that we do. I have had vendors offer us T-shirts or hats and have refused to accept them as I do not want our folks wearing them. IN no way will we hide any relationship or what we do. As licensed Realtor’s for Supra access, we have two Code of Ethics and Professional Standards to abide by, and in my opinion, this violates them both. I simply will not put myself, our team, or our company in this position.
Then one day the stakes got a little higher. A friend whose home was inspected by this competitor called and asked for my opinion, as the Inspector had posted video and pics from inside their home within this group per the Seller’s Agent. They were livid. Not wanting to throw my competitor under the bus, and also a licensed Realtor, I informed my friend his best option was to notify his Realtor of his concern and ask her to contact her Broker for an opinion on the matter. My gut told me, while the home has to be made available for inspection, and the Inspector is allowed to take video/photos to complete the report, we are allowed to enter the home with the trust and respect of the Seller. The Inspection and our knowledge are confidential. Further, let us say the deal falls apart and the new Buyer’s Agent showing the house is a member of the same private group – what happens if they now know there is a HVAC problem with this house? Turns out it was not as the Inspector misidentified the TPR pipe as an HVAC pipe, which is another concern all together.
I guess my thought is this – what could a Home Inspector possibly be doing that would be for private viewing only? I am a strong believer that what is done in the dark will come to light, so why hide it to begin with…