Recently I received a comment from a real estate agent that I have become all too accustomed to hearing. After teaching a lunch and learn at a real estate office, one of the agents said to me as we were walking out together “That was great information. I heard you’re far too picky though.” I gave her a sincere smile and said “Picky? No. Thorough? Yes.”
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 picky, she meant we go crazy with our home inspections and scare new home buyers. Sometimes home buyers even get so scared that they walk away from a home after the inspection, all because we’re picky. You know, running around with arms flailing, screaming… all that jazz.
Without delay, 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 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 thorough unbiased truth. They don’t want soft inspectors with poor vision and that lack the foresight to anticipate problems.
Delivering Thorough 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. 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 after much thought and consideration of what the true issue is at hand.
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, 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, we aren’t picky. Not even a little. I am passionate about home inspections though, and so is everyone else on my team. We’re all genuinely concerned about our clients and look to provide fact-based evidence of conditions they may encounter once they purchase their home.