There are different views on home inspectors. Listing and buyer’s agents apparently view them with disdain. According to Justin Pierce ( a Realtor and real estate investor based in Northern Virginia) “Just keep in mind that the role of the home inspector can be in opposition to the interest of the real estate agent. The home inspector’s job is to find problems, if the exist. Real estate agents by nature don’t like people who find problems with their deals.” 1. (Well, of course he may be referring to the way business is done on the other side of the river. I prefer the ethics practiced and laws followed on this side of the Potomac.)
Now, I have a problem with that statement. I think it is asinine to paint an industry with such a large brush. I have been involved in real estate transactions for the better part of the last two decades. I have managed an office for the largest broker in the Washington DC area. I have walked agents through transactions and reviewed hundreds upon hundreds of deals. As they say down in the country “that dog won’t hunt”.
Real estate agents don’t like people who look the other way when they are supposed to be protecting the agents clients. That statement holds true for lenders, home inspectors, title companies, service providers and anyone else serving on the periphery of a transaction. The entire industry crashed when people that were more motivated by greed than serving the consumer railroaded every deal that they could get their grubby fingers on.
Of course, some listing agents feel that some inspectors are more diligent than others. When the thorough inspector shows up, it is a blessing for the seller and the buyer. It guarantees that when settlement occurs, the buyer is getting exactly what they believe they are getting. The goal of both agents is to facilitate a smooth transaction, not to ram a damn “money pit” down some unsuspecting buyers throat. Perpetuating that image does nothing for the profession that I am proud to be a member.
Home inspectors work for the buyer. They are paid by the buyer. Their job is to protect and advise the buyer about the condition of the home. Staging is only beauty and as they say, beauty is only skin deep. A home inspector checks the home from top to bottom. If something is wrong they point it out. If something is old, they share the information. They make no recommendations about whether the buyer should move forward. They give the buyer a fair estimation of the condition of the home. Seems like a pretty good idea to me and most of the hundreds of thousands of Realtors across the country.
When any buyer enters a contract to purchase a home, they have the right to make sure they as much information as possible about the value and condition of the home. To suggest that any agent would prefer to have homes bought and sold in a “caveat emptor” manner is to impugn all of the efforts the industry has made to protect the consumer.
Lest anyone forget, Realtors have introduced and supported changes in this industry from fair housing to lead paint protection to home inspections. Good Home Inspectors never “pooch” a deal. They often prevent a mistake from being made and always walk away from a home knowing they have given a fair unbiased opinion of the home.
I agree completely with the FHA admonition – “For your protection, get a home inspection”
1. “A good home inspection can save the buyer a lot of money’ Washington Post 12/7/2013