Agent

Phone book referrals bad for business

How do agents avoid trouble when recommending inspectors?

Dear Barry, In one of your columns, a buyer was annoyed that her agent would not recommend a home inspector by name. I'm a Realtor, and our company has a policy against recommending any service providers, and that includes termite inspectors and home inspectors. We simply hand our clients the Yellow Pages and point out the section where inspectors are listed. Past experience has shown us that this is the safest way to do business. If a home inspector that we recommend makes a mistake, we could be sued for making that referral. We'd like to provide the kind of personal service that includes a list of reliable contractors and inspectors, but our hands are tied by fears of litigation, much to our dismay and disappointment. How do you view this position? --Jennifer Dear Jennifer, Your fear of litigation is understandable and shared by many -- not just in the real estate profession, but by nearly everyone in business, including grocers, doctors, plumbers, engineers, teachers an...

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