Agent

Ethical home inspector loses referrals

But real estate agents' greedy behavior could backfire

Dear Barry, There's a home inspection subject you've touched on from time to time but have never fully addressed: the problem of Realtors who won't recommend the best home inspectors. I've inspected homes in the Midwest for more than 15 years and have performed more than 7,000 inspections. My reputation for thoroughness is widely known among local real estate agents, but this has not been good for my business. Instead of referring me to their clients, most agents have labeled me as a "deal killer." The inspectors they prefer are not nearly as experienced or qualified and tend to miss many of the defects that I routinely include in my reports. The home buyers and investors who read your column need to know about this unethical practice. So how about taking it on? --John Dear John, You raise the most controversial of all home inspection topics, the one that stirs ire among veteran inspectors and that draws defensive reactions from real estate professionals everywhere. The very idea ...