It seems so evident that a Realtor would recommend top quality service professionals to clients. Yet it is common to see advice to “Never use the people recommended by the Realtor.” Home inspectors come to mind immediately.
Who better to recommend a home inspector for a Home Buyer? The Cary Realtor who has seen innumerable inspection reports by local guys, or your co-worker’s brother in law, who had one guy do one inspection a few years ago in Raleigh?
Liability? Can we avoid all liability and still act in a fiduciary role? Aren’t we being paid to face down liability?
I recommend service professionals who:
1. Strike me as competent with proper North Carolina licenses, as needed.
2. Are willing to make extra effort to explain details to clients.
3. Who are communicative and articulate.
4. Whom I believe are honest
Those are my criteria for service professionals I recommend in a transaction. Most of my clients have little first-hand experience with an inspector, whereas I have worked with many.
In the case of home inspectors, I want level-headedness, aggressiveness, integrity, and the ability to present fact without drama and hyperbole. The sequence is stressful enough for my Buyer clients. I also want to see lots of photos to illustrate issues or to enlighten clients on fine points.
It there are issues to be negotiated and resolved, I want to see objective and clear documentation, and definitive statements within the inspector’s purvey. I have seen reports on homes in terrible conditions that did not include items that were noted during the inspection, no photos, and no clear articulate evaluations.
I have heard some rampantly stupid and inflammatory statements with no evaluative value from guys who will never get a referral from me.
A job well done for my clients is the reward I seek.
If my clients wish to select their own home inspector, wood-destroying insect inspector, well or septic inspector, engineer, closing attorney, surveyor, I support them in this approach, and will help them recognize the timeline in the contract to arrange these inspections. Face it: If they pick a dud, and there are plenty out there in all service categories, I’m off the hook on the liability for recommending the bum.
I may just have to work that much harder to make the poor inspection report work for them.
No kickback or favor from a home inspector would be worth consideration vs. getting a good outcome for the client.
And, I want it done right for my clients, so I will continue to make recommendations for skilled professionals.