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For the past 15 years, since day one when I started in this business, I have worked with the same inspector. One and only one (with few exceptions such as when he was on vacation, at which point my tears would commence). Why did I choose him? First and foremost, he inspected my own personal home, when I was in process of selling it. The buyer found him and sent him over to inspect. I was just getting my real estate license at the time, and because I was working at home during the inspection, and the buyer did not attend, I stayed home during the inspection. I was very impressed with how thorough he was. I compared him to the inspector who had inspected my home at the time I purchased it, and I knew he was good. So I’ve worked with him ever since.

What made him stand out? I think the best way to answer that is to describe him. He has a background in construction. He could probably be diagnosed as OCD! Why do I say that? Because during countless inspections, I’ve observed how he works. For example, he has a special telescoping ladder that he secures with bungee cords. I’ve watched him remove the bungee cords, extend the ladder, climb up, climb down, compress the ladder, and re-bungee it, only to carry the ladder to another room, rinse and repeat. He is absolutely meticulous with his things. He is equally meticulous with the homes he visits, wears shoe covers whenever inside, takes them off when going outside. He demonstrates respect for the home, the homeowner, and others. But mostly, it’s because he is extremely detail-oriented and knows his stuff inside and out, backwards and forwards. He is ASHI certified and I think he actually paid attention in the classes. If something isn’t done right, even if it’s cosmetic, he’ll point it out. He’ll make sure that I (as the buyer’s agent) and the buyer are aware of it. He takes notes and photos throughout the inspection, and then provides a highly detailed and professional report.

To most real estate agents, my inspector is their worst nightmare. His inspections are thorough, they take longer (and I attend all inspections with my buyers, so it takes up more of my time), and they represent more risk to the transaction. I’ve had several deals over the years fall apart due in no small part, to his inspections.

So why do I like him if all of that is true? Here’s why: because I take my fiduciary duty to my clients seriously. If I’m representing a buyer, my duty is to the buyer, not the deal. And frankly, from a risk management perspective, I like this inspector because he minimizes the risk of me being sued. In 15 years, only once have I ever had a buyer come back to me after closing and tell me they discovered something wrong with their home, that my inspector missed. And it wasn’t something he could have found because it was hidden inside a wall quite deliberately by the previous owner. And because the buyer knew how thorough the inspection had been, they didn’t blame me or him. Just the seller. That’s a damn good track record. When I introduce this inspector to my buyers, and they watch him in action, they then understand that I really do care about them, and their purchasing decision, and that their purchase will be a good long-term investment.

The home inspection should never be a “rubber stamp” though many real estate agents treat it exactly that way. Not me, and not my inspector. We are and always have been a team. And any good, experienced real estate agent knows that the professionals who partner with you in your business, reflect on you. Your professional reputation will absolutely depend on having your clients’ best interests at heart, at all times. A home inspector should make the agent they work with look good by reflecting that sentiment when it comes to the home inspection. Some agents don’t care about that, and they will work with the least thorough, least caring inspectors they can find. Ones that won’t “kill the deal.” So a good home inspector will seek real estate agent partners like me. The ones who care, who want their clients to know what they are buying, and who want to help their clients avoid buying money pits and instead, buy solid homes that make solid investments. Good inspectors work with good agents, and mediocre or bad inspectors work with mediocre or bad agents.

Selling real estate is a team effort. Each person on the team has to decide what kind of team they want to be part of, and what kind they don’t want to be part of. Deciding that early in my real estate career has been an integral part of my brand and one that I look back on and am proud of. My inspector plays a huge part in that and that is why I am very loyal to him.

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