A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Realtors are a Quarter of a Penny a Dozen?

I wish that I could fathom the human mind better. I do not understand an aspect of human behavior where others need to show disdain for those around them. Ego or a power trip? I feel that there are good and bad practitioners of every profession, including my own, but Realtors seem to take offense at this idea.

There is one Realtor in my area who writes posts on Active Rain. I wish that I could have provided you with a link, but he makes his posts members only. I guess this is a wise move, since he is always complaining about clients or those who work in other real estate professions. Yesterday was my profession’s turn to be the target for Mr. Nino’s little pout. An inspector that he was dealing with wrote estimates for repairs in his report, so the buyer asked for the price to be reduced to cover these costs. According to this esteemed Realtor, this practice is against the Standards of Practice in Texas. It is not. I have lost jobs because Realtors have wanted me to do this, but I prefer to provide a better estimate by making an informed decision than giving off the cuff prices, so I provide this estimate the next day. What the inspector did was his business decision to meet a need of his clients. Mr. Nino stomped around his playground like a boy who had his toy taken from him, since these deductions were asked for during negotiations. The seller could have accepted or declined at that point, which would have meant an end to the deal or re-negotiating.

I then looked over the comments to this fine post to find Realtors criticizing inspectors. There were all the typical complaints. Mainly that we inspectors kill deals by being to thorough. If we are hired by a buyer or a seller, should we not provide them with the most complete information? Apparently not according to these Realtors. Most Realtors that I know personally are very good at their jobs, and they appreciate me being good at mine; however, I run into Realtors every so often who have a complex that they are wiser than everyone else. They end up showing disrespect for their clients and others, and I wonder how they can manage to perform a good job for their clients with this attitude.

One comment stated that inspectors are a dime a dozen. Based upon the number of Realtors compared to the number of inspectors in Houston, this would mean that Realtors are only a quarter of a penny a dozen, so worth far less than an inspector. In fact, inspectors are required to go through many more hours of training than a Realtor to obtain our license (in Texas). However, I would not adhere to any statement that puts Realtors down. I respect the abilities of the people that I work alongside, and I understand that purchasing a home will be the greatest expense/investment that a person can make, so being condescending is no way to behave. Realtors are starting to leave the industry since it is a very difficult time for the market right now. I would hope that these bad apples would leave first.

Your Houston home inspector,

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

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