Recent Survey Shines Light On Dark Side Of Real Estate Industry

by Donald Lawson - Date: 2007-02-06 - Word Count: 685 Share This!

The preliminary results of a recent survey done by the Kansas Association of Residential & Commercial Inspectors (KARCI)shines light on a dark subject of the Real Estate Industry. For many years, most of us in the business knew such shinanigans went on and some of us were on the receiving end. However, until this survey was done, none of us really knew just how far these dark practices went.

KARCI polled every known home inspector in Kansas and Missouri. The poll asked the home inspectors a variety of questions. The poll covered both inspectors who work in the cities and those who work in rural areas apparently in an attempt to determine if these practices were localized to the cities or were widespread throughout both states. The findings are eye opening to say the least.

Here are some of the preliminary findings of the poll.

2 of the questions that these inspectors were asked were along the lines of : "Do licensed real estate agents try to influence what you report in the inspection by taking you aside, out of earshot of the buyer or when they leave the room, and making comments like: "They're buying the house as-is" OR "They only want to know about really BIG problems" OR "The seller won't fix anything, so go easy here?" The other question they were asked was: "Has a licensed real estate agent told you or the Client that they were not an expert in property conditions, but then immediately started telling you or the Client that they see this all the time, and it's no big deal and does not need repair or further evaluation?" On both questions, City and Rural inspectors in both states answered "YES" a majority of the time.

The inspectors were also asked: "Has a licensed real estate agent threatened to "blackball" you, take you off of their company list of "Preferred" vendors, or tell agents in their office not to use you because you're too nit-picky, told you to down-play problems, soft-sell the home or not mention certain defects to the client? Over a third of the inspectors polled answered "YES" to the above question. The inspectors working in the City answered "YES" more times than Rural inspectors.

Probably the question with the highest "YES" response (over three quarters in this instance) was: Have you discovered that licensed real estate agents, brokers or a real estate office in your area has put together a small list of "Preferred Inspectors" list in an attempt to steer the clients to use the inspectors on that list? (The implication is that many of these lists are filled with only those inspectors that don't make "waves" or cause problems with the transaction.) "YES" responses were from both City and Rural inspectors.

Two of the questions and the responses I found most interesting were: "Have you or one of your inspection clients been deceived, lied to, or misled about existing property conditions or defects by a "Licensed Real Estate Agent?" and "Has a "licensed real estate agent" withheld or not disclosed information about known property defects from you or your inspection client?" A majority of inspectors, both from the City and Rural areas, answered "YES" to both questions a majority of the time.

To some of you, this won't come as a surprise. Others may think it's just a isolated problem, however I can assure you these problems exist in the real estate industry nation wide. I talk to inspectors from around the Nation as well as Canada and they all confirm they see these practices on a regular basis.

What does this mean for the home buyer? I think without a doubt it should show the depths some real estate agents will sink to insure a transaction goes through no matter what the price to the home buyer. Think twice before using a home inspector from a "Preferred List". Do your research before hiring an inspector, it could mean the difference of you buying the house of your dreams and buying the house of your nightmares.

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Related Tags: real estate, real estate agent, home inspector, home inspections, selling a home, buying a home

Donald Lawson is a Professional Real Estate Inspector licensed in Texas (#5824) and Oklahoma (#454). He currently owns and operates V.I.P. Home Inspections, a Houston home inspections firm in Houston Texas. You can also find information about the Houston Real Estate market on his site.

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