Home Inspector Ethics Prohibit Conflict of Interest

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Clair Rae

Subject: Home inspector is also potential contractor??

My home inspection included an estimated cost of all repairs and remediation. Attached to my home inspection was a bid to complete the work, by the very same person that did the inspection. Is that Kosher? It felt like a conflict of interest. I'm new to this.

Michael OHandley

Subject: Home Inspector Ethics and Conflict of Interest

Regardless of their codes of ethics, the various associations cannot help a consumer who has an unethical inspector; unless the state regulates home inspections and the code of ethics used is accepted in law. Here in Washington State, we've written our own Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics and they are codified into law. If an inspector violates either, the consumer can report the inspector to the department of licensing and the inspector can have his license suspended, be fined, or both, and, in extreme cases in the end even lose his or her license. Consumers can get help merely by going to the home inspectors page at the Department of Licensing site - dol.wa.gov


Subject: "Certified" can mean nothing.

For most people becoming certified as an inspector means nothing without a couple years worth of inspections under your belt. But, everyone needs to start somewhere. My advice for home buyers is to find an experienced home inspector that relies on referrals from previous clients and not realtors for work.

Andy Shaw

Subject: Being a "certified inspector"

Being a "certified inspector" means nothing. Being a "certified inspector" with years of inspections under their belts means everything. I learned long ago that home inspection training and certification is only the beginning for the budding inspector. Before you hire any inspector check their websites. If their are any links that appear to pander to realtors then move on and find someone else. No offer to use Infra Red as part of the inspection for no additional fee, then move on and find someone else. And BTW buyers, no, you can't start an inspection at 5PM when it's dark or getting dark so you need to treat the process with more respect. So if an inspector says they can start at 5PM then do not just move on, run.


Subject: Conflict of interest

We are selling our home and the buyer used his father who is a licensed home inspector. He has nitpicked the property to death for very minor things even though the property has been completely renovated. He has advised the buyer (his son) not to purchase the property and we have not been given a chance to repair anything noted in the inspection. Is this a conflict of interest? My father used to be a home inspector many years ago and said this home inspector violated ethics and should be barred from inspecting homes in the future.


Subject: Use of friend or relative

We had a home inspection done and it recommended the HVAC system be evaluated by an HVAC professional and a load calculation done to ensure its the right size. We hired an old family friend who is the best in the business and I called him Uncle. The sellers have now refused him entry to complete the load calculation that was almost complete and said we have to use a 3rd party that both agents approve of. Are they allowed to dictate who we use for this? Load calculations are strictly fact based and no opinions are even involved. Seems unfair I now have to pay 2 people for this.

Tina Gleisner

Subject: Secondary home inspections

Fascinating situation & wondering where your realtor is because they should be managing this situation for you. My first reaction to your story is ... the homeowner knows there is a problem, and once that becomes publicly known, it must be disclosed to all future buyers. That might be why they're making the HVAC inspection impossible, to hide a problem they already know about & haven't disclosed.

Can't imagine why else they would want someone different, and it's not their call to pick when you're paying the bill ... so again, you have to wonder if they're serious about selling.


Subject: Relative

Can my daughter who is a certified inspector, inspect my new construction if she does not reside with me?

Bernard J. VanderGriendt

Subject: Conflict of interest.

if my home or property is sold to someone who is an inspector,
can that person inspect the property he bought himself ?? Or
does he have a conflict of interest???
I feel very strongly that he does have a conflict. If so,is it possible to get something in writing to that effect to proof it?
Thank you, just looking for advise.


Subject: Conflict of interest.

There is no conflict. If the buyer is an inspector then there is no reason why he / she could not do their own inspection.


Subject: No conflict of interest

Because the seller is not obligated to perform repairs found by the inspector and because the inspector is not being compensated based on the outcome of the inspection, there is no conflict of interest.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.