Good Afternoon – Here is my response to your recent E-mail:
No objective insider will dispute that the Ontario Home Inspection Industry is in a mess. But with an election looming, one can only hope that the proposed licensing of home inspectors will not be hastily finalized because the mandate of the governmental commission might expire.
Home inspectors are not the only ones to blame for complaints from disgruntled home buyers. Contributing causes are the conniving tricks of the trade how real estate is being sold in Ontario for generations.
The rigging of “Bidding Wars” does not only inflate the selling price of properties, because during the conniving exercise only unconditional offers are being accepted. That means that home inspections are also be excluded. Only real estate agents and property owners are benefiting from the unethical gimmick.
Permitting real estate agents to recommend home inspectors to their prospective purchasers is the most blatant conflict of interest ever. As a result more than 25,000 real estate agents are controlling who carries out the bulk of home inspections in the GTA. The circumstance is affecting the impartiality of home inspectors who have become dependent on referrals from agents to make their relatively meagre living.
If “Consumer Protection” is the actual motivation for the contemplated licensing, the real estate profession must also be prohibited from getting involved in any aspect of the home inspection process.
But that will never be happening, because the real estate industry is one of the driving engines in Ontario’s economy. No government can afford to challenge the entrenched ploys of the extremely powerful real estate profession.
RUDOLF REUSSE – Home inspector since 1976 – Retired
Subject: Sudbury Home Inspectors
As you recall you met with myself and another junior Home Inspector back in September of 2013. As promised I wanted to keep you up to date as to what is occurring in the Home Inspection industry. One merely has to google Home Inspector reviews in the Sudbury area where you will find a typical complaint made by very unhappy Home Buyers in our City. As indicated at the interview, this Home Inspection field is very unregulated and in our City many realtors are typically referring those blind eyed Home Inspectors to service their clients Home Inspection needs. In most cases the Home Inspection goes very well for the Realtor , but in all too many cases that young new home buyer is very dissatisfied with these referred Home Inspectors. It would appear that the conscientious Home Inspectors who are properly educated and do quality work are less likely to be referred by realtors to complete Home Inspections as after all, these guys are deal blowers. The Ministry of Consumer Services is looking at licencing, but many of our realistic professional Home Inspectors question when licencing will actually begin and we are not convinced that this licencing will prevent what we feel is a dishonourable service to our new home buyers in our province. I have attached an interview with Goldhawk that I hope you will listen to. This interview is between Goldhawk and one of our Professional Home Inspectors [Bruce McClure] of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.
I write to you in hopes that you will forward this email to the appropriate people with the Ministry of consumer Services in Ontario. In Sudbury we have only two Professional Registered Home Inspectors [RHI], Mario Tousignant and myself. Mario Tousignant RHI has now resigned as a Home Inspector for our area. Mario has indicated he is very disappointed with what goes on in our community with respects to the realtor/inspector relationship. Mario came from a very prosperous Alberta where he worked as a licenced Professional Home Inspector. Life as a Home Inspector was very rewarding until arriving in the Sudbury area. Mario has indicated to myself that he refuses to lower his standards to suite the Sudbury Real Estate industry. The only other Home Inspector RHI in our community is myself and I must tell you that I am not far behind Mario. I am still doing Home Inspections for those who contact me through my professional organization, but my list of referring realtors has dwindled considerable as I suspect I have been named a Deal Blower by our Sudbury Real Estate community. I think this is a very sad situation for the community of Sudbury and for this reason I do hope you send your thoughts over to The Ministry of Consumer Services for Ontario in support of the licencing program.
As with Bruce McClure of our professional organization we have the following thoughts.
*Real estate agents should have no control in who gets elected to do Home Inspections for clients
*The public need to be well educated on what is involved in a Home Inspection and why it is important to elect properly trained people
*Home Inspectors need to be properly trained and licenced in Ontario so that new Home Buyers are properly protected. See www.oahi.com and also www.phpic.ca
Dave Leebody RHI PHPI RRT CET CMIA
Northern Healthy Homes
Gov’t of Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services has released a report “A Closer Look: Qualifying Ontario’s Home Inspectors”
In the Name of Consumer Protection the Ministry formulated a committee who, via their report, have made a series of 35 Motherhood Statements regarding the licensing of Home Inspectors in Ontario.
I will not be anti-productive by arguing with any of their recommendations (because they are all a given), however they have failed by 100% ( just like the other 35-39 States & 2 Provinces before them) to address the single largest Consumer Protection Issue effecting both the Public and Professional Home Inspectors. Following in the footsteps of the other Governments before then (Canada & USA) them they have only focused on the basic’s like the Inspectors Qualifications and Insurance as being the major factors in Consumer Protection.
The reason I rushed, my self published, “Buy or Run” / “I’m a Real Home Inspector Not a TV Celebrity” was to hopefully bring attention to and educate the public and legislators that it is not about Rules, Regulations or Licensing …. The real issue is “Who Working for Who?” and “Who’s really running the Home Inspection Industry”. Bottom line, it’s not Government legislation and it’s not the Home Inspectors. It’s the Real Estate Community (who are not required to have any serious knowledge of housing or Home Inspection Practices) that are controlling the Home Inspection Industry by promoting Inspectors that turn a blind eye and down play issues in order to protect their sale. Frankly the Ministry’s report is so bias it could be inferred that it is simply using Home Inspectors, as a smoke screen in order to protect the Real Estate and Insurance Industries ?
At this point “Buy or Run” is now a couple of months old, but we’re trying to keep this web-site up to date with current War Stories exemplifying my claims. Here we’ll add two more recent examples of how’s Really Running the Show ……
Note: The following is a response to me on another Blog. The writer is referring to the article on Pg 92-97 of “Buy or Run”. It can also be found for free on my personal web-site “wwwBruceMcClureRHI.com.” The article basically states that the use of Infra Red Thermography during a Home Inspection is a Myth. Frankly I will go as far as stating that if an Inspector claims that he will be doing Thermography as part of a Home Inspection, I consider that as Fraud….. and explain in detail why I’m so opinionated.
(Dec 13th / Name Withheld)
I read Bruce’s excerpt from his book on his website. That is exactly what I believed for the last 5 years or more until this year. I have had progressively more calls asking if I use an IR camera (sorry Bruce Thermography). I politely said I use my experience and knowledge and my moisture meter and tried to reassure them that I have found moisture issues in the past. This year my business is down and I lost a very good realtor because, as he said, more clients expect it to be used or just be available to be used during an inspection. The realtor even said “they don’t care how good the camera is just that you have one.” So I have decided I need to get one just to get on the referral lists now.
Reply by Bruce McClure RHI, ACI, – Dec. 16th
I appreciate your comments sir and fully understand ! Further I’d like to thank you for giving a text book example of what I’m trying to say with my book “Buy or Run!” and in all of my interviews. Non of this is going to change with Licensing because the fact remains, It’s the Realtors and TV that are running our business……..
After one of my recent media interviews I had a very concerned individual phone me. They had just booked a Home Inspector and wanted my input if they had picked a good one or not! Naturally it would have been unethical for me to comment on the Individual (which I didn’t) but I did listen.
They started by telling me the name of their Realtor who I happened to know is one of the Highest Producing Realtors in the area. Further they explained that the Realtor had given them the name of 5 different Home Inspectors, three of which I knew their reputation. It just happens that Page 17 of “Buy or Run” tells the story about 1 of the 5 who had found an abandon / leaking oil tank on a dirt floor in the basement of a house he’d Inspected . The story goes on to explain how / why he didn’t tell his client, the buyer, because he didn’t want to upset them. (For those of you that don’t understand the implications of this, it could easily cost over $100,000. to clean up). As for the other 2 recommended Inspectors that I knew, of both where of the same caliber. I can’t speak for the two I didn’t know, so I’ll let you draw the conclusion on that one!
Back to the Ministry Report. They haven’t make any formal public announcement regarding the report. However they posted it to their Web-Site Dec. 16 noting an allowance of 45 days for Public Input. Now lets be serious, posting this a few weeks before the Christmas New Years Holiday Season, (with no normal announcement) it pretty obvious the Government intends to slide this one through under the table.
Folks, we need some attention here by informed individuals !! Feel free to use my Blog, Respond to the Ministry’s report and let you MPP know where you stand !! Do you want consumer protection or “WINDOW DRESSING ?”
Story#50: I have a Realtor phone me. He started by introducing himself and explained that he was new to the business that he was looking for good Home Inspectors that he could recommend. He them rambled on about his high ethical standards and that he only wanted good Inspectors. Then after telling me how ethical he was he explained that how as a Realtor he does Home Inspections for his clients?? Further he then proceeded to made reference to an Inspector that he does recommend. I happen to know that Inspector, his qualifications and the leading information that he has posted on his Web-Site regarding his Home Inspection experiance. After about a 15 minute conversation the realtor then announced that I’d be meeting him the next day at an Inspection that his client had booked me for. He then proceeded to tell me about what Inspectors should and shouldn’t be doing, made despairing comments about other Inspectors and how he know so much more. At that point he only asked me question so that he could elaborate on how little I knew and how much more he knew about everything. After about 25 minutes I politely cut him off to take another call. He phone me back a couple hours later and informed me that the Inspection was cancelled.
Story#49: I received a call from a prospective client. She started by explaining to me the lack of professionalism she was finding when phoning around in find an Inspector. We talked and in short order she told me to go ahead and book the Inspection. However, I was to call the Realtor to confirm the time and date. When I called the Realtor he informed me that I was too expensive, the client would not be using me and that he was looking for a cheaper Inspector. When I phoned the client back to confirm she explained that the Realtor was in charge and apologized for wasting my time. Now, Lets see what Wednesday Brings ?