NWMLS Home Inspector Disclosure taking effect Jan. 31, 2009

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Real Estate Agent with Barnett Associates R/E Team 103527

Yesterday I received a notice from my broker that the NWMLS is issuing a new policy for brokerages and agents regarding the referral of home inspectors. The consumer protection policy has been put in place to prevent any collusion between the agent and home inspector. Wonder if this is something similar to the crack down on advertising provided by title co's for real estate agents? Just say no to collusion. Wups, back to the matter at hand.

Over the years, the various parties in the real estate transaction have worked hard to establish trust and build a referral based network. A lot people I know and work with and pride themselves on doing a great job for me and my clients so they can further increase their referral business. Nothing new to that business strategy.

The disclosure to be used by real estate agents is a company drafted policy, yah me...I get to write our policy, to include in the purchase and sale agreement strictly stating: the buyer can freely choose any home inspector. Wow, doesn't seem like to much has changed from the past other than there is another form involved in the purchase and sale.

Part of me thinks the home inspector disclosure will not change anything as clients still will tend to trust the recommendations of their real estate agent. Most people who I know, that do not work in the industry, don't know a home inspector off hand unless they are friends. Most people use a home inspector only a few times in their life time so it isn't something that buyers are going to have right off the top of their head.

Anyone have any thoughts on the new NMWLS policy?

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Rainmaker
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Regina P. Brown
California Coast & Country Homes, Inc. - San Luis Obispo, CA
e-Pro Realtor

Toby, I do not see a problem with the home inspection industry or agent referrals.  I don't see why we need 1 more form to when 99% of inspections are doing the right thing!

Regina P. Brown

Jan 27, 2009 05:00 PM #1
Rainmaker
77,816
Matt Thomson
Managing Broker/Owner--Keller Williams Realty - Gig Harbor, WA
Gig Harbor, WA Real Estate & Relocation

I hadn't seen anything about this.  I'd agree, it seems like just another piece of paper to add to the already too complicated P&S contract.  I guess it's necessary to protect the agent, but doesn't seem like it should be. 

Any agents who are working with Inspectors in any unethical way are just digging their own graves (while the inspector digs one right next to them).  My inspector is considered a part of my team, not because he gives me special deals or I can give a nod and a wink and get a deal through, but because he demonstrates the same values, work ethic, and professional standards that I have.

I'll have to look into the disclosure more.

 

Jan 27, 2009 05:00 PM #2
Rainmaker
216,516
Toby Barnett
Barnett Associates R/E Team - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

@Regina, I totattly agree. The majority of people do do the right thing but the rule was probably inacted our of a real world situation.

@Matt, the notice came out yesterday to the brokers which means the NWMLS gave us 5 days to get a written policy in effect. Like you, I believe that having trusted people apart of team is the way to go. That way, as an agent, I know the job is conducted to the highest of standards and that something won't be missed. (I recently had a bad experience with a client used home inspector).

Jan 27, 2009 05:08 PM #3
Rainmaker
119,559
Gary McNinch
Better Properties Real Estate - Renton, WA
Broker, Renton WA Real Estate

Toby, well one more form.  I appreciate great inspectors who will protect my buyer clients.  Solid info, cost info, not overkill.  And I use the same ones to protect my listing clients before we go on the market.  I have 3 great inspectors, so will give my clients the choice. Maybe we can just put an additional couple of lines on the 22D.

List and Sell (another goofy form, wow)    Gary @ RentonHomeFinder.

Jan 27, 2009 05:19 PM #4
Rainmaker
216,516
Toby Barnett
Barnett Associates R/E Team - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

@Gary, Modifying 22D would be to easy ;) I am assuming that the NWMLS just wants brokers to have a internal policy because some brokerages may have a finanical interest in a home inspection company.

Jan 27, 2009 05:44 PM #5
Rainmaker
164,530
Reba Haas
Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com - Bellevue, WA
Team Reba, CDPE

Which firms in the area have affiliations with inspection companies? I've always used independent outfits/individuals and have never had my broker recommend or promote otherwise.  This sounds a bit like the new changes that passed in lending whereby the loan officer can no longer choose or recommend which appraiser to use on each file.

Jan 27, 2009 05:54 PM #6
Rainmaker
216,516
Toby Barnett
Barnett Associates R/E Team - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

@Reba, I don't know which brokerages have a financial interest it was just a thought I had on why this may have arisen.

Here is the exact expert from the announcement.

Home Inspector Referrals 

The new regulation requires each designated broker to establish a "written office policy" that includes a procedure for referring inspectors to buyers or sellers. The regulation also requires that a licensee, who makes a referral to an inspector, disclose in writing to the buyer or seller any business or familial relationship that the licensee has with the inspector. The new regulation states:

Each licensed designated broker will establish a written office policy that includes a procedure for referring home inspectors to buyers or sellers. The policy will address the consumer's right to freely pick a home inspector of the buyer's or seller's choice and prevent any collusion between the home inspector and a real estate licensee.

If a licensee refers a home inspector to a buyer or seller with whom they have or have had a relationship including, but not limited to, a business or familial relationship, then full disclosure of the relations must be provided in writing prior to the buyer or seller using he services of the home inspector.

Jan 27, 2009 06:03 PM #7
Rainmaker
216,516
Toby Barnett
Barnett Associates R/E Team - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Well I finished the first draft of the policy, http://www.barnettassociates.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/home-inspector-policy.pdf.

Feedback is welcomed.

Jan 29, 2009 06:36 PM #8
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