Agents and home inspectors constantly rub shoulders while on the job and both solicit the same clients for work. Agents come together under a brokerage in large numbers that allows them to support expensive advertising campaigns. Home inspectors are much fewer in number and can’t afford such advertising power. Home inspectors crave what agents have but don’t have anything to offer in trade for a referral that doesn’t conflict with the interests of the buyer.
Home inspection reports do not help agents sell houses. If anything, they only trouble them by giving the buyer a reason to pause or even to walk away from the purchase. If that happens, the agent doesn’t earn a single penny despite the time, money and effort they’ve invested in trying to sell the house. The only thing an inspector could have that could help the agent is an altered report that is pruned of everything substantial so that it doesn’t get in the way of the transaction. For this reason, any close association between an agent and a home inspector, when they are both in service to a buyer, is poisonous to that buyer and should be avoided at all costs.
Such an association and exchange constitutes an act of Collusion. Collusion is defined as any clandestine cooperation between two professionals for an unethical or dishonest purpose. Home inspectors who solicit agents for referrals are opening the door to the influence of agents and to collusion. They can experience quick success by doing it and agents can experience fewer lost commissions with watered down reports. It’s a win/win for agents and inspectors with the buyer paying the price since his/her interests have been betrayed by both inspector and agent. Home inspectors don’t need expertise or experience to gain referrals from agents, just the willingness to jump on the bandwagon with the agent and betray the buyer.
Collusion is in widespread practice in this business because Home inspector regulatory bodies and associations just don’t have the backbone to do what’s right. Until enough consumers recognize what’s going on and push their legislator to do something, the problem won’t get fixed.