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When An Expert Crosses The Line In A Transaction

Experts Cross The Line On Occasion

In a real estate transaction, there are many people involved who render professional advice and services. Most Realtors will advise their customers to use licensed professionals such as licensed mortgage loan officers, licensed certified appraisers, licensed home inspectors, licensed roofers, electricians, plumbers and contractors. Home-Buyers and Home-Sellers hire these professionals to do specific work related to the scope of their fields.

Unfortunately, there are times when professionals just can’t help in giving their personal opinions to a buyer or seller, not realizing that this personal commentary can sometimes ruin a transaction. In this post, I really wanted to talk about a few mis-steps of those we rely on for “expert” opinions and advice.

Here are a few experiences I have had with “experts:”

  • A Home Inspector tells a buyer that his sister is in insurance and this house built in 1945 is uninsurable. (The home was indeed insurable, but this cost the sellers a sale as the buyer walked away from the sale and cited this as the reason. Hey! When did he get his insurance license?)
  • A Surveyor told one of my sellers that their friend told them that the property they were selling had an old graveyard on it somewhere in the back acreage. (Wouldn’t you think he’d wait and research the “hearsay” of his friend before mentioning this? Was it right for him to say anything to the seller at all? Not!)
  • A Contractor who was replacing siding on a house told my buyer they would never buy this house because it would be a money pit. (They bought the home, had a few minor repairs and enjoying their third year there,.. oh,.. they hired another contractor to do their work.)
  • A plumber told a buyer that whoever did the repairs on this house before him must have been a thief and a fool. (As soon as I heard that, I asked him to leave,.. and hired another plumber – do we need that kind of analysis or do we just want to know what we are dealing with,.. the facts please!)
  • A heating and air conditioning contractor told a home-seller that the Realtor that said this HVAC system needed to be serviced must not have known that he had been servicing this unit since it was installed, and they didn’t know what they were talking about. (A second HVAC contractor concurred with inspection report and we found out later that this company had been ripping off people for years and he soon lost his license.)
  • A home inspector gives opinions in a home inspection, but after his recommendation of a licensed roofer to evaluate, he returns only to say now that the work was substandard and not acceptable. Emotions were escalated by this inspectors personal remarks and opinions. (Realtors facilitated second opinions by a roofer he recommended, and after a meeting with all parties including the first roofer, the transaction was saved over a $50 repair. A more careful choice of words, both on a home inspection and when in person with a buyer, seller or Realtor, might just result in solving a problem easily instead of inciting extreme emotions.)

full service gas station in ghost town old timeI’m not saying Realtors are perfect, but here is what we are here for, CALMness. Realtors are generally the ones that are pros at crisis management!

I could go on… but the point is this the choice of words, or personal interjections caused all parties undue stress and aggravation, some a sale, others a lot of money only to have been proven unfounded and really had no business being discussed in the first place. Buyers deserve to have professional advice, reports prepared using language that points to specific issues verifiable by that expert’s knowledge. If there are items outside the service provider’s area of expertise…make sure they make a recommendation to a professional equipped to deal with that issue. 

If you are a buyer and have doubts about a professional opinion ask your Realtor to help you sort it all out!

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