Spreading Home Inspector Education Nationwide

Joe Ferry Educating Home Inspectors NationwideI have traveled across this country, well the lower 48 anyway, educating home inspectors on ways they can minimize risk, maximize business reputation efforts and protect themselves from meritless claims.

I have met over 5,000 home inspectors in the last five years while presenting the Law and Disorder Seminar, and I enjoy providing these competent professionals with education they need to safeguard themselves in this litigious culture.

I also find learning about each inspector’s unique value proposition, business similarities and structural differences is a valuable exercise in better understanding the industry.

In this week’s video blog, I talk about my travels, my thoughts on the interactions I have with industry professionals and how you can see me at your chapter or association event in 2015.


Paying Out Your Dollars in All The WRONG Places

Tip #28 - Paying Out Dollars in Wrong PlacesThe No. 1 compliant I receive from home inspectors is that some insurance companies cave like tents and pay claimants even when the inspector did nothing wrong!

An insurance company’s only interest is in settling the claim on its own terms, not ones that are necessarily favorable to the home inspector. Accordingly, many home inspectors don’t adequately protect themselves. They carry high deductibles to lower premiums.

Yet, as I always say, you do NOT have to conduct a negligent home inspection to be accused of doing so.

I examine why and detail the near horror story of one home inspector in this week’s ClaimsAcademy video blog.


Follow-Up Home Inspectors: It’s a Different House!

Tip 27 - Follow-up Inspectors: It's a Different House!You walk into a house that had already been inspected. There’s glaring issues in the basement – a massive crack in the foundation plus some apparent moisture stains. You ask yourself, “How did the initial home inspector miss these easy-to-recognize issues?”

It’s a good question, one follow-up home inspectors don’t ask enough. They are too busy looking like the hero to their client while throwing a professional colleague under the bus.

Instead, follow-up home inspectors need to recognize they are inspecting an entirely different house. What questions should they ask themselves during the re-inspection? How should they proceed with detailing the defects?

I examine these issues in this week’s ClaimsAcademy video blog.


Understand Your True Liability and Risk

Tip 25 - Understand Your True Liability and RiskMany home inspectors are SHOCKED to hear that their corporate entities (sub-chapter S or limited liability corporations) do not insulate them from personal liability for doing a negligent home inspection.

These home inspectors say that their attorneys told them about this protection when they formed their corporations. It’s simply not true.

When can a disgruntled client come after the corporation for restitution? When IS the corporation sheltered against charges? I go through the initial myth and more in this week’s video blog.


Disclaimers Are Your Business’ Best Protection

I encourage home inspectors to utilize the proper use of disclaimers – and go into it in some considerablTip 24 - Disclaimers Are Home Inspectors Best Friende detail – during my Law and Disorder Seminar.

A knowledgeable home inspector knows that there are many issues concerning a home-buying decision that are NOT going to be uncovered during a home inspection. Unfortunately, your clients don’t understand this fact.

That very real disconnect is the reason why home inspectors should be incorporating disclaimers into their practice. I go through a few examples of proper disclaimer usage during this week’s video blog.


Home Inspector Selfie! Take More Photos During Home Inspection

Tip 23 - Home Inspector SelfieHome inspectors – I’m sure you are familiar with the “selfie” mantra of today’s youth. In essence, they love taking photos. You should have the same passion during a home inspection. Take photos of each room in the house, appliances, HVAC units and more. Take far more photos than required or that you will even put into the inspection report.

Why is taking so many photographs important from a legal perspective? I walk you through the protective process and highlight a specific home inspector’s plight in this week’s video blog.


Don’t Indulge Rage-Induced Home Sellers

Don't Indulge Rage-Induced Home SellersI’m starting to see a very disturbing trend developing between the home inspection industry and the real estate marketplace: non-client home sellers are bringing claims against home inspectors for the failure of their clients to follow through on the agreement of sale as a consequence of the home inspector’s findings.

Some of these frustrated sellers, desperately attempting to unload a home in a still slowly recovering housing market, vent their fury at the home inspector for a lost sale in entirely inappropriate ways.

How should you, the competent home inspector just fulfilling your professional duty, handle these angry home sellers when a filed complaint comes your way?

I go through how to squash these unreasonable requests in full force in this week’s video blog.


My Subrogation Secret Sauce

Subrogation Cases Against Home InspectorsInsurance companies will sometimes pay a claim to a homeowner and THEN try to recover the financial losses from the home inspector through a process called subrogation.

In subrogation, one party succeeds to the rights of another either by law or by contract. In this process, the home inspection insurance company blames the home inspector for the issue at fault EVEN if the homeowner does NOT blame the home inspector.

There are a growing number of subrogation cases that involve a home inspector’s professional liability. However, these claims CAN be squashed, as they are just as meritless as many other home inspection claims.

I describe how to protect yourself and fight back against subrogation claims in this week’s video blog.


A Home Inspector Client’s Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish Decision

A Client's Pound-Foolish DecisionI remember the advice I received from a savvy real estate investor as I was about to purchase my first house.

It was listed at $29,000, and I inquired about whether I should offer $28,000.

The investor told me, “If you like the house, don’t lose it for $1,000. Do you know what $1,000 is? It’s $6.00 a month for the life of the mortgage.”

When broken down into those terms, who wants to lose a desirable home for $6.00/month? You can use the same logic when trying to convince possible clients NOT to go blindly with the low-ball home inspector.

I discuss this mindset in this week’s video blog.