Home Inspection Franchises - They meet their referrer's needs but not necessarily yours.
There has been tremendous growth in home inspection franchises in the past years. Franchise magazine has rated home inspection as one of the best franchises to buy into for the last decade.
This begs the question, why is inspection such a money making business for anyone with minimal experience? The franchise providers know if their new inspector meets the needs of the referring real estate broker and agents, then the inspector can be assured a steady stream of lucrative business. The franchisors as well as their new inspectors sell, market and advertise heavily to real estate brokers. Their brochures and literature proudly indicate they are team members or players with the real estate agents, all to help you with your home buying needs. The inspector pays a $60,000 one time fee as well as a $500 monthly fee to maintain the typical inspection franchise. Everyone makes money, but does anyone lose? Most likely you.
How does the franchised inspector maintain the positive relationship with the broker and their agents to harvest a steady stream of lucrative referrals? The inspector walks the fine line as to what needs to be disclosed to you, the home buyer. The franchise inspector minimizes all distressful information whenever possible. This keeps the broker and agents happy and allows them to claim the inspector is "good, qualified, unbiased" or whatever. The home buyer is later unpleasantly surprised and is left with the question, "why didn't my inspector catch that?"
This tit for tat, back scratching relationship between some franchise inspectors and real estate brokers has been exposed in courts of law procedings throughout the USA. One major franchise firm was implicated as having trained their franchisee inspectors to perform "soft" inspections for the brokers' home buying clients, yet they performed thorough, professional and detailed inspections only for corporate relocation companies. Corporate relocation companies know the important differences between good inspections and the unacceptable, "soft" inspections. The general public many times gets only the "soft" inspections. Buyer Beware!
To find and locate the national franchises and their members, just Google: "Home Inspection" and the largest franchises will show on the first page, just below the national inspection associations. Be aware that the national associations are also filled with franchise members and the association leaderships are being slowly co-opted by the franchises. Franchise membership and influence continues to grow while independent inspectors numbers and influence steadily declines. There is no stopping the franchises as they have the money, clout, and time.
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