Inspection Training

“In The Field” with Jim Hardin – How to Deal with Real Estate Agents

Welcome to “In The Field” with Jim Hardin, where you can learn about real situations that happened out in the field during a home inspection. This will be a great resource for both new and experienced inspectors to learn about a wide variety of different obstacles that a home inspector could experience while out in the field performing a home inspection. Jim will cover it all… From tough agents to naive clients to difficult defects to angry seller’s. Every week Jim will share an experience that he personally had to deal with while performing a home inspection in order to help educate other inspector’s when they come across the same situations. Please review his next post below:


Most of the realtors that we encounter on an inspection are knowledgeable, intelligent and very nice. Occasionally, we run into an agent that may be overbearing, demanding and uncomfortable to talk to.

Some agents don’t understand what our job entails. Just explain in a calm voice what is expected from the inspector. It is our job to find the defects that a home may have and inform the client so they can use that information in the inspection objection.

The greatest fear that the agent may have is that they may lose a sale. Remember, the agent is in there for the short term and the client will need to live with your results.

Try to keep things simple. Work the agent onto your side. For example, point out a defect and ask the agent to explain the benefits of getting it fixed. Or ask the agent what they think. Comment to the client how good it is to have such a great agent.
For the agent that thinks that you are doing everything to lose their sale, try to be understanding and agree with them. The best way to stop an argument is to agree. If you agree with them, there is no argument. I like to use phrases like, “I see what you’re saying”, or “that’s a great point”, and than explain why you’re calling out the defect. Remember, it’s for the benefit of the client.

We don’t know what the agent has been through or is going through. It usually is NOT you why they may be upset. Never take it personally. It may be that they have shown the client 20 homes and this is the one home that they finally wrote a contract on. It may be that they had a family problem that is bothering them. It may be that two previous deals fell through because of the inspection. It may be that they really need the commission to pay their bills. The point is, we don’t know why and it’s probably not you.

Keep your cool and smile. Talk in a soft voice but be firm in your conversations with the agent and the client.
I have a saying that I like to use: “It’s ok to lose a deal because of an inspection, but it is not ok to lose a deal because of an inspector. We need to take care of the client first.”

Sometimes, there just isn’t anything that you can say. That’s the time to shut up and say only what’s necessary. Stay professional. You’re the certified inspector. Your knowledge and report should be your resolve. Hopefully this will help everyone while dealing with real estate agents in the future.

Good Inspecting and Be Safe.

Jim Hardin is a certified home inspector through InterNACHI and was part of the very first Axium Academy class that took place back in January of 2016. He started working for Axium Inspections in March of 2016. Since that time, Jim has performed over 1,000 home inspections by averaging around 55 inspections per month. This high volume of home inspections has turned Jim into one of the most requested inspector’s with the company in a very short period of time and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Prior to working for Axium Inspections Jim worked in the Appraisal and Roofing industries.