real estate agents
Blog, Building Inspection Tips

Unethical Real Estate Agents vs Building Inspector

Clearly not all estate agents are created equal. If this were so the general public would have an overall perception that your typical agent is predominantly an honest, hard working service provider simply trying to facilitate a harmonious union between property buyers and sellers with one united goal. That goal being the transfer of ownership of a specific property for a mutually agreed price. It is therefore unfortunate that a small number of unethical real estate agents acting unprofessionally can sully the reputation of the majority.

As the Director of Action Property Inspections I have personally completed over 20,000 building inspections in the Brisbane area and in that time I thought I had seen pretty much every dirty tactic employed by a few unethical real estate agents. I was however ignorant to the fact that a couple of local estate agents were actually getting away with blatantly threatening to terminate a clients contract if they chose a building inspector that was not of the agents liking. Let me be clearer. Not of the agents liking is the polite way of saying, the agent would prefer a building inspector who’s nick name was Jack Flash and worked for a compony called Dodgy Bros. Incorporated. Let’s face it, a building inspector who finds no faults guarantees the agent a sale and subsequently himself further referral work.

This is however not a rant about a dishonest few within the real estate industry but rather a victory letter. Let me entice you with the details.

Both real estate agents were working for two entirely different agencies within Brisbane. However, both real estate agents employed the same dirty tactic. The tactic is to state that their client (the purchaser) could use any building and pest inspection company they wanted with the exception of two companies, Action Property Inspections being one of those listed. The real estate agent would subsequently claim these companies were excessively picky and have never given a pass on any house he has ever sold. They would go on to say that proceeding with the contract using either of these building inspectors was a complete waste of time and he would subsequently prefer to terminate the contract now.

The fact is, building inspectors never pass or fail a property, they simply document the condition of a property so that a prospective purchaser can make their own informed decision. In our case all faults of relevance are photographed and documented within the report and in some instances video footage taken. There is no refuting the existence of the faults or the severity of their deterioration when professionally documented.

In this instance, playing to our advantage was the naïve stupidity of the estate agents. Whilst we can assume that some prospective house purchasers may have succumbed to the estate agents threats of contract termination, some prospective buyers were curious as to the real reason why an agent was trying to deter them from our service. Subsequently these clients phoned our office to investigate for themselves. They also read through our website, viewed the photos, watched the videos and subsequently booked our service to undertake their inspection, much to the disgust of the estate agent.

The majority of these clients subsequently told us of the agents deception and subsequently provided us with affidavits to this effect.

Over the last two years we have managed to acquire a sufficient number of affidavits in conjunction with private investigation video footage to force one estate agent to settle out of court. Unfortunately the terms of our mutual agreement prevent me from naming the estate agent however should he ever fall into old habits our agreement clearly states that I have the right to expose him for what he is and for the world to see. Finally, I would like to pay particular thanks to those clients who could see the injustice in the agents conduct and took a stance against corruption.

As for the other unethical real estate agents out there…… Let the proceedings begin!

Remember, as a house or unit purchaser, you’re entitled to choose the building inspector of your choice. The agent doesn’t dictate who can or can’t undertake your inspection and certainly should not control the outcome of your report. If an agent is dictating who you can and can’t use for your building and pest inspection, you can be sure there is something they are trying to hide. Don’t become a victim of corruption within this industry. Protect your hard earned money with a sound investment and the only way to do this is with a legitimate professional building inspector that you have researched and are confident will provide you with an unbiased report.

When choosing your building inspector, you may wish to use this FREE checklist to ensure your interests are protected.


About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.