I got a phone call this week from a listing agent about a home I inspected a few days prior. Now, getting phone calls from Realtors that have questions about a particular item on a home inspection report is nothing out of the ordinary. But this call was different. This guy was angry. He was angry that the buyer had decided to not purchase the house based on my findings during the home inspection. Again, this is nothing out of the norm; it happens. It was the way this particular Realtor came at me that made the conversation memorable.
The Bat-Phone Rings.
Me: ABI, this is Ben speaking.
Realtor: Yes, this is David (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) with [some national company]. You inspected one of my listings a few days ago and I had a few questions.
Me: Sure David, fire away.
Realtor: I’m not sure who you thing you are, but you caused this deal to fall through, and this report you gave out is one of the most inflammatory things I have ever seen in 30 years in real estate.
Me: Um….OK. How so?
Realtor: You scared this poor young buyer to death.
Me: Oh, yeah? He didn’t seem frightened the last time I spoke with him. In fact, he seemed to be thankful that he had more info than before.
Realtor: Three days ago everything was fine, and then you showed up and everything fell apart. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Me: Ashamed? Not in the least. I did my job to the best of my ability. If in doing so, your deal fell apart; sorry, it happens.
Realtor: Well I will make sure no one in my office ever recommends you or anyone from your company.
Me: That’s too bad. It sounds like you guys could use a real home inspector instead of the flunkies you’re currently recommending.
Realtor: My home inspector doesn’t cause problems like you. He makes sure things go smoothly.
Me: Of that I have no doubt.
This is not the first time I have gotten a call like this. It typically happens once a year or so. But it struck a nerve this time around and I felt the need to vent a bit. Why should I “be ashamed of myself?”
Slammed for doing a good job.
Most of the time my job revolves around the negative side of things. People pay me to look at a house and tell them what is wrong with it. I’m pretty good at doing this. But all negativity does bring you down after awhile. Take this guy for example. He thinks I am the scum of the earth. He thinks I single-handedly caused his sale to fall through. But why does he believe this? I didn’t build the house. I didn’t neglect it for years. I didn’t try and cover up all the damage with a quick once over. All I did was point out the issues; I didn’t create them.
Yet to him, I am the villain.
And that is OK.
Because I don’t work for him. It’s not my job to make sure he gets his commission. It’s not my job to make sure he meets his quota. It’s my job to make sure that my client is as informed as he can be in order to make the best decision he can for himself and his family.
I have a very thick skin, and I don’t let much of anything get to me. So I’ll wear this badge with pride. I’ll continue to fight the good fight. I will not sell my morals. I will not turn a blind eye to anything to facilitate the transaction. I will not go gentle into that good night….too much? Yeah, too much.