B.C. home inspector under fire for offering ‘pre-inspections’ to benefit sellers over buyersJuly 13, 2019
A B.C. home inspectors association is raising concerns over one of their colleagues, who they say is pushing boundaries by offering inspections meant to benefit sellers over potential buyers.
The Home Inspectors Association of BC (HIABC) has filed a complaint with Consumer Protection BC against David Asselin, an inspector working in Metro Vancouver who offers “pre-listing home inspections” that he says can be used as an incentive in a sale.
While the pre-inspections themselves aren’t illegal, the association’s president says the way he’s marketing those inspections raises questions about his conduct.
“The buyer comes in and thinks he’s done this inspection fairly and honestly and accurately, but the reality is, his concern is selling the house,” Bob Hamm told Global News.
In videos posted to YouTube, Asselin promises to “overload” the pre-inspection report with positive items about the home, while moving anything that might be negative to the bottom of the report.
“When they get to the negative, it’s not so discouraging anymore,” Asselin says in one video that shows him presenting his service to a group of realtors.
What’s more, Asselin claims in that same video buyers will skip their own home inspection “75 per cent of the time” if they see a pre-inspection has been conducted.
That allows realtors to sell their properties faster, Asselin says. He further promotes his service by saying he doesn’t get paid until the home sells.
For Hamm, that pledge raises concerns that Asselin doesn’t have buyers’ best interests at heart.
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“He isn’t going to get paid unless it sells, so that raises the question: is he going to want to downplay serious issues to ensure he gets his money later?” Hamm asked.
“I was stunned that he has taken a pre-listing inspection, which is an acceptable inspection, and [used] it for another purpose.”
In an interview, Asselin denied he’s “burying” any information, and that everything found in the home is listed in the report whether it’s positive or negative.
“It’s all over the place,” he said about the negative information, which he said often discourages buyers from making a purchase if it’s put at the top of a report.
“Buyers have really appreciated the fact that we don’t only report on the deficiencies, we report on all the positives as well,” he added.
Selling himself to buyers
Asselin also points out all his reports include a disclaimer that buyers should always hire their own home inspector.
But Hamm with the HIABC also points out Asselin promises to review the report with buyers at a reduced fee, treating the service as a separate inspection…