by Nick Gromicko, , InterNACHI Founder and
James McDonnell, PRO-LAB® CEO
Do you know which home inspectors get sued for mold? It's the ones who don't offer mold testing. Inspectors who offer mold testing don't get sued because they either performed a mold test, or the client opted not to have a mold test. Either way, the inspector is safe. So, to reduce your liability, always offer mold testing.
Now, aside from the benefit of reducing your liability, there is another reason to offer mold testing. Testing for mold is a great way to increase your revenue! If you're already at a home inspection, you've already suffered certain costs of doing business, including marketing costs, travel costs, etc. While you're there, you might as well upsell other inspection services, such as mold testing.
Here's a nearly surefire way to sell mold testing, created by PRO-LAB® CEO James McDonnell. Put a box of Ziploc® sandwich bags and a box of Q-tips® in your inspection vehicle. During your home inspection, if you see mold, swipe it with a Q-tip® and put the mold-covered Q-tip® inside a Ziploc® bag. Then, bring the bag to your client and explain that you found what you suspect is mold and are recommending that they have it tested. Most of the time, the consumer will agree to have you do the mold test. In any case, take a photo of the mold and the Q-tip® and add it to your home inspection report to protect yourself. Take a further step by sending the sample to PRO-LAB® for analysis.
As a former real estate agent, that answer is so that the buyer has paperwork. Paperwork, in the form of test results and inspection reports, makes it easier to get the seller to actually do something about the problem.
Another member astutely added that he tests for mold, and he also warns his client that the lab results will likely confirm his suspicion, saying, "The real benefit is being able to prove to the seller that it's mold, because they are going to say it's not."
The bottom line for adding mold testing to your inspection arsenal is two-fold: Always be proactive in reducing your liability, and never leave money on the table.
Join IAC2 and get certified for Mold Inspections -- it's free for members.