The derogatory phrase "deal killer" is often used in the real estate industry to describe
independent home inspectors who give buyers objective information in an inspection report,
which may lead the buyer to renegotiate or to look at other properties.
Many real estate agents view independent home inspectors as a challenge to ability to generate income.
They view these "deal killers" as foes and will use a number of tactics to make that their buyers
do not retain independent home inspectors. For instance, in the first stage of discussion about having the
home inspected, the real estate agent may recommend to the buyer a "good" home inspector with
whom they have worked for several years.
Some agents may have a list of three inspectors who have been carefully screened not to be deal killers.
The list, however, will be long enough to protect the agent from any referral liability should the buyer
want to blame the agent for any inspection mistakes. This gives the agent the perfect combination of:
a) no liability for the referral;
b) the buyer ultimately "chooses" an inspector the
agent prefers; and
c) the buyer’s choice is confined to dependent home inspectors who will not hurt a sale.
The following excerpt quoted from What should I look for in selecting a Home Inspector?
5) Let the Choice Be Yours: When choosing a home inspector, let the final selection be your own.
Don't rely on others to make the choice for you. New and inexperienced inspectors are often able to
obtain professional recommendations, regardless of their actual levels of thoroughness, competence, or lack thereof. What you want is the most meticulous, detailed home inspector available--the one who will save you
from costly surprises after the close of escrow. The best inspectors are often labeled as "Deal Killers." This
tongue-in-cheek appellation generally connotes those inspectors who provide the best level of consumer protection.
Excerpt from the Code of Ethics of the Real Estate Council of Ontario
2.10 No Member should make a practice of Steering any Clients or Customers to a particular person for
other services that may be required in connection with any Transaction.
The "Deal Killer" is NOT an Inspector
The discovery of the true condition of a property sometimes can kill a deal
The Inspector's responsibility is to protect the Buyer's interests
without worrying about whether the deal goes through or not.