So many things can make a perfectly good sale go sideways; the home inspection should not be one of them. While nothing can prevent the inevitable findings of a professional and thorough inspection, depending on which professional you use, this process can be a positive or negative experience.
Bruce LaBell ACI, the owner of Royal Home Inspectors LLC & Got Mold LLC comes with the education, experience and integrity to put anyone’s mind at ease both as the seller or the buyer’s agent. Furthermore, he’s a people-person, able to translate the mechanics into layman’s terms, conveying the information in a clear and understandable way despite the complexity.
“I’m out there working for the client,” says LaBell. “A lot of the folks who are in this profession come from the trades. They might know plumbing, HVAC or electrical for instance. Typically, they are not very good at communicating with the clients or people outside their previous professions. A good inspector serves as an experienced consultant, and can readily and clearly convey in layman’s terms, what is going on and what exactly was found during the inspection. Let’s face it, buying a home is one of the largest purchases anyone makes.”
LaBell, who was born and raised in Detroit, has called Phoenix home for more than 30 years. Attending the American Home Inspector Training (AHIT), he graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and scored in the top five percent on his national board certification.
During the first year of his career, LaBell completed more than 400 inspections within the greater metro Phoenix area, which enabled him to sit for his American Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certification. A member of both the National and Arizona State chapters of ASHI, He is a past-president of the Arizona ASHI chapter and has served on both the education and public relations committees. He is currently a member of the national board of directors for ASHI and is a past member of the board of directors for ASHI Education Inc. (AEI). LaBell has an impressive dedication to the advancement of his qualifications and dedication, for which he continues to serve as a peer leader among home inspectors, LaBell has won Arizona ASHI’s President’s Award twice in the last six years.
“There are standards of practice issued by the state and ASHI that we must follow,” says LaBell. “This includes checking heating, cooling, plumbing, windows, doors, outlets, the roof and the overall structural framing. But, this is just the minimum, and certainly not the extent of my inspections.”
Embracing Technology-Raising the Standards
Technology is rapidly infiltrating virtually every profession, so it’s not surprising that home inspections would also embrace the latest developments. And yet, not many home inspectors are implementing this amazing tool.
ASHI put together a Drone Task Force, which LaBell was tapped to serve on and chair. “We wanted to utilize this new technology to see how it would affect home inspections. By making use of drones, we were able to access certain areas that previously due to safety concerns we couldn’t. This has become a great new resource to advance the profession to the next level, to make us even more proficient. It is a very exciting time to be part of the profession that is advancing with the use of the newest technology to get the best information for our customers so they know what they are buying in advance.” LaBell explains. “This is a revolutionary tool that not only provides excellent results, but weighs in heavily on the side of safety.”
LaBell has been at the forefront of utilizing and teaching the uses of drones in home inspections, always emphasizing the safety factors. Roof inspections in particular are made safer, and in some cases more thorough, with the use of drones.
This is just another example of how LaBell takes his responsibilities seriously. Never satisfied with the status quo, he’s been on a mission to advance the profession, and raise the standards. “I’m concerned about safety and functionality,” he says. “I’m consistent and am continually trying to bring awareness to the profession, to raise the level of professionalism not just locally but nationally. flat’s why I’m so involved with various associations and always embracing new technology as we get better in the profession.”
The reputation of LaBell ACI and Royal Home Inspectors LLC is such that he is frequently called upon as an expert witness, and has testified on many class action lawsuits. “Usually, I’m hired by some homeowner involved in a litigation against a builder or contractor,” he says. “Anyone involved in litigation needs an expert in the field to substantiate their position. I personally take more of a neutral position; it’s black or white, broken or not broken, approach.”
REALTORS®, unfortunately, are increasingly exposed to possible litigation, so hiring the right professional at the beginning, saves time, money and their reputation down the road should issues arise.
Asset to the Real Estate Community
Not only is LaBell a member of the Scottsdale Association of REALTORS® and a member of the Arizona Real Estate Educator Association, he was also appointed to the board of technical registration’s enforcement advisory committee.
Already a familiar and respected name within the real estate community, LaBell understands the latest standards of practices in home inspection. In this effort, he provides a unique opportunity to REALTORS® by availing them of valuable continuing education classes at the Royal Home School of Real Estate, which he founded. Not only do these classes enable real estate professionals to obtain required annual CE credits, but offers understanding of various aspects of the home inspection process, so REALTORS® can use this knowledge to better serve, protect and inform their clients.
“I currently offer five different classes,” he says. “I don’t teach to test, but seriously want to impart valuable information that can be used in the field to assist buyers and sellers. I do the actual teaching and my school issues the certificates.”
Within the world of home inspection, LaBell is something of a celebrity. His tireless efforts on behalf of his profession and clients has reached national acclaim. A quick Google search yields page after page of his significant contributions both on a state and national level, to improving standards and practices within his profession, as well as countless testimonials from colleagues, sanctioning boards and clients. Home inspection is not a job to him, but a career in which he takes pride and assumes tremendous responsibility and accountability.
His role as teacher and mentor is abundantly documented and a source of pride for LaBell. “I like taking the opportunity to mentor students and inspectors who are not very strong in the field or need extra training,” LaBell states. “It gives me the chance to improve the industry as well as strengthen my own skills.”
For LaBell, home inspections go beyond his role in facilitating a sale of home, he is assessing the safety of someone’s home. A family man himself, LaBell appreciates the significance of his vocation and never forgets his ultimate responsibility.
“I’m acutely aware of my role,” he says. “I know that in addition to my experience knowledge, it’s critical for me to render an honest and impartial determination of the stability of the home. flat is not a responsibility to take lightly, and I never do.”