Agent tips to help ensure a smooth home inspection process | Guest Post

The home inspection is often a nerve-wracking and emotional time for both buyers and sellers. Because the inspection is often a necessary step in the transaction, you should embrace the process by taking some simple steps to ensure that the inspection goes as smoothly as possible. These steps will help you provide your clients with as much value as possible.

For Listing Agents:

So your listing is about to be inspected and you want to ensure that the inspection goes well for your sellers and your deal at large. While you cannot necessarily mitigate all threats to the deal, there are simple steps that can be taken to both facilitate a smooth inspection and quell a potential buyer’s concerns.

  1. Set reasonable expectations for your clients
    • While you want to show your clients that you are willing to fight for their best interest, it’s important to set a client’s expectation to expect objections to arise from the inspection. There is no such thing as a perfect home, and things will come up in every home inspection. Just remind them that they will have demands of the sellers when they are having their next home inspected.
  2. Get ahead of the ball
    • If there are any major concerns or disclosures that you are aware of pre-inspection, it’s better to get ahead of the ball by having the issues professionally evaluated. Providing buyers with transparency and peace of mind on otherwise potentially problematic issues goes a long way in mitigating concerns
      • Old furnace? – have it cleaned, serviced and possibly certified
      • Aluminum wiring – have it evaluated and repaired by an electrician?
      • Structural concern? – have a structural engineer evaluate and provide documentation.
  3. Provide documentation
    • The more documentation a seller has on their home, the better. Even if the buyer doesn’t read through it, seeing a pile of manuals, past invoices, repair records, etc.. offers peace of mind and evidence to the prospective buyer of prudent homeownership.
  4. Physically prepare the home for the inspection
    • As an inspector, I cannot stress enough how much a dirty, unprepared and unmaintained home can tarnish the perspective that the inspector and buyers have on the home. Not only can this attention to detail impact the perception that the buyers and inspector may have of the home, but proper preparation can significantly reduce the number of small items that arise on an inspection report. Additionally, this preparation will present better and be less overwhelming to the buying party
      • Some simple steps that can be done to prepare the home are:
        1. Clean the home
        2. Change the furnace filter
        3. Clean the gutters
        4. Replace burnt out light bulbs
        5. Test and change batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Add smoke and CO detectors where necessary.
        6. Make sure the inspectors have access to all areas of the home.
        7. Remove or contain pets during the inspection.
        8. Ensure that all operating appliances and fixtures are turned on and operable.
        9. Check for plumbing leaks

For Buyers Agents:

  1. Set reasonable expectations for your clients
    • It’s important for homebuyers to know what their home inspection will address and will not address such as limitations and timelines. Depending on the inspector or inspection firm that you typically work with, they likely have some guidelines on how they, and you for that matter, like to conduct the inspection. It’s important to stress to your clients that the inspection day is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about their home and how to operate and maintain it.
  2. Get ahead of the ball
    • If you or your clients have specific inspection related concerns about the property, go ahead and work to address those before the inspection. Share these concerns with the inspector ahead of time, and if concern is high enough, it may be wise to schedule a specific professional to inspect or evaluate that component of the home at or before the time of inspection. Some examples of common concerns about a property would be disclosed or suspected:
      • Structural damage
      • Water damage or past moisture intrusion
      • Permitted or un-permitted remodeling work
  3. Request Documentation
    • In line with the above suggestion of getting ahead of the ball, often times concerns can be quashed by having the sellers offer up documentation on past work that was conducted on the property. Some common examples of documentation provided by the seller would be past work invoices, permits, and inspection reports.
  4. Attend the inspection with your clients
    • Every agent has their own preference, or possibly even requirements when it comes to inspection attendance policies. At Alpine Building Performance, LLC it’s our preference that both agents and clients attend the inspection in some capacity. Often times it’s the most optimal if that attendance is at the end of the inspection, which allows the inspector to stay focused on the inspection while being able to summarize findings and perform a final walkthrough at the end. Being able to communicate with your inspector about findings on site will help to deepen understanding of the inspection report which typically results in a more composed and informed homebuyer.

By taking some proactive steps, real estate agents can help to ensure a smoother home inspection process that provides themselves and their clients with more value and comfort.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent those of the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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