Buying a house is thrilling. Every home sale
could mean that new owners take over the house of their dreams, or past owners can
move on to explore new opportunities.
But before the sale is complete and the contract final, there’s often a crucial step for the potential new owners: a home inspection. This process could seem daunting or scary, but it’s important to protect both sides of the transaction and ensure that the buyer can confidentially close on a home, knowing well what they’re getting.
This step is so crucial to avoid buyers’
remorse that I want to offer four key points to share with your clients before
an inspection happens.
Attend the inspection: Perhaps
the single best thing buyers can do is to attend the inspection. They can
see the trouble spots that the inspector identifies, learn more about how
to maintain and operate the systems in their potential home and ask any
questions directly to the inspector. Attending the inspection is a
terrific way for the buyer to feel they have made an informed decision and
are prepared for home ownership.
Find the right fit: Agents
can help buyers find inspectors who are credentialed and have good references.
Also, not all home inspectors approach the inspection as an education
process or are willing to have buyers participate in the inspection. Being
able to communicate with the inspector could mean a world of difference
between merely getting an inspection report versus getting an education on
their new home and how to maintain it.
Expect imperfections: Home
inspectors are there to document the condition of the major elements of
the home. Rarely do you find a home
that is either all good or all bad, so buyers need to be prepared to hear about
current or potential issues. Preparing the buyer for this reality is
important, as well as helping them accept some issues and prioritize
others that may require repair and negotiation.
Use the report to your advantage: If you’re in an area that uses lawyers as part of the real estate
process, introduce yourself to them and make sure they get a copy of the
inspection report. You need to work
collectively to ensure both the buyer and seller understand that a home
sale is a negotiation and will require give and take.
Overall, a home inspection can seem daunting,
especially to a first time home buyer, but there’s no reason to be concerned.
The inspector is there to help buyers understand all the aspects of the house so
buyers can potentially negotiate any repairs needed.
Agents can help by encouraging buyers to
attend the inspection, finding an inspector that is credentialed, patient and
communicative, and preparing buyers for the inspection process. These steps
will help them approach negotiations with an open mind and with confidence.
About the author:
Kathleen Kuhn is President and CEO of HouseMaster,
the original home inspection franchise. She oversees an organization with more
than 320 franchise locations across the U.S. and Canada. HouseMaster® has an
average net promoter score (NPS) of 92, a near-perfect customer service mark
that puts it ahead of the NPS of some of the most customer-centric
organizations like Ritz-Carlton and Apple.