An Open Letter To Brokers And Agents
Home Buyers are normally our clients, but "YOU" are our customers. Our goal is to provide our client with unbiased professional advice about the home they're buying so they can make an informed purchase decision. When a deal falls through, we feel just as badly as you do. All homes have problems. The only question is usually, how serious are these problems? The Holmes Inspectors are trained to recognize the difference between serious and not so serious problems and communicate that difference to the client. We also strive to put issues into their proper perspective - such as items that would typically be routine maintenance versus an actual defect.
Here are some helpful hints to make your sale go more smoothly:
• As you and the clients tour prospective homes, check the sellers disclosure for such obvious "Red Flags" as a 20 year old roof, a 15 year old A/C unit, a 25 year old furnace; or any readily visible concerns such as poor grading, a damaged retaining wall, or a significantly settled patio. Discuss these issues with the buyer(s) so they have mentally taken them into consideration when they structure their offer to buy the home.
• Explain to the buyer that the inspection is not a laundry list of every minor building defect in the home, nor is it necessarily a "to-do" list of items for the seller to fix.
• The selling agent should attend the inspection. Open the house, introduce everyone and then go sit down and relax. Bring a book to read or some work to catch up on, but don't follow the buyer and inspector throughout the house and give the appearance of trying to prevent the buyer from negotiating an issue with the seller.
• Encourage the buyers to attend the inspection. Your greatest liability is the buyer that was not present at the inspection to see what the inspector did, but also to see what the inspector couldn't see or couldn't do.
• There are always buyers that want something for nothing, or are difficult to deal with and have impossible expectations. Try to prepare these type of people in advance, that there is no such thing as a perfect house.
• Have a pre-listing inspection when the home is put on the market, so you will be in control before the first purchase offer is made. Besides that, it's often a deduction for the seller as an expense of selling their home.
Again, we want to see "SOLD" on the sign just like you do, and yet protect everyone from costly litigation. Home Inspections are very commonplace, so the more we work together, the more "SOLD" signs we'll see. I would appreciate your feedback or any useful suggestions on how Holmes Inspection Company can improve our service or make the process go more smoothly. Call us at (800) 729-0257 OR (816) 455-8787 (cell phone).
Dan Bowers, CRI, CMI
FHA Compliance Inspector
NRSB Certified Radon Inspector
New Construction Monitoring & Inspections
ASHI Chapter President (1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000)
Approved Educational Trainer for ASHI, NAHI, iNACHI & the Appraisal Institute