Yesterday I attended an education session that had several home inspectors presenting information to a group of real estate agents. They gave us valuable information on what should be expected from a home inspection and how we can help our clients benefit from them.
One important tool they supplied us with was a checklist of things we could do as real estate agents to ensure the home inspection went smoothly for all parties involved. This checklist included the following suggestions:
- Give the inspector a quick call the day before the inspection to verify the appointment.
- Make sure the inspector is aware of access arrangements. If they need to pick up a key at the office or if you need to meet them there to let them in, they should be informed of this ahead of time.
- Ask the inspector how much time he will need to perform the inspection and then let the home owner know. This is important as the home inspector is not able to shorten this time if the owner only wants to give access to the home for a short time. If the inspector is unable to have access to the home for the alloted time period, they will need to return to the home and charge an extra fee.
- Encourage the seller to have all the utilities in operating mode. This is especially important in seasonal properties. A thorough inspection cannot be done on a property without the electricity or the water turned on. Should the inspector visit the home and all the utilities are not operating, they may need to return at a later date which would result in an additional fee.
- Let your client know that it is normal for some issues to be brought up during a home inspection. Educate them on the process and their options.
- Encourage your client to attend the home inspection. Even if they attend at least part of it, they can go through the property with the home inspector to learn about the components of the home and better understand any concerns that are presented in the report.
- Real estate agents are also encouraged to attend the home inspection. This often ensures there are no miscommunications between agent and client when the concerns are later addressed.
- Real estate agents should advise their clients that two people are usually all that should attend the home inspection. Some buyers use the home inspection to invite family members and friends to the house to view. This is not advised and should never happen if there is no real estate agent present in the home at the time of the inspection.
By following the guidelines outlined here, you should be able to make the process as painless as possible for everyone!