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Inside the Client Brain: 5 Tips for a Better Home Inspection Experience

Reblogger Lola Connert
Mortgage and Lending with Jumbo, FHA, VA, Purchase, Mortgage, Loans, Mobile, Al

Preparing your buyers for the home inspection

Below are 5 tips that will help you achieve a better home inspection experience.  No buyer should buy a house without one and all buyers are on an emotional high.  So, here is some food for thought!

Original content by Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~

For those of you who ever took Psych 101 and thought you'd never use it...this is the time it finally comes in handy! Because as we all know, we buy homes emotionally--we can see ourselves having coffee in the sun-lit kitchen, or our children playing in the huge yard--no one will ever ask you to write a contract because they love the way the main sewer line leaves the house.

It's for this reason that the home inspection is a point during every transaction when there is many times a shift in how the client views the home. But don't be scared of us home inspectors, please! This is a great time to get to know the home and we really enjoy helping clients do that. So let's take a look inside the client's brain and find out how being mindful of what's inside can help us have a great home inspection experience.

Notice all that is going on in the client brain. There are NUMEROUS emotions present by the time they are ready for the home inspection. There are--often very dominant--feelings of fear, anticipation and anxiety. Or on the other hand, many clients don’t really confront feelings of fear and anxiousness and instead hope for the perfect house and deny any negative possibilities at all.

Deep within even the calmest client is what I like to call the “Freak-out potential,” which can be triggered by any number of factors and can strike at a moment’s notice. Lastly, you will notice that in the back of the mind of many clients, is the memory of all their past disappointments; all the times that things have gone wrong before.(Which can predispose the client to an overactive “freak-out potential”).

So what as professionals can we do to help clients through this process? Here are 5 tips to a great inspection, utilizing our knowledge of the client brain:

  1. There is no perfect house. But even an "imperfect" house can be a perfect home. Prepare clients for the fact that some defects may be found in the house, but to keep in mind that every house—even a new house—has some. Let them know that the inspection report and the inspector will help them distinguish between big problems and small ones, and encourage them to ask questions during their inspection. 
  2. Owning a home is like owning a car. Buying a home is similar to buying a pre-owned car. One must always expect maintenance and some unexpected repairs. No inspection can completely eliminate all risks, and all homes require maintenance, repair, and care. I think it is important that clients understand and are comfortable with this concept—especially those who have never owned a home before.
  3. Purchase price vs. House Condition. “For what they are asking for this house—it better be perfect!” Unfortunately, price and condition do not go hand-in-hand. Price has much more to do with those three magic words (location, location, location) and the market conditions than anything else. Even million-dollar homes have defects. So no matter what the purchase price; help clients avoid falling into the trap of hoping for a flawless house.
  4. Emotions vs. Logic. As I said before, nobody ever bought a house because of the exquisite wiring or the great septic tank. We buy homes emotionally. The home inspection is often the first time a client will take a closer look at the home’s components that have thus far been seen only as a single unit—their perfect house. It can be jarring if the client is not prepared for the step by step evaluation of the house. But as long as they remember that no house is perfect and expect the slight “change of pace” that the home inspection will bring, the home inspection can be a smooth(er) process.
  5. Creating a positive attitude and safe emotional environment. Our positive attitude about the inspection process transfers to clients (as does apprehension about the process). At the inspection, we can set the tone for what is about to happen and after the inspection we can circle back and calm fears before clients go home a sit on a whole lot of information that can be a lot to take in all at once. On inspections we like to encourage questions and let clients know that it is normal to get a little nervous and it’s okay to feel that way, but to keep the communication line open with us and their agent so that we can use our experience and knowledge to help them work through any issues or emotions that pop up.

So what do you think?? Does psychology have any place in the home inspection process? What kinds of tips do you have for preparing clients for their home inspection?

Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Great post Lola, buyers usually know this is the house I want, as soon as they enter. I would also add its usually the women who make the emotional decision. 

Sep 25, 2010 02:42 PM
Lola Connert
Jumbo, FHA, VA, Purchase, Mortgage, Loans, Mobile, Al - Mobile, AL
Mobile Al Mortgage Loans, Jumbo, FHA,VA,

Alice, you are right.  I hear all about it the minute the inspection comes in.  Knowing how to prepare them for the results is the key.  Thanks for sharing!

Oct 02, 2010 04:14 AM
Diana L Faulkner
Romanoff Realty - Alamo Heights, TX
Alamo Heights Homes for Sale - Concierge Service

Thank you for posting.

Apr 16, 2016 12:41 AM