Helping a client buy a home? While full of excitement, home buying can be very complex, too, which can lead to unintentional mistakes. A home inspection is an essential part of the buying process.
According to Rose Buckley, a home inspector with US Inspect, a partner of Long & Foster’s Home Service Connections, there are several home inspection mistakes you should try to avoid.
Recommending an Inspector without Doing Due-Diligence Cheaper is not always better. Don’t recommend an inspector to your clients merely based on cost or word-of-mouth. Instead, be sure to do your research to ensure the home inspector is certified, and has experience with good reviews from past clients.
Not Having Clear Expectations about the Home Inspection Process After you’ve helped your clients choose a home inspector and their appointment is scheduled, it is important they have clear expectations as to what an inspection is and what will occur.
Home inspections, in general, are non-invasive inspections of a home, the surrounding property and the main systems. As part of a home inspection, your client’s inspector should run appliances, test main systems, locate main shut offs, evaluate the structure and report all findings. The inspector should review all defects in person with your buyer, and provide a written report outlining the defect, why the defect is a problem and recommend what to do about it.
Home inspectors do not operate shut off valves, conduct destructive testing, fix any problems, recommend contractors or estimate costs to repair defects. If a home inspector finds something out of the ordinary in the home, depending on the severity of the issue, they may recommend a treatment or further evaluation by a specialist.
Not Being Present During the Home Inspection If possible, you and your clients should plan to attend the inspection, so you both can have important conversations with the inspector, physically see any defects that are found, learn about maintenance and emergency shut off valves, and ask any unanswered questions. If your buyer doesn’t live locally or is unavailable to attend the home inspection, you should attend on their behalf. Your client should also consider scheduling a time to talk to the inspector on the phone to ensure they fully understand their home inspection report and discuss any issues that could affect the property.
Being Overly Engaged or Unengaged Being too engaged in the process can lead to safety issues. Inspectors are responsible for the safety of all parties while on the premises, and they are trained to handle dangerous situations. While home inspectors want you and your home buyer to be involved and ask questions, you should be present, yet hands off.
Similarly, being too unengaged in the process can lead to confusion and missed information. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions your client will ever make, so be sure they work closely with their home inspector and ask questions.
If you’re helping a client buy a home, consider working with US Inspect, a Long & Foster preferred partner and a long-standing member of our Home Service Connections network of trusted vendors. You and your clients can benefit from their smart and professional inspectors, cutting-edge technologies, comprehensive areas of service and 24/7 scheduling.