10 Tips About Home Inspection
for Real Estate Brokers

PEOPLE'S CHOICE wants to be one of your trusted resources for home inspection. We have included below 10 Tips about Home Inspections. Thanks for reading!

1. Learn what home inspectors do. Don't be afraid to question us during the inspection. A good inspector will be glad to answer your questions in as much detail as you require. If you don't understand something be sure to get it clarified with the inspector. Also, do as much research as possible to learn what inspectors inspect what, and what common problems might be.

2. Learn how to read home inspection reports. Inspection reports can vary significantly. Inspectors are free to choose the format and software (if they choose to use it) they use to generate reports. These reports will cover the same general information but can vary widely in their detail and organization. Most reports will include photos. PEOPLE'S CHOICE uses software and we will be glad to show you a sample report. We will even go over it with you and answer any questions you might have.

3. Realize all home inspectors are different. No two inspectors will inspect a house and have an identical report. Washington state has standards and all inspectors must be licensed. We take a licensing exam and continuing education courses to keep up with the industry. However, we all inspect differently and may notice different things. The more you work with home inspectors, the more you'll prefer one home inspector over another. While you don't want to recommend any specific inspector (this puts liability on you), you'll at least be able to guide your clients to a list of 3-5 inspectors that you have worked with and trust.

4. Make sure your clients know about a home inspection. Let your clients know that the purpose of a home inspection is to find major structural defects - not to have a way to back out of a contract. Many buyers believe they can make an offer and then be able to back out of a deal because of a leaky faucet. As you know, it is not going to be that easy, at least not without losing their earnest money as a result.

5. Give your clients a checklist. You should include a checklist with your home inspection tips. Make sure they know their time frame, their deadlines, and what they should be asking the inspector during the home inspection.

6. Encourage your clients to attend the home inspection. Buyers absolutely should attend their home inspection. We will show them what we see, and can show them things such as where are the water and gas cutoffs. They can see in advance what is going to be on the report. Also, we are a great source of information for new homeowners.

7. Stay out of the way. It is generally recommended that the broker does not follow along on the home inspection to reduce your liability, since you are not a licensed home inspector. We may be on ladders and under the house. You can let us in and help us find what we need (the electric box, etc.) but after that, wait quietly somewhere until the inspector is finished. We will show you whatever we find when we are finished.

8. Discuss home inspection negotiation BEFORE you write the sales contract. Buyers will sometimes see a home inspection as a way to knock off thousands of dollars from the sales price. You do not want to be involved in haggling home inspection repairs if you can avoid it.

9. Tighten up that contract. Know and understand the options that can be pre-written in the contract. There are many ways to protect buyers and sellers from unreasonable repair costs and still bring a contract to fruition. Tightening up the real estate contract achieves two things: It makes it possible for the buyer to negotiate terms that makes their offer more attractive - and it makes it less likely either party will bail out later.

10. Allow time for "licensed professionals." Get that inspection done early! Many times we will tell you that you need to get a licensed electrician, plumber, or some other professional to look at something in more detail. This often cannot be accomplished in a short time span. So give yourself time to have the specialists come in, if needed. In most cases we are not licensed in these areas but can recognize problems when they are presented. Home inspectors are "generalists" not "specialists" in all construction trades.

And remember, you can call us at any time in order to get your questions answered.