Saving Home-buyers Time and Money
Business and marketing experts tell us to find the “pain points” in our client’s experiences and to find ways of solving those problems. One such issue we’ve noted over our two decades of inspecting homes has been the unfortunate need for clients to have multiple home inspections performed. Occasionally, we’ll end up doing three or even four inspections for our clients before they find a house that is in acceptable condition and which meets their needs.
This has always struck me as a waste of resources, since the inspection fees represent money our clients could spend toward improving their home, taking a vacation, etc. Some real estate agents have been known to accuse us of trying to scare our clients away from properties in order to push them into new purchase contracts and additional inspections. What those agents sometimes say is, “Oh, the house isn’t in that bad of condition; those inspectors just want to scare you and get another inspection job out of you.” So, in an attempt to solve two pain points, our own and that of our clients, many years ago we instituted something that we like to call the “kick the tires” limited scope property evaluation.
A pre-home inspection to separate the wheat from the chaff
The way it works is like this, if the buyers find a property that looks promising, they will reach out to us and we will tag along with them on a second or third showing. During this showing we will give them up to an hour of our time for $195 in order to find either big scary issues that would constitute “deal killers” or which would result in a “death by 1000 cuts” condition. If, after this tire kicking inspection, the property still looks like a worthwhile purchase and if they have their offer accepted, we deduct the $195 fee from the cost of the full inspection that would then need to be performed on that same property.
We feel this new service can be helpful to the buyers and their real estate agents. This informal preliminary inspection can help separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and can help the buyers and the agents avoid the haggling, back-and-forth, negotiating, contract writing, etc. on properties that just don’t cut muster.