Home inspections are a crucial part of the home buying and selling process, providing buyers with valuable insights into the condition of a property. While real estate agents play a vital role in facilitating these inspections, they can sometimes make mistakes that impact the overall experience. Here we highlight some common ones that agents may make, emphasizing the importance of avoiding these pitfalls to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
1) Lack of Preparation:
One of the most significant mistakes real estate agents can make is failing to adequately prepare for a home inspection. You should familiarize yourself with the property beforehand, verify that all the utilities are on, and that the inspector will have access to all of the systems and components of the house that are going to be inspected. Some agents fail to gather and review relevant documents and information about the home’s history, potential issues, and recent renovations, but this preparation helps inspectors answer client questions and address concerns more effectively.
2) Suggesting That a Home Warranty Will Cover a Known Defect:
You should avoid suggesting that a home warranty will cover or be a potential solution to cover known defects in the house. During a home inspection, it’s not uncommon for defects or issues to be identified, in the home inspectors report, such as a failed HVAC unit, or leaking water heater. But it’s important to inform your clients that these items will NOT be covered. Most warranties will only cover items that were working correctly at the time of inspection.
3) Overstepping Boundaries:
Be cautious about overstepping your professional boundaries during a home inspection. While you play an important role in guiding your clients, it is essential to defer to qualified professionals such as home inspectors and contractors when it comes to providing expert opinions or performing specialized tasks. This ensures accurate assessments and minimizes the risk of liability.
Effective communication is vital before, during and after the home inspection process, and you can sometimes inadvertently contribute to miscommunication. Agents must act as reliable intermediaries, accurately conveying information between buyers, sellers, and inspectors. Clear and concise communication helps prevent misunderstandings and allows for prompt resolution of any concerns that arise.
5) Downplaying Issues:
In the pursuit of closing a deal, some real estate agents may be tempted to downplay or dismiss significant issues discovered during the inspection. However, this approach can have serious consequences. You should prioritize transparency and honesty, ensuring that your buyers are fully aware of any potential problems and guiding sellers on appropriate ways to address them. By doing so, you build trust and credibility among all parties involved.
6) Lack of Follow-up:
Following the inspection, you should proactively follow up with your clients and the inspector as needed. This step demonstrates your commitment to providing exceptional service and ensures that any questions or concerns are promptly addressed. By being available to your clients, you can alleviate uncertainties and facilitate a smoother transaction process.
7) Insufficient Knowledge of Inspection Process:
As a real estate agent, you should possess a solid understanding of the home inspection process. This includes awareness of the inspection’s scope, limitations, and common issues that may arise. By having this knowledge, you can better guide your clients, set appropriate expectations, and collaborate effectively with home inspectors.
8) Incomplete Disclosure:
This is very common on the listing side where sellers do not fully understand what needs to be disclosed so they fail to do so correctly. An essential aspect of a real estate agent’s duty is to discover and disclose known material defects or issues with a property. Failing to disclose such information can lead to legal and ethical consequences. You must be thorough in your disclosure obligations, ensuring that buyers are fully informed about the property’s condition and any potential risks associated with it.
9) Failure to Suggest Additional Inspections:
During a home inspection, it is not uncommon for inspectors to identify potential issues that require further investigation, such as mold, pest infestations, or old sewer lines. Real estate agents should be proactive in recommending additional specialized inspections in such cases. By doing so, you ensure that your buyers have a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition, enabling them to make informed decisions.
10) Ignoring Inspection Contingencies:
Inspection contingencies in purchase agreements are designed to protect buyers. Real estate agents should understand and emphasize the importance of inspection contingencies period. Disregarding or minimizing these contingencies can put your clients at a disadvantage.
Remember, not all real estate agents make these mistakes, and many are highly professional and diligent in their work. However, it’s important for you to be aware of these potential pitfalls and strive to avoid them to provide the best possible service to your clients.
What other mistakes do real estate agents make that we forgot? Let us know