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GeneralInspection Basics

Prepare Your Buyer for a Home Inspection: A Guide to Preventing “Inspection Indigestion”

By September 8, 2023No Comments

So, you’ve navigated the shark-infested waters of house hunting, survived the bidding war arm-wrestling contests, and finally landed on that dream home for your buyer. Congratulations, take a bow! But hold the champagne; we’re not done yet. Its now time to prepare your buyer.

Next up: the dreaded home inspection. Yes, we’re talking about the two-to-three-hour spectacle where a stranger armed with a flashlight and a toolbox dissects your buyer’s dream home like a frog in a high school biology lab. The air is thick with tension as the inspector pokes around, and you might wonder if your client will bolt for the door, shouting, “I can’t handle the truth!”

Fear not, intrepid agent! Here’s a handy guide to prepare your buyer for the home inspection and avoid the condition we in the biz affectionately call “Inspection Indigestion.”

1. Setting Realistic Expectations is Key When Preparing Your Buyer

First of all, let your buyers know that a home inspection isn’t a pass/fail exam. The home inspector cannot recreate normal living conditions and it is impossible to find everything. A home inspection is more like a routine physical check-up, but for the house. Yes, that means even dream homes get poked and prodded. No home is perfect, unless it’s in a Disney movie So, prep your clients for minor issues and possible major revelations—think of it as a spoiler alert for the home.

2. Pack Snacks and Patience

Let your clients know that they don’t need to be at the house at the start of the inspection. And, if they do want to be there for the whole time, encourage them to bring along some nibbles and perhaps a crossword puzzle. A home inspection is a hurry up and wait process. If the buyers are like my kids on a road trip and keep asking the inspector every 5 minutes, “Are we there yet?” the inspection will take a lot longer than needed. And the chance the inspector might miss something goes up, and no one whats that. 

3. Give A Pep Talk to Your Buyer

Before the inspection, give your buyers a little pep talk. Remind them why they fell in love with the house in the first place and that no house is perfect. Tell them the home inspection is like a ‘getting-to-know-you-better’ phase of any relationship. Sometimes you find out they snore, or have an odd obsession with snow globes, but that doesn’t mean you ditch them at the altar!

4. Be the Professional, But Not the Expert

Believe it or not, the best thing you can do for your client at the inspection is take a backseat. The buyer is your client and the home inspector is only borrowing them for a little while. It’s the inspector’s job to educate them and return them in as good, if not better condition, to you. The inspector is the one running the show; but it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can’t do to help to make this a better experience for the buyer. You know what the inspector is going to look at so be proactive. For example, verify that the access to the attic is clear and if it’s not, offer to call the listing agent to get permission to do so. If there is a jet tub, offer to sit by the tub while it fills up. But don’t start doing things without having a conversation with the inspector beforehand.

5. Prepare Your Buyer for the Aftermath

Once the inspection is over, there’ll be a report. Sometimes, these reports read like a Stephen King novel — scary and overly detailed. It’s your job to guide your buyers through it, emphasizing that not all issues are deal-breakers. Most things can be fixed, or negotiated on. Just remember that if the inspector noted something in the report, they did so for a reason and should not be ignored. I know this sounds obvious, but I have come to learn that it needs to be said: if you have questions or are unsure what the inspector is saying, reach out to them.

Prepared and ready to go!

So, agents, prepare your buyers well and you’ll ensure that they make it to the closing table with minimal emotional scarring. After all, you don’t just want to sell them a house; you want to sell them their *dream* house—with all its quirks and character.

Happy inspecting! 🏠🔍

What did we miss? We would for you to share how you prepare for an inspection. Let us know

Check out these great articles to learn more.

Home Inspection Checklist: Sneaky Ways to Check for Problems in a Home Before You Buy
How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

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