What to Ask the Current Owner
of every realtor is to close the sale. But take care not
to let enthusiasm blind you to
potential problems your clients may face. Curb
appeal, nice landscaping, and a great location do not mean
obvious problems – such as
cracks on the wall, musty smells, or
rotting floorboards – should be overlooked.
help your clients get full disclosure before
finalizing a sale, suggest a professional home
inspection of the property. You can protect your clients even
more fully – and make transactions easier for everyone –
by asking some questions of the
current homeowner. This is easier to do if
the homeowner has listed with you. But it’s possible to have
a face-to-face conversation with a homeowner who’s
working with a different
Realtor, if one or more of your clients is interested in
the property. You could even
request a meeting between both parties, so your clients could
ask questions of their own.
The following questions are
good "jumping- off
points" for such a conversation:
• Does the home have any structural damage?
Are there any cracks in the walls?
Rotting floorboards? Problems with
the foundation or water in the
• Has the roof ever leaked? Was it repaired
or completely replaced? How old is
the current roof?
Most fiberglass or
asphalt-shingle roofs have a
lifespan of about 20
years. If the roof is approaching –
or past – that age, your client may be facing
a hefty replacement bill.
Has there ever been
a termite problem?
Most homes are inspected for termites prior
to sale, but it can’t hurt to know the history
• Has the home
been tested for the presence of lead-based paint?
A house built
before 1960 may have been
painted with lead based
paint, which was still used in
some homes constructed
during the 1970s. This is a
particular concern for
clients with young children: Kids
are at risk for serious brain injury if they swallow chips of
peeling lead-based paint.
• Has the home has
been tested for radon?
Consult both the home inspector and the
local chapter of the Environmental Protection
Agency about requirements concerning
radon levels. Ask if any local
residents have encountered this
• How old are the heating and air
Make sure you check both,
not just the one currently in use.
• What improvements has the current homeowner
Did the homeowner do the
job or hire a professional? Can
the homeowner supply records concerning
the improvement? Was the
homeowner satisfied with the
quality of the work? Prospective
buyers should use these questions
to learn as much as possible about
the property. Then they can sign on the
dotted line – and you can seal the deal –
Alban is proud to offer FREE Continuing
Education Courses in Real Estate Offices!Call Melissa For
Information and to Schedule at 301-404-8104 or
From the desk of . . .
The ASHI Experience
marks the official commencement date for Alban’s
participation in the American Society
of Home Inspector’s new
program, "The ASHI
Nothing will substantially change because we believe that
ASHI, by spending literally hundreds of thousands of
dollars on research, and marketing and communications experts
to create the program, is merely catching up with
the high quality of service Alban
has offered to our client
and their Realtors for the past 10 years.
The Alban homebuyer’s
inspection report binder will
now include a fact sheet explaining The ASHI Experience.
In it, I wrote, "Alban Home Inspection Service
proudly adheres to the Standards of Practice and Code
of Ethics of ASHI, the largest, most respected national
home inspection organization. ASHI has developed
a public awareness campaign to make homebuyers
and Realtors aware that ASHI inspectors are committed
to combine the highest quality technical expertise
with an emphasis on service to our clients. The
ASHI Experience offers
personalized, exceptional service and
expert knowledge, enabling smart decisions and peace
of mind in our client’s home buying experience. Superior
technical knowledge combined with superior customer
service defines The ASHI
Melissa Brois, our marketing director, and I enumerated the
benefits of an Alban inspection.
The list is 21 items long, from
pre-inspection contact with clients, to on-site reports,
to digital photography printed on-site, to a professional
office staff for scheduling and coordination, and
many other services provided by Alban
and our inspectors.
I am proud of what Alban Home
Inspection Service is
today. Quality home inspections and the
availability of extraordinary
service makes the home inspection experience
of our clients and their Realtors a positive and
memorable one. The ASHI
Experience is and has
always been The