Buying or selling a home can be nerve-wracking for all parties involved. Yet, when it comes to the home inspection process, your clients' stress levels may go through the roof, no pun intended. As a realtor, you will work with all types of buyers and sellers during the inspection phase. To avoid potentially stress or awkward situations along the way, here are four ideal ways to prepare your clients for their home inspection:
1. Start with an honest conversation
Before you schedule any home inspection, you must first have an open and honest talk with your clients, according to Zion Realty. In this conversation, you should advise them to prepare themselves to hear that there may be potential deficiencies in their home. You also should urge them to disclose serious problems or issues they may know about. This may include past catastrophes, prior renovation work and various maintenance records, if applicable.
"Remind your clients that a home inspection is a smart move."
2. Remind them not to take the findings personally
Most homeowners are proud of their residence, which is why you should encourage them not to take any of the home inspector's comments or findings personally. It's never easy to hear that your home has a few unsightly water stains or peeling, cracked window frames. It's even more difficult to hear that you might need to replace your HVAC system or fix faulty electrical wiring in your kitchen.
Sit down with your clients and remind them that a home inspection is a smart move for them, as the American Society of Home Inspections states they "give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition." While it might be hard to hear that their beloved house is far from perfect, they'll appreciate the higher market price or easier selling process in the end.
3. Conduct a simple walkthrough beforehand
RIS Media suggests that realtors conduct a short walkthrough with their clients as another great way to prepare them for the inevitable home inspection process. Come prepared with a checklist of interior and exterior items you want to have a look at with the homeowners. This may involve anything from turning on lights to inspecting their ducts to looking at their gutters.
"Approach the topic of repairs in an easy manner."
During the walkthrough, you can gently point out potential issues they might encounter and other smaller problems they might be able to resolve themselves before the inspection. For example, if you point out a leaky faucet, instead of immediately telling them they have to fix it, wait for them to ask you first. Then, this is your chance to approach the topic of repairs in an easy manner by saying something along the lines of, "I probably would if it were my home."
4. Maintain the peace
Home inspections could get a little tense, especially if the buyers are involved in the process. As the realtor, you are responsible for not only keeping the peace in the moment, but to remind your clients before that the inspector is only doing his or her job. Meanwhile, the buyers may be as equally nervous as your clients because they want to get a good deal on their new home.
Reaffirm to your clients that you realize how important their home is to them, but simultaneously urge them to approach the situation logically and without lots of emotion. If your clients seem to be upset by a comment from a potential buyer or finding from the home inspector, take them aside and remind them why they are selling their home in the first place. Essentially, the main goal with any home inspection process is to ensure that all parties get the best deal during the buying or selling journey.