First Impressions

As I roll up the driveway to the next inspection, I start analyzing the home the moment it’s in view. I ask myself questions like, “what kind of mold is in that attic? “Or “I know this road has arsenic, I wonder how high it will be here?”

These are just a few examples of my inner monologue before a home inspection. I share this with you not because I want to admit to hoping for deal breaking discovery, but because it is imperative that you start taking this journey with me.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that everyone involved in a real estate transaction is as disappointed, if not more so, than I am when a deal falls through from a “surprise” discovery during the home inspection. The fact is that because the home inspection and testing typically take place just before closing the transaction express can easily be derailed. When this happens it’s difficult not to feel responsible. After all, you heard my thoughts. I knew before I even shut the truck off that the mold was in the attic (at least that it is was very likely). I know these things because I know what to look for. The same was true for the arsenic in the water. Whether we like it or not, sometimes these issues exist. The real question is; how do we turn a negative into a positive?

I’ve gone around and around with this and I keep coming back to pre-listing inspections. I’ll spare you the in scientific method and touch on a few bullet points of this strategy.

The constants in a professional real-estate transaction are a buyer, a seller, an agent(s), an inspector(s), money and time. Only one of these constants allows for manipulation to our benefit, time. This is especially true when considering FHA, or VA financing requirements. Basic testing can take these transactions from smooth sailing to a tidal wave of negotiation.

When I was a kid, one of my mom’s go-to phrases was “it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” Applying this to the testing and inspection process allows us to manipulate time to our advantage. Pre-listing inspections give the information necessary for negotiation, pricing, financing, and marketing, conveniently alleviating the high blood pressure caused by the “uh-oh” the day your contingency is up.

On a marketing platform, a pre-inspected home brings more to the table. While this strategy may not be right for every home, in most cases it presents confidence to a buyer on day one. If you’re reading this you know that buying a home is a serious investment, one that should be made with confidence. It’s easy for a buyer to feel spellbound when they see their reflection in a gleaming glass shower surround, but not so much when they ponder that rotten egg odor after turning the water on. Eliminating the surprises builds confidence.

Finally, we arrive at negotiating. I know nothing about this, I’m the home inspector. However, I do know that negotiating requires confidence and time, two things we bought you (big smile).

We prepare for a road trip, an evening out, a surgery, our kids school lunch. The care we take in that preparation is designed to create efficiency, time, confidence, and oh yes, peace of mind. Pre-listing inspections can do the same for your next real estate transaction.

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