Agent

3 steps to guiding clients through home inspections and repairs

Negotiating is all about give and take

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Takeaways:

  • It is important to have a general discussion with your sellers about the customary practice for home inspections in your market.
  • Buyers who attend inspections with contractors or home inspectors can ask questions and be involved in the process.
  • Negotiating is all about a give and take so that each party feels like the deal they have worked out is fair.   

Home inspections and repairs can be a tedious part of the sales process. It can feel like having to break the news to a seller that their child is flawed. Or it might be a part of the buying process that brings the buyer off their new-home high.

How can agents help their clients maneuver successfully through this step in the sales process in order to make it successfully to the closing table?

1. Set expectations

As agents, we are not contractors or inspectors, but it is important to have a general discussion with your sellers about the customary practice for home inspections in your market.

Sellers need to know what to expect from a buyer. Things like what inspections buyers might conduct or what a lender-required repair is will help your seller be more knowledgeable about the process.

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When working with buyers, discussing what inspections they might want to conduct can depend on many factors, from their needs to the age or location of the home they want to buy.

Talking with your buyers about what items are typically considered maintenance items vs. cosmetic repair can also be helpful. Sometimes buyers need to be reminded that though the mauve-colored living room might damage their psyche, it’s not actual damage to the house.

2. Be present

Buyers who attend inspections with contractors or home inspectors can ask questions and be involved in the process.

Asking questions allows them to learn about the home they are buying. It also gives them the opportunity to address questions directly with the source, which might eliminate panic over minor issues down the road.

Because sellers often live in the homes they are selling, they don’t often see the minor issues that are evident to a third-party eye. Encourage sellers to contact the inspector or contractor to review reports and ask questions.

It will help sellers gain an understanding of why specific items might be an issue, or they might be able to gain some perspective on how to rectify a problem that was mentioned.

3. Compromise

Compromise for some is like trying to swallow that last bite of food when you have eaten too much. No side really enjoys compromise, but neither can have everything they want.

A buyer might need to come up in price slightly to offset a new roof that is needed on the home they are buying. A seller might opt to give the buyer a credit at closing in lieu of some repairs that a property needs.

It’s all about a give and take so that each party feels like the deal they have worked out is fair.

Part of the home-selling process is a trade-off. All parties need to be willing and open to working together to see a property through to closing.

Kellie Tinnin is a real estate agent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Follow Kellie on Twitter @KellieTinnin.

Email Kellie Tinnin.