Could One Startup Home Inspection Service in Seattle Change the Industry?

Home inspection On-demand inspection report access could help every prospective buyer compete.

A Seattle-based home inspection startup wants to trim down the out-of-pocket expenses that home buyers usually face. It’s not an easy task. In an active real estate market, expenses leading up to a home purchase can really mount up. But this company’s novel approach is starting to catch on, at least in the Pacific Northwest.

What do they do that other home inspectors don’t? It’s pretty simple, and it’s especially useful in markets where competition is fierce. It can save time. And in the long run, it could save buyers money, as well.

What Makes Competitive Real Estate Markets Different

In highly active areas, such as Seattle, there are many more buyers than there are attractive properties on the market. KIRO radio reporter, Sara Lerner, writes at My Northwest that Seattle is “driven by true demand and limited supply.”

Competition for good housing can be brutal. Inventory is low, so when a great house hits the market it’s like a beacon drawing in buyers. But how can a buyer know if a home is truly great or just looks the part? That’s where a home inspection comes in.

No one wants to buy a money pit, especially when prices are high. But inspections take time, and time is something most Seattle buyers don’t have. They can also be expensive. And those factors create a conundrum.

Homevibe Has a Brand New Idea

Home inspections are optional in Seattle unless a lender requires it, but they’re always the smart approach. So what if every interested buyer could benefit from the same inspection? That’s what the Homevibe company proposes.

If a buyer views several properties, as usually happens, he or she might spend a tidy sum on inspections, one after the other, before finding the right house. But KOMO News says this new concept takes on inspections in a different way. The buyer pays less, and the seller still pays nothing.

Here’s how it works. The Homevibe company engages an inspector to perform a home inspection. Sellers can opt to refuse the service, but many of them go with it. The inspection report is then made available online for a modest fee (significantly less than a standard home inspection) to every prospective buyer who wants it.

Home inspection Online inspection report access lets buyers shop for a new home at their convenience.

Why These Pre-Inspections Work

A fierce real estate market is an exercise in expensive frustration. In a perfect world, buyers would know exactly what they’re financing for the next 20 or 30 years. But in reality, time is so critical that it’s tempting to skip the inspection altogether for fear of losing out to another buyer. Of course, that’s a bad idea.

Making the winning bid can seem mission-critical over knowing whether or not the water heater is broken. But once the flurry of pre-sale activity is over and the buyer is ready to move in, a hot shower becomes much more important.

Shared access to an existing inspection report levels the playing field for buyers and helps make a seller’s home even more marketable. Prospective buyers can find the important information in minutes instead of days or even weeks, and at a lower cost. And the seller has proof positive up front about the home’s condition without footing the bill for a pre-listing home inspection. Win / Win.

The shared access concept won’t replace the traditional inspection process, but it drives more business to inspectors. And some inspectors might consider offering the same service without the middleman.

There’s a time investment on your part. But the lower cost to prospective buyers means more of them might opt in. In a competitive market where too many buyers choose speed over making an informed bid, this could be the perfect solution for everyone, including you.

If you haven’t yet committed to a new career in home inspecting, now is a perfect time. Enroll today in ICA School’s online training and certification program and study at your own pace.

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