In fast and furious markets, there’s an alarming trend. Buyers may skip the inspection in an effort to save a little time and get the jump on making an offer.
Many believe that a certified home inspector is just one more hurdle between them and the property they want. Because it’s voluntary in most markets, it’s easy to skip ahead and hope for the best. While the hurdle part is partly true, inspections are also there for the buyer’s protection.
If your market is moving in the same direction, here are a few ways to convince home buyers that an inspection is really worth it.
Use Your Blog and Social Media to Educate the Public
In a hot real estate market, one day’s delay can put a house in the hands of another buyer. People who don’t know the value of a home inspection can easily believe it’s an unnecessary step. After all, the seller’s agent might also nudge them to make an offer ASAP. Your blog could stand out as a voice of caution in a fast-paced season where offers fly and houses go under contract in a matter of days.
The pressure of searching for a house in such a pressure cooker environment can weigh heavily on the buyer to make a decision right now. Instead of watching customer’s whiz on by without a clue as to what they’re buying, write informational, well-researched blog posts that plainly lay out the dangers of skipping a home inspection.
Write a Column or Letter to the Editor for Your Local Newspaper
If your local paper takes on guest columnists, now is a good time to become a pro-inspection voice within the community. You’ll also build your brand as a home inspection expert. Whether the paper is digital, print or both, your column could get widespread attention.
A word of caution: beware of pointing a finger at overzealous real estate agents who might contribute to the fast pace of the market. Keep your column focused on facts and risks, but don’t lay blame for risky decisions on the very people who send business your way. Also, don’t forget to share your column on social media, at your blog, and on your website.
Engage Prospective Customers in the Inspection Process
So many steps in the home buying process are out of the buyer’s hands. Banks make lending decisions, appraisers determine the home’s value and real estate agents have conversations that leave out the most important person in the process: the prospective new owner. If you engage your customers and make them feel like a part of the process, you could gain trust and referrals.
Invite customers to attend the inspection. Be ready to answer questions that arise. Try to go the extra mile to offer something that the other components of the sale often don’t, which is a personal touch.
Try to Keep a Flexible Schedule
No matter how much a buyer wants an inspection before committing to 30 years of mortgage payments, time is still an issue in a hot real estate market. If the seller is swarming with bids from buyers who are ready to roll, the customer you want may feel that they have no choice but to move ahead without it. That’s when a super flexible schedule can work in your favor.
Try to accommodate buyers who need an inspection as quickly as you can fit one in. Your schedule might go haywire for a while, but you might also gain new business and new prospects for your efforts.
Hot real estate markets are great for sellers and real estate agents. They’re not always so great for a certified home inspector or home buyer. When supply is low and demand is high, the pressure is on to make a decision now, if not sooner. That leaves you without business and buyers at the mercy of sellers who might not be as scrupulous as they seem. It’s a challenge, but you can help turn the tide.
Educate the public about the risks involved with hasty decisions. And to the extent possible, be a voice of support and help for buyers who might feel they’re the least important cog in the home buying wheel.
Does home inspecting sound like an exciting job? It can be. Not every market is fast and furious, but the ones that boil over need a sound voice of reason that rises above. If you’re ready to get to work, ICA School can help you get there. Enroll now and start helping customers in a few short weeks.