Summer has always been notoriously busy for real estate. Families with little ones are eager to move while school is out – and eager to get into their new school districts before the fall semester begins. This drives many prospective home buyers to start their house hunt in the late spring and early summer. Consequently, the home inspection business also begins to heat up as the temperatures rise.
If you’re eager to put your home inspection training to work this summer, use these tips to help clients make the most of their home buying experience:
Make Nice with Agents
No matter how big your town might be, it’s important to create and maintain cordial relationships with other industry insiders. As fellow real estate professionals, both buyer’s and seller’s agents will be in the metaphorical trenches with you all summer. While there’s no need to become best friends with these folks, it can help to forge friendly relationships with realtors as you work this summer. Remember names, make small talk, and always deliver on promises to arrive on schedule.
Befriending agents can make your work day a little more pleasant, but it can also mean big things for your business. Agents recommend housing inspectors regularly – keeping your name on the tip of their tongue is an excellent way to drive business. When people begin learning how to become a home inspector, they fail to realize just how much networking goes into the job. Like with any kind of business, home inspection success is driven by referrals, reputation, and word-of-mouth. Be mindful of common realtor pet peeves and you’ll see your professional relationships flourish.
Look for Signs of Seasonal Stress
Home buyers and inspectors alike should consider all four seasons when looking at houses in the summer. While seasonal amenities like pools and hot tubs might grab your attention initially, it’s important not to overlook aspects of the home that could cause problems later in the year. A chimney, for example, might collect dust over the summer. Buyers may not even consider the condition of the fireplace until it comes time to light their first fire of the winter season. Only then will serious problems associated with the chimney come to light.
Rather than focus solely on the challenges facing home buyers in the summer, quality home inspectors know to investigate a property with all four seasons in mind. Consider gutter health for fall, when leaves are sure to fall and clog up poorly maintained gutters. Heavy winter snow can cause headaches if the roof is in poor condition, while spring can drive critters out of the woodwork and into the living spaces of clients. Refer back to your home inspection to refresh your memory before you declare any seasonal system in good condition.
Know the Market
If you’re hoping to provide the kind of insider information that keeps clients returning to you again and again, it’s important to know the market in which you’re working. While the ins and outs of a competitive real estate market can be complicated, home inspectors will benefit from having a clear understanding of the overall context of the houses their inspecting. When considering how to become a home inspector, few people factor the real estate market into their plans. This is a mistake – without knowledge of the market, it’s difficult to give clients an accurate understanding of their property.
While you’ll never make recommendations on which house a client should or shouldn’t buy, your knowledge of the market can come in handy when explaining a property’s overall age and health. In some cases, the history of the way homes were built in your area can come in handy when explaining especially quirky properties. This kind of information can take years to accrue, but listening to your fellow home inspectors and sharing your knowledge with clients is the key to a successful summer home buying season.
Dispel the Myth of the Accepted Offer
Home buyers frequently celebrate their offer being accepted by the seller, and for good reason: nailing down the financing of the home is indeed something worthy of celebration. Still, home buyers aren’t out of the woods quite yet – an inspection can often reveal that their dream home isn’t actually worth what they intend to pay. Home inspectors see this happen all too often, which is why it helps to educate buyers on the myth of the accepted offer.
Far from the final stage of buying a home, an accepted offer is truly the beginning of a lengthy due diligence period in which subject-area experts like home inspectors begin investigating the value of a property. Appraisers, inspectors and other experts will roll up their sleeves to find anything that might cause stress for the homeowner down the line. While home inspection training might focus primarily on the physical systems and conditions of a home, quality training will also prepare you to have such conversations with the home buyer, too.
Educate Yourself Today
ICA offers everything you need to begin your career as a home inspector. Whether you’re hoping to take advantage of the busy summer season or prepare in advance for next year, our home inspection training courses are affordable and can be completed from the comfort of your living room. Learn more about our offerings and sign up for classes today!