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Mar 30
negative home inspection

How To Help A Client When Their Home Inspection Results Are Negative

As a real estate agent, you know it’s your job to have your client’s best interests in mind. You’re their partner, their primary source of professional knowledge, and their future referral. When a roadblock appears in the buying process, your client is going to rely on you to be their guiding light for the unknown and next-steps—so what do you do when their home inspection results aren’t up to snuff?

Call a Trusted Inspector

Your first step starts before the inspection even begins: make sure you recommend a tried and trusted inspector who you know will thoroughly inspect your client’s home. In this day in age, it’s all too easy to come across an inspection hack (you know, someone who is willing to cut all corners to collect a paycheck without anyone else’s welfare in mind.) Rely on your own professional experience to recommend someone that you would trust to inspect your own home.

Call Up the Specialists at Alpha Environmental

The real trouble starts once a reliable inspector is found. Even though your client’s search for the most pristine 1950’s ranch style home is held with good intentions, chances are older homes won’t come with a clean bill of health. Let’s say that your trusty inspector finds a leak in the roof. Although your client might be swayed to call it a day and get a roofer on the job, it’s time for your expertise to come up to bat. You’ll want to let your client know that yes, although there may be a leak in the roof, they should call in Alpha Environmental Services, Inc. to do a more specialized inspection of the roofing issue. They are experts at their craft, more so than a general home inspector, and they’ll be able to give a legitimized diagnosis of the problem. Utilize your recommendations and the recommendations of your colleagues to lead your client in the right direction. Did the inspector find a hole in the pool pump? Get your best pool guy on the horn and see if he’ll meet with your client to give an official analysis of the root cause.

Provide Three Solid Resources for Each Issue

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to suggest three reliable resources for each individualized issue that may pop up on the report. Giving your client a multitude of options for a professional opinion is one of the most important things you can do for them. Remember, you can’t tell them which referrals to pick, but you can give them choices so they can make an educated selection on their own.

Common Home Inspection Issues You Might Encounter

  • Faulty Roofing
    • Roofing problems are one of the main reasons home inspection results turn out negative. This is primarily because not many people give thought to their roofs throughout homeownership. It isn’t until problems such as leaks, strange noises, and breezes are being sourced from the ceiling, that homeowners pay attention.
    • Oregonians can refer to Roof Life of Oregon for their Roof Inspection and Roof Repair needs. Roof Life also offers a Real Estate Roof Certification that can bring up the value of your home!
  • Electrical Problems
    • Frayed wiring, faulty electrical boxes, and electrical components not being up to code is another reason for failed inspections. Electrical wiring issues are seen as a well-being risk and must be dealt with diligently.
  • Poor Plumbing and Drainage
    • Small visual defects like leaks can usually indicate much bigger problems waiting to happen. Inspectors take extra care in evaluating a home’s sewer system prior to a home sale.
  • Poor General Upkeep
    • General upkeep entails carpet spotting, cracked driveways, poorly maintained ridges, and walls, etc. To avoid this, give your house a once over and fill in the gaps as best you can.
  • Mold & Asbestos
    • Unseen mold and asbestos must be dealt with immediately. Many contracts on homes have specific qualifications that must be met concerning both mold and asbestos. Homeowners with these problems can reliably call on Alpha Environmental for both mold & asbestos needs.

Encourage Continued Research

It’s always wise to suggest that your clients conduct some extracurricular research on their own as well, to broaden their knowledge base, and collect as much information as possible. In the end, you’re the source to the source, and your client will be forever grateful that you’ve shared your resources with them.

Be Prepared to Answer Many Questions

Demonstrating your knowledge can help assure the customer that they are being taken care of. It is crucial to keep in mind that your client will have many questions. Here are a few that most real estate agents must be prepared to answer.

  • What are the necessary fixes after a home inspection?
  • How much will it cost to fix the problem listed on the home inspection report correctly?
  • Is it a repair I can do myself, or do I need to hire a professional?
  • Should the seller even make these repairs, or should the buyer assume them?
  • How can I negotiate repairs after the home inspection?
Matthew Micheletty

About The Author

Matthew has been Alpha's Director of Operations for over four years. He works directly with our clients in effort to provide exceptional customer service as well as managing the day to day of the company. When he's not at the office, you can find him at Red Tail Golf Club or cruising PDX in one of his project cars.