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Reputation as a deal killer

Can You Avoid Being Known as a Deal Killer?

As a great home inspector, you know all the ins and outs of a house. You have plenty of experience in knowing what to look for and are able to provide details of an inspection in clarity to first-time home buyers.

Your clients rely on you for an accurate report, so you need to give them the results of all of your findings on the property. You know what you are doing, you are excited to get the information for your client, and you are ready to do your inspection! What could go wrong? 

Sometimes, the information you collect isn’t always what the real estate agent or buyer wants to hear. Because agents are eager to make a sale and buyers are excited to get their dream home, it’s hard for them when you relay serious issues with the home. Oftentimes, home inspectors are blamed for deals falling through or delayed closings. 

So how can you maintain good relationships and at the same time do your job well? How can you hold to a high standard for inspections and stay on the good side of clients? Let’s discuss some tips on how to maintain balance when giving advice. 

Explain Your Role as a Home Inspector

When clients blame a home inspector for their deal falling through, it may be because of a lack of knowledge of the inspector’s role. It’s important that they understand what the inspector is responsible for and not responsible for. 

A home inspector reports on the safety and condition of a property. You do a thorough evaluation of all the components of a home and report your findings on minor and major issues. 

What you are not to do as a home inspector is make recommendations on buying the house or not, or negotiating the price of the home. You provide your findings and that’s it. Whether to close on the deal is up to the realtor and seller and buyer. 

It could be useful to add a page or tab on your website that explains your role. This may help keep your clients from blaming you and your report if a deal falls through. 

Expand Your Network With Real Estate Agents

As a home inspector, it’s important to keep building your business and get referrals for new clients. An important resource is real estate agents. 

As you get to know real estate agents and promote your business, make sure to assure them that you have their best interests at heart. Tell them about your adherence to a code of ethics and also emphasize that you are on the same team of working in the buyer’s interests.

The more real estate agents you get to know, the more good relationships and good reviews you will get, and those might help overshadow the occasional client complaint of calling you a “deal killer”. 

Don’t Make Speculations

When doing your inspection, it’s important to report on all the issues and details you see. But what you don’t want to do is speculate about potential unseen issues. 

For example, during an inspection, you suspect that there may be lead paint in the house. But you are not testing for lead paint. What do you say in your report? You can comment on the way the paint is peeling and that there is the potential for lead paint based on the age of the home. The point is, be careful with your wording. 

Do not base comments on what you have seen to become issues in other homes. You have to report on what you can see in the home you are currently inspecting.

Be Neutral in Your Report Comments 

In your final report, watch the tone of your writing. 

Avoid terms that might scare the clients. Avoid adjectives such as “terrible” or “awful”. Instead of describing some cabinets as “junky”, note that the “doors do not sit flush against the frames”.

Reporting on the details of the inspection and not making comments that appear judgmental will allow your client to make a decision based on the facts presented. 

Also, it’s good to remember that as a home inspector, you do not inspect for code building compliance. This could be a real deal killer. 

Uphold Safety Regulations

If you find aspects of the home that are unsafe, you have an ethical responsibility to report them. It is never okay to gloss over or ignore safety issues to help the home get closed on quickly. Reporting on safety issues safeguards you from liability issues. 

Without being dramatic, comment on safety issues you see, and explain why they may be hazardous. 

Be Positive and Enthusiastic About Homes

Approach each home and inspection with a positive attitude. You want to build trust with your clients and let them see that you are on their side. 

Make sure clients know that you are there to make an accurate report on your findings. You are not there to show judgment, give opinions, or ruin their hopes of a dream home. Most issues found can be fixed, so it’s up to you to inform your clients of them, and let them decide if they want to spend the time and money to do so. 

It is totally possible that you can perform high-quality inspections and maintain a good reputation with clients. Let clients see you, not as a deal killer, but as a trustworthy and awesome home inspector!