A Home Inspection is Worth a $1,000

A thousand dollars is a lot of money. You could also say that a thousand dollars is the NEW one-hundred dollars from the nineteen sixties, and the NEW twenty dollars from the Great Depression era.

Remember when breaking a hundred dollar bill was the last thing you wanted to do because in-no-time-at-all the entire one hundred dollars would be gone. But those were the days when you only needed a twenty dollar bill to fill your gas tank or to buy someone lunch, and the days when a service call for a repairman was less than a hundred.

And remember when typical single family homes were less than $100,000. Today we think in terms of quarters-of-a- million. In the relatively near future, barring any natural or man-made disaster, we can expect to preface every single family home price with, “One-point-. . .”

Expectations. Everybody in real estate knows what the REAL expectations are, and real estate agents can expect that their clients will be predisposed to avoiding this reality. People selling a home in one place and buying a home in another often like to live in the future when selling and in the 1960’s when buying. There is nothing NEW about that.

It is an emotional thing, a people thing, part of what makes a real estate agent’s job hard, and I would have far more sympathy for them if they would just stop trying to quote the price for a home inspection!

What makes the expectations game complicated is the barrage of misleading information home buyers and sellers easily find themselves believing; information they find, you guessed it, on the internet. Computer calculated estimates at real estate websites have potential home buyers believing they can buy a beach-front condo for the price of a Kansas farm house because they think they can sell their Kansas farm house for the price of a beach-front condo.

Booby-trapped by Xtimates and “Free” home values via Google searches, real estate agents routinely walk through mine-fields of hyped emotions trying to come to terms with their clients.

It is an emotional thing, a people thing, part of what makes a real estate agent’s job hard, and I would have far more sympathy for them if they would just stop trying to quote the price for a home inspection!

I, like any other business professional, and like any real estate agent, want my clients to trust me. I go to great lengths to create an atmosphere of trust around my brand, my reputation, and with my demeanor; my home inspection bedside manner. But when the first impression clients have of me is that I am ripping them off because some Realtor gave them a low-ball quote for my services, then trust is not a founding principle of our relationship.

Why do real estate agents, after going to all the trouble to bring their clients down from the ceiling about home prices, set their clients up again for another disappointment about the cost of a home inspection?

Value. People understand, generally, that they can’t buy a beach front condo for the price of a Kansas farm house, until and unless someone or something with an appearance of credibility, like a real estate website, convinces them otherwise. And people understand, generally again, that more often than not “you get what you pay for”.

So I have a suggestion. If you are a real estate agent, the next time you are explaining to your home buyers the importance of a home inspection, tell them a home inspection is worth $1000, because it is, and you know that it is because you can testify to all the transactions that you have renegotiated in the favor of your buyers in excess of $1000 based on a home inspection report.

Let’s set expectations that leave our clients feeling that they will receive value from their home inspection rather than just feeling like they have to pay another unnecessarily high fee while buying a home.

We won’t tell your clients what we think the home is worth, so please, leave the quotes for home inspections to us.

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