Written by: Mark & Anita Kissee, Owners of Kissee Inspection Services & Members of CCAR's Affiliate Committee
Like most industries, people are required to be licensed in the state of Texas to complete home inspections. However, like real estate…all states are not the same!
-Did you know? Texas is one of top in the nation upholding the most stringent home inspection requirements. TREC requires a license, continued education, standardized report form, and E&O insurance. Several other states allow “Jo Smo” to inspect homes without any formal training!
-Did you know? Texas recently lowered the required Standards of Practice (SOPs) from 450 class and field hours to 190 hours, which is not best for homebuyers overall. However, Texas still leads as one of the most stringent states protecting buyers and REALTORS® in the home buying process.
-Did you know? Home Inspectors are “generalists”. This means they are not experts or a professional in any given area ie. HVAC, Electrical, etc. Home Inspectors simply give an “overview” of how the structural and mechanical areas perform.
-Did you know? Inspectors are not required to inspect security systems, outdoor cooking areas, refrigerators, wine coolers, or areas that are properly accessible or dangerous. Nor do Home Inspectors give life expectancy on items, i.e. water heater, roof, HVAC system.
A home is the most important and expensive assets people purchase in life.
As a doctor performing surgery, one seeks to hire a qualified professional.
Why would it be different for your clients home?
Working With Real Estate Agents
As a Home Inspector, one of the best relationships you will form is with a REALTOR® or realty group. We are team and business partners to help clients into their homes not a commonly called “deal breaker”. When clients hire us, we report deficiencies to help the home buyer and REALTOR® make an educated decision. With the correct perspective, REALTORS® can use this valuable intel for negotiating the contract or use to create a “honey-do” list.
Although clients may ask about the home inspection fee, as in any purchase they should know what they are getting. A thorough, professional inspection performed by a knowledgeable, personable inspector is highly valuable. It’s said in the industry “a thorough inspection isn’t cheap and a cheap inspection isn’t thorough”. A sloppy, haphazard inspection can cost clients and REALTORS® thousands of dollars long-term.
As any profession, not all inspectors and inspection companies are alike.
Thus, building a partnership with an inspector is a valuable asset to one’s business.
Changes In the Industry
It’s no secret that the housing industry has changed drastically the last three years. It will continue to evolve. As the interest rates fluctuate, sales may be like a cardiogram - up and down, moved by emotions of fear, restraint and insecurity.
That doesn’t mean we as Home Inspectors or REALTORS® sit it out. We pivot. Texas is a strong contender for relocations with much to offer!
The way we maintain and excel in business is:
- Have a winner’s attitude! People still need homes and inspections. We sharpen our skills, market smartly and provide stellar service.
- Create a battle plan. What sets us apart (Unique Selling Points)? Who’s my audience? Where do they go? How can I solve their problem? What skills and services do I need to achieve this?
- Plan for the unexpected. Perform market research. Be knowledgeable and have a strategy in place to pivot ahead of time.
- Align and partner with others with same goals. This is your team! You don’t need to know “how” to do it, but WHO to go ask.
Client & Agent Success
In order to provide the best inspection experience, there are a few ways an agent can set their client up for success:
- Listen to the client's wants and needs. Don’t take them to homes their needs don’t fit.
- Introduce them to your “team of professionals” and allow them to market themselves, quotes prices, etc. Don’t make the decision or create an opinion for your clients.
- Set certain expectations with Client. With home inspections, let you client know a Home Inspector is a licensed professional who will help them make an informed purchase. Although, they are not superman with x-ray vision, their expertise is highly valuable and huge asset.
- Upon the inspection process, be there with your client as able. Allow the trusted inspector to explain the findings while you confidently stand back.
- If there is a question about report or presentation, talk with the inspector. They are your team!
A PROFESSIONAL inspector is not a “deal breaker” but someone who helps protect the client, REALTOR®, and broker from potential expenses.
A true home inspector is a PARTNER and an extension of all hard-working REALTORS® to help them succeed!