The Home Inspector and the Real Estate Client - Communication

Brad Tholen - Monday, November 11, 2013

Every real estate professional who has ever scheduled a home inspection for one of their clients understands that the home inspector can be a blessing to their client or can have the impact of a land mine.

The home inspector's communication skills are as important as their inspecting skills. The inspecting part of the home inspection is only one element in the equation.  How the inspector articulates their findings, and not necessarily just what they find, has a tremendous impact on the client and thereby the entire transaction.

The reason so many franchise home inspection companies are popping up all over the market is that, given the tools, almost anyone can learn to inspect real property even with limited knowledge. For the most part the process of inspecting is formulaic – follow a system or checklist, apply diligence, patience and (hopefully) some experience (where the knowledge come in) then compile the findings in a readable format.

The first part of the art of the inspection process is placing the appropriate emphasis on the findings and drawing the proper conclusions based on the observations made in the inspection. Whether it’s highlighting issues of genuine concern or even de-emphasizing issues which are less important, the real art of the inspection is, knowing the difference between the two and communicating that accordingly to the client.

Communicating with the client is the next vital skill-set. How the inspector presents his findings to the client has huge implications. Even the smallest findings in a home inspection report appears frightening when put into text therefore the follow-up conversation (live or on the phone) between the inspector and the client can help clarify the difference between the structural and the trivial but with the wrong words or tone, even the trivial can become structural in the mind of the client when speaking with an inspector with an agenda.

Before making your next referral, take this challenge - speak with the inspector on the phone to get a feel for how you think they communicate their message to you; visit the inspector's web site - what does it tell you about them and their organizational or presentation skills? If they do not communicate their message clearly will they communicate clearly with your client?

Something to think about.

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