Do I really need a home inspection in this hot real estate market?

Like many other parts of the country, Montana real estate is flying off the shelves. As inspectors we chat with our local real estate professionals on a daily basis. Lately we hear mostly about how crazy this market is and how buyers are competing with other offers for every single home no matter the condition of the place.  And then there is the one single thing that they tell us that we, as home inspectors, HATE TO HEAR… in many cases buyers are foregoring the home inspection in an effort to enhance their offer to sellers. That’s right, in some cases the buyer has decided to move forward with their purchase of the home without having a home inspection performed in order to find out about the condition of the home. Yikes! That is not a good idea!  

So why are some home buyers choosing to forgo a home inspection?

Well I don’t know about what is happening in other parts of the country but up here in Flathead Valley, the Northwest region of Montana, here are some of the reasons we are hearing about this unorthodox plan for a home purchase.

Scenario 1:

The most common reason is that buyers are trying to find every advantage they can in order to compete with other offers. Some buyers reason that it serves no purpose because in order to compete with other offers coming in they cannot afford to make demands in the form of concessions [either asking for items to be remedied or in the form of monetary reductions in the sale price].

Scenario 2:

Another reason they are choosing to skip the inspection has more to do with timeline. Again due to the highly competitive nature of this “hot” real estate market, it is common for realtors to set expectations for a very short transaction timeline. This serves to help to “sweeten the deal” when a realtor comes in with an offer that includes a rapid closing timeline. And when that is the case, there may not be enough time included to reasonably get a home inspection scheduled and completed by that date. 

Whatever the reason, it’s not wise to skip a home inspection. Even if the buyer has no opportunity to use any deficiencies that were identified in the inspection as a way to negotiate credits or ask for them to be fixed as is common right now, the inspection can provide a great deal of insight about the condition of the home. 

In some cases an inspection may reveal some very unattractive deficiencies and thus a buyer may decide to walk away from the purchase because they know a seller will just move on to the next offer so that they don’t have to give away any credits or fix anything. So if you think about it in terms of “risk analysis”, the home inspection is a tool to help you to identify any humongous risks that you may be getting into by purchasing a home which may have some very major and costly expenses coming down the road. Wouldn’t you want to know for example if the home has some very major defects in the foundation or possibly the wall structure?

Another great reason to still plan on inspecting any possible home purchases even if the seller won’t negotiate any concessions is to find out more about the general condition of the home and to identify any items that you will either want to fix or that you may need to fix once you own the home. It can be something small like installing GFCI outlets in the bathrooms if they are not there. Or maybe the report identified some issues like missing anchor bolts on a deck ledger board. This is the board that attaches to the house where the deck is supported. Now would you want to stand on a suspended deck knowing that it is not properly constructed and supported? 

There is so much to learn about each and every home and that is what home inspectors do. Aside from inspecting the exterior and interior of the home, they walk the roofs, look in attics, and they crawl through the area under the home called the crawlspace. And any home inspector will tell you that “no home is perfect”. Every property has it’s kinks. So its good to find out what is going on in the home you are about to buy. That way you can make an informed decision and feel good about this major investment.

How our reports help you… the real estate agent!

If you’ve been a real estate agent for a long time now, it’s likely that you have seen your share of the lengthy “old school” pdf style home inspection reports [perhaps 65 or 75 pages {ouch!}]. And it’s typically your job to wade through that document and extract the items and deficiencies that you need to use to prepare your document in order to negotiate any concessions and ultimately move the transaction forward.  Goodness… that must take a very long time!

Well thankfully those days are over. 🙂

If you are not familiar with our reports, I want to share with you some of the benefits of our reports for you – the agent.  Or, even if you are familiar with our reports there may be features that you are not aware of and not utilizing. So I want to make sure that we are helping you to take full advantage of the features that can really help you to save time in your efforts to close your transaction – and that is a win-win for everyone! 

Okay so here is what you need to know in order to really utilize these features and in the end it will SAVE YOU LOTS OF TIME AND EFFORT!

I have two words for you to remember: “REPORT TOOLS” You have two different ways you can use the agent tools. First let’s help you to find those. 

When viewing a report in the upper right hand corner look for this:

When you click on that option “report Tools – you will see two options that look like this:

These options will allow you to do either of the following:

  1. Copy and paste the text from the recommendations to a document of your own, or an email. 
  2. 2. Use the Repair Request Builder tool to create a document with pictures, comments and you can even add a dollar amount to each item

Option #1 is fairly straightforward and once you select the Copy-paste option the dialog box appears with the text.

For the other option to use the Repair Request Builder, here is a video that demonstrates how to use that tool.

And that’s it!  There are 2 great tools that you can use as the real estate agent to save time and get the information you need.

How Spectora Home Inspection Reports Help Realtor Estate Agents

As a home inspector I use many tools in my daily work life.  Most of those tools I carry with me on my tool belt and they help me as I go through my inspection process on site in a home for a client.  However, there is one tool that I use that is perhaps one of my most important utilities in my daily work… and that is my inspection reporting software.

For my inspection software I wanted to choose a modern tool that I felt was truly easy to navigate for myself of course, but also for my client the home owner, and the agent as well.  For the task of finding this magical software I enlisted the help of my wife, who is a software consultant. That is when we found Spectora, which produces truly modern home inspection reports which help our clients and agents to easily digest some very important information about the condition of a home.

In this post, I wanted to try to educate the agents that I work with so that they can hopefully save time and work more efficiently for their clients’ {and mine}, the home buyer.

Here is a look at how Spectora can help realtors to understand and navigate my home inspection reports!

What each of these points mean to you the Realtor!

A side table of contents allows you to easily jump to any section to quickly see images and get the information you need.

Easy filters allow you to dynamically change the report to only show the major safety items or all defects.

Quick summary shows you how many item were inspected (may not show on your inspection reports as this is an optional feature) so it keeps the defects in perspective to your client.

This also shows how many big ticket items you need to negotiate for.

View the PDF version of the report or download the PDF Summary to attach to your Montana repair/ request document.

Easily copy and paste my inspector “lingo” into your repair -request document with the Deficiencies Text Generator.

Stay top-of-mind with clients and align yourself with an inspector that uses cutting-edge technology and the latest tools. Clients can click directly from the report to email or call you with questions.

I hope this will help you to use my inspection reports to make your work easier!  If you have any questions about navigating your inspection report and bringing the important information into your own agent documents such as the Montana Repair – Request forms, please do give me a ring.. and I’d be happy to personally meet with you to help you to understand how to best leverage this tool for your interactions with the home buyer!

— Barry, your home inspector!