Whether you are representing the buyer or a seller, everything should start with a quality home inspection.
Get to know Dennis Allen
Before You Buy, Before You Sell, Get It Inspected
Buyers: You know that buying a home shouldn't be an emotional decision, but the fact is that it is. You're going to be paying for this for the next 30 years. It's a bit scary, but it doesn't have to be. You need an unbiased opinion on the condition of the home. I have no stake in the outcome whether it sells or not.
Sellers: If you order a pre-listing inspection, you are being proactive. You know that a buyer is going to bring in an inspector to evaluate your home. Is that when you want to find out not only what's wrong, but that the buyer is going to want you to fix it anyway or give them a credit for it?
I am a former trainer, so I explain things in terms that are easy to understand. I include pictures and diagrams in my report to show the things that I found. My report writing system is simple. When I find a defect, I write:
1) What? : What is it that I'm calling out?
2) What If? : What will happen if I don't do anything about it?
3) What Now? : What you should do to prevent 'What If?'from happening.
What Makes A Good Inspector?
I have a very particular skill set: a critical eye, an understanding of construction and a love of writing. When I walk into a room, the first place I look is up. When I'm sitting in traffic, I look at roofs and siding. I'm always in the mindset whether I'm on an assignment or not.
There are budget inspectors that will be in and out of a house in 30 minutes for $100. While that sounds like a great price and it's minimally invasive into your schedule, the opposite is true. I'm embarassed that I'm even in the same field with those guys. Your time is important, but the extra time you take on the day of your inspection is going to save you a lot more time and money in the long run.