Ask the Expert: How Can A Home Inspection Company Be A Valued Partner In The Real Estate Process?

Q: How can a home inspection company be a valued partner in the real estate process?

A: Home inspections occur in almost 90 percent of transactions nationwide and can play a role in client satisfaction. Performing a high-quality inspection should be the minimum that a home inspection company offers. But what else is there?

Technology
Technology can be effectively used throughout the home inspection process – from scheduling to report delivery and even creating a seller’s repair request list. Providing these scheduling options and tools makes everyone’s job easier and faster.

A Full-Service Solution
Many home inspection companies offer a wide range of inspection packages. Since different homes, different clients and different regions require different types of inspections, choose a home inspection company that offers many additional services to choose from to create the solution that is right for your client.

Coordination
No one wants to spend additional time calling and coordinating various types of inspections from several different service providers on the same inspection. Find a One Call Does It All® Solution where a provider can schedule any type of inspection for you, at the same time as the home inspection.

Time Savings
The typical home inspection can last anywhere from 2.5 – 4 hours. HomeTeam Inspection Service cuts this time nearly in half by utilizing a team of inspectors, which allows for more time slots available each day, and greater availability when you need an inspection.

Professionalism
All companies adhere to varying degrees of professionalism. Home inspection companies that show up in uniform with branded vehicles help make the client feel at ease. Clear and calm communication helps the client to absorb information and make confident decisions.

Choosing a home inspection company that provides the services outlined above results in a positive experience for the client, a true benefit to all!

 

My HomeTeam Now Available In Your Area

Looking to schedule an inspection fast?

Scheduling your HomeTeam inspections just got even easier with My HomeTeam, your own personal inspection dashboard that functions like an app!

You can quickly see our availability and schedule an inspection with minimal typing, view past inspections performed for you by our team, call, text or email us in seconds.

Contact us today for the simple download link. We will send you a personal My HomeTeam link via email or text. It’s that easy. Setup is a snap, and you’ll be up and running immediately.

You can then click on the link to open your My HomeTeam in your phone’s web browser and follow these instructions for you Apple or Android device:

iPhone or iPad: Tap the ‘Share’ button in the Safari browser and then tap ‘Add to Home Screen’

Android Phone or Tablet: Tap the ‘Menu’ button and tap ‘Add to Home Screen’

Ask the Expert: What Can Sellers Do To Prepare For The Home Inspection?

Q: What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection?

A: Completing these quick and easy tasks before beginning the selling process will help reduce stress and save your clients valuable time during the home-selling process.

Clean the House
An important part of selling a home is keeping it clean in anticipation of a showing. Cleaning the home will convey that it’s been well cared for and that the house is less susceptible to any issues caused by neglect.

Check All Windows
Have your client take a quick inventory of the windows to make sure they’re in good working order. Replace windows that are cracked or broken before the inspection to save time during the selling process.

Finish the Honey-Do List
Some areas of the home, although not typically thought of as areas that would affect a home’s appeal, may be displayed as safety concerns on a home inspection report. Your client can help themselves by replacing burnt-out lightbulbs, testing smoke detectors, replacing air filters and unclogging drains. These little things are easy to forget in day-to-day life, but taking care of them is a relatively easy task that will help potential buyers focus on the important systems of the home.

Check All Outlets
A sampling of electrical outlets will be tested as part of the home inspection to make sure they’re in good working order. Encourage your clients to take note of which outlets are not functioning in the home and replace them. Or, they may want to consider hiring an electrician to make sure both outlets and the electrical box are updated and in proper working condition.

Clear Areas for Easy Access
Home inspectors will be looking at the major parts of the home, including the foundation, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and even the water heater. Making sure home inspectors can easily access these areas, including the basement and attic, will save time during the inspection process.

Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection
Hiring experienced and professional home inspectors can save a lot of headaches during the selling process. They will thoroughly go through the home and notify clients of any potential issues ahead of listing the property.

Buddy Stark, Director of Operations for HomeTeam Inspection Service,  Real Estate Magazine

Ask the Expert: How Can I Guide Clients Through the Home Inspection Process?

Q: What can be done to guide clients through the home inspection process?

A: After being in business for 25 years and performing over a million inspections, HomeTeam Inspection Service has identified the top ways to ensure a smoother home inspection, contributing to happier clients and a better outcome.

Make It Convenient
The home inspection process—from scheduling to report delivery—should be convenient for everyone involved. Online scheduling, text messaging and electronic delivery of reports make convenience possible when it comes to the home inspection. If a home inspection company isn’t providing this, clients are missing out on the best possible experience.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting
Ten years ago, it was commonplace to wait five days or more for a home inspection, but today, consumers want it now. Plus, consumers are busier than ever today. They not only want a home inspection that can be performed soon, but also one that can be performed in half the time of the traditional three- to -four-hour inspection. That’s a large part of what makes HomeTeam successful. Our team approach allows for a faster inspection and more appointment slots each day.

Give Them Options
Clients only want to pay for services they need. While most home inspection companies offer a wide range of services, client needs vary, and the leading home inspection companies allow clients to schedule individual services like pest, mold and radon.

Ensure It’s Educational
A home inspector will not give a pass/fail grade on a home, but will give an objective assessment on the condition of the home during the inspection. Educating the client on their new home and how to maintain it is a sign of a professional inspector. Communicating information in a non-alarming manner is critical to helping clients absorb information and make prudent decisions. An inspector that’s accessible to answer questions onsite and after the inspection instills peace of mind in clients and makes them more confident in their purchase decision.

Deliver Accurate Reporting
In addition to a verbal report that the client receives onsite, the most professional inspection companies will furnish a narrative, electronic report that’s emailed to the client and agent. A narrative-style report is more detailed than a checklist-style report, putting forth a clearer picture of the home with less room for interpretation. Including photos and a summary helps the client easily identify any safety concerns or areas that warrant attention.

Adam Long, President of HomeTeam Inspection Service, Real Estate Magazine’s, Ask The Experts

Home Inspections a Crucial Piece of the Real Estate Puzzle

“Whether you’re buying something that’s 100 years old or brand new—whether it’s 5,000 square feet or 500—you should inspect. It’s money well spent and it’s about being a smart buyer or seller,” says Larry Wallenstein, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Consultants Realty 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wallenstein knows the true value and importance of a home inspection and the effects it can have on his transactions. For the past 17 years, he’s used HomeTeam Inspection Service for all his inspection needs.

“It’s about reality,” he says, noting the significance of always attending inspections. “The inspectors point things out that you can feel and touch…I think that’s very important. If you read something on paper, you don’t always understand it. If an inspector walks you up to something and says, ‘Look at this,’ that makes a huge difference.”

Unique to most inspection companies, HomeTeam sends a team of inspectors on site, helping to keep inspections and transactions efficient. In fact, HomeTeam of Southeast Florida will send as many as five HomeTeam inspectors. They make sure the job is thorough and the property is well assessed.

“I’ve never been a believer that somebody can be a jack of all trades. When you use a company like HomeTeam, you get people who are trained in specialties, so you’re going to get a better quality of results,” says Wallenstein.

HomeTeam delivers a robust variety of tech tools to support everyone involved, from online scheduling to text and email reminders about inspection dates. Electronic reports are also delivered, chock full of photographs reminding buyers about what they saw in-person at the inspection. Working with HomeTeam has proven to be invaluable for Wallenstein and his customers, which is why he’s stuck with the company for so many years.

The local HomeTeam that Wallenstein works with is owned by Colin Conroy. Every time a new category arises in the inspection process (such as when mold and defective drywall became issues), Conroy would personally call Wallenstein to fill him in on the new details.

“When I started in the business I knew nothing. I remember sitting on the floor of an empty house listening to Colin say, ‘This is really important because…’ and ‘This is how we’re going to look at it and how we’re going to explain it to the customer,’ so I respect him tremendously,” says Wallenstein.

Home inspections can save buyers and sellers a lot of time and many headaches along the way. Wallenstein even stresses the value of pre-listing inspections, so sellers can deal with problems head-on rather than having to budge on the price down the road. But whether he’s representing a buyer or a seller, home inspections remain a very important piece of the puzzle, and HomeTeam Inspection Service is always there.

“They’re always responsive,” concludes Wallenstein. “Working with HomeTeam is about knowledge, it’s about efficiency, and it’s about being accessible for the customer and willing to help them understand.”

By Nick Caruso, Real Estate Magazine 

Ask the Expert: How Can Homeowners Ensure Preparedness For Fall?

Q: What can homeowners do to ensure their home is well prepared and more energy-efficient throughout the coming months?

A: Fall officially begins this month and HomeTeam Inspection Service—the only national home inspection company to utilize a team of inspectors onsite—offers the following home maintenance tips.

Roof
Inspect the roof covering and flashing from the ground for indicators of wear, like missing, loose or cracked shingles or tiles. Water can seep into these areas and cause damage if left unattended. Contact a professional roofer for repair or a replacement evaluation if water intrusion is occurring or suspected.

Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are critical in protecting your home from water damage. Fall is one of the most important times to check your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re not rusted, rotted, disconnected or full of debris.

Fireplace
Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney, fireplace and vents at least once per year, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. A do-it-yourself inspection for creosote buildup can be performed by wearing goggles and a basic disposable dust mask. Take a flashlight and your fireplace poker and scratch the black surface above the damper (smoke chamber). If the groove you scratch is paper thin, no cleaning is needed. If it’s 1/8 inch thick, schedule a cleaning. If you have 1/4 inch of creosote, don’t use the fireplace until it’s cleaned—a chimney fire could occur at any time.

HVAC
Get your furnace cleaned and serviced by a professional before the heating season begins. Also, clean or replace your furnace filters as recommended throughout the year. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.

Ensure that all supply and return vents aren’t blocked or closed, as this causes the return duct to pull in cold air from cracks in windows and doors. In addition, the warm air that’s still trying to push up through closed vents will either start to leak out ducts that aren’t sealed properly, or be forced back down into your basement or floor cavities.

Trees and Bushes
Trimming trees and bushes provides many advantages to your home’s exterior. Trim so that all leaves and limbs are at least three feet away from your house. This prevents them from hitting the sides of your house when it’s windy, decreasing the amount of leaves and debris that will end up in your gutters.

Windows and Doors
Cracks in the seals around windows and doors allow heated or cooled air to escape, which can cost you money. Caulking and weatherstripping can wear over time, so check the seals around your windows and doors. One of the easiest ways to diagnose this issue is to close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. If the flame flickers at any spot, you likely have an air leak. Replace or add caulk or weatherstripping where needed.

Buddy Stark, Director of Operations for HomeTeam Inspection Service,  Real Estate Magazine

Stand Out With a Smoother Home Inspection

Bill Gabbard of the Bill Gabbard Group with Keller Williams Realty Associate Partners has been in the real estate game for over 20 years. During that time, Gabbard has guided hundreds of families through the home-buying process, and he knows that a home inspection is imperative when supporting clients with the largest financial purchase of their lives. To meet the home inspection needs of himself, his clients, and his team, Gabbard turns to HomeTeam Inspection Service.

“I need somebody that does a clean, accurate inspection,” explains Gabbard, who has worked with HomeTeam for the past six years. “Someone who stands behind what they say.” For Gabbard, that someone is his local HomeTeam owner Jon Helton. Continue reading “Stand Out With a Smoother Home Inspection”

Flexibility Key for Home Inspections

Kevin Patterson of the Patterson Group in Colorado Springs, Colo., is no stranger to the inner workings of successful real estate transactions. He’s been in the industry for 20-plus years, and when it comes to a winning home inspection company, Patterson looks for four components: responsiveness, knowledge, integrity and flexibility.

In fact, flexibility is what brought Patterson to work exclusively with HomeTeam Inspection Service. Several years ago, Patterson was working with a few different home inspection service providers, and found himself in need of a last-minute inspection. When he began calling the various providers in his area, he was met with unacceptable wait times. Continue reading “Flexibility Key for Home Inspections”

Home Inspections a Valuable Component in Competitive Market

For more than 20 years, Mike Hanneman and HomeTeam Inspection Service of Anchorage have brought a winning formula to home inspections in the Anchorage, Alaska area, relying on a team concept to ensure the most accurate and complete home inspection.

Thanks to this team approach, different inspectors are called upon depending on their specific area of expertise. The final result? A comprehensive whole house inspection, usually done in half the time it takes competitors.

Continue reading “Home Inspections a Valuable Component in Competitive Market”