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I'm sure this will open up a can...but here goes.

I've been asked to perform several new Realtor training classes at local Real Estate offices. So far the class has included the basics, "What is a HI", "Why does your client need one", "How long, how much" etc.

However the last class I taught they asked about further training of what they could look for in their initial walk through with their buyer. I'm a little concerned with giving the agent any "clues" on what to look for, although many seem to learn the basics from attending so many inspections.

Although apprehensive, I would still like to offer this service to this particular office. They would like photos...powerpoint...blah blah blah.

I have an idea of several things I could cover so new agents feel a little more comfortable with their clients. Basically, it would just be items that they could see on a walk through. Things that are readily visible. FPE, LP Siding, Woodruf Roofing are just a few of the things that come to mind.

I have a couple of question for you all.

1. Is it a good idea to give agents this type of training?

2. Has anyone performed this type of training in the past?

3. What, if any, items would you put on a list that agents could identify with their client?



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Ok, I'll bite.

I haven't done any presentations for Realtors since probably 1996, but if you stick to education and push certification and professionalism, I don't see how you can go wrong.

No doubt you will get TONS of negative opinions, accusations, insinuations, etc.. etc... etc...

But, if what they asked for was education and that is what you give them and that only, more power to you and thanks for promoting "our" industry. You might even see if a couple of your local collegues would assist just to keep the whole thing honest and above board. How about that?

There's my two cents.

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Not to sound negative, but here's why I think it's a bad idea. Home inspection is one of those things where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

There is no way that you could provide any significant background on any substantial topic in the limited time frames being offered. Couple that w/the limited attention span (and interest) of the average realtor, and you end up w/a bunch of bozo's running around talking about stuff they really don't understand. We have enough of that going on already w/underqualified HI's.

I think you could do some basic safety stuff and explain general terminology, and that's about it. Trying to make a bunch of realtorzoids comprehend anything beyond that would take more time than you have, and their undivided attention & interest, which is doubtful.

I'm all about education, but the average realtor in my 'hood is about as interested in our stuff as I am about hemorrhoids.

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I am not nearly as experienced in dealing with RE Agents, so I offer this opinion very cautiously. Perhaps it is more of a question than an answer.

I agree with mgb about some type of educating of agents, but at the same time agree with Kurt regarding the danger of limited knowledge.

I remember discussion regarding educating realtors on "surviving a bad inspection".

It not sure, because I can't think of too many things, but perhaps it might be o.k. to make a realtor aware of quite obvious things.

I think it would serve a better purpose to educate them about what we do, the benefits of a thorough inspection, how protecting a clients interest protects theirs, and as I stated, surviving a bad report.

I think agents that backed up a good inspector, even if the report flagged serious defects, not only would look better in the eyes of a client, but would save the client for another day.

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That's kinda what I was expecting and envisioning anyway.

I agree with Kurt that you can't get very technical. And, Steven beat me to a clearification of my suggestion and intent.

The only real education that a Realtor needs is:

Why a home inspection is so valuable and important for all involved.

Why an educated, certified and experienced home inspector is the only ticket and worth the fee.

And a basic description of what we do and do not do with an emphasis on protocol and ethics.

End of HI 101

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I have been around Realtors for awhile and think a class about the process would be fun and easy to do. Definitely leave out things like FPE, LP siding etc.. Maybe use a more oblique issue like how to date thermal pane windows, bathroom stools, meaning of some terms we all know (but don't use), why a P trap and what an S trap is----------- make it fun and informative and not a 2hrs class to become an inspector. Sounds like you have the enthusiasm!

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What was said to the realtors at the presentation:"you can distinguish the P trap and the S trap from the drum trap by paying attention to the following details"... "you can date bathroom stools by lifting the lid"... "thermal pane windows came into existence around"... "By having a qualified home inspector you can limit your liability"

What realtors hear: "blah blah blah blah blibbety blah, the home inspector is totally liable."

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I'd give 'em a class on something really basic that they can use but isn't above their head, like a class on the basics of how a water heater should be installed, so they can be sure to have their seller clients fix the danged things before we get there. ie: Proper seismic bracing, properly configured T & P discharge, wired or vented correctly. Tell 'em how long to expect a water heater to last in your area and print out a bunch of the serial number decoder here in TIJ on card stock and hand them out to everyone in the class.



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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

What was said to the realtors at the presentation:"you can distinguish the P trap and the S trap from the drum trap by paying attention to the following details"... "you can date bathroom stools by lifting the lid"... "thermal pane windows came into existence around"... "By having a qualified home inspector you can limit your liability"

What realtors hear: "blah blah blah blah blibbety blah, the home inspector is totally liable."

Yeah. That's kinda my point. The reason folks go into real estate is because they don't want to think (or work) real hard and they want to lay responsibility for just about everything anywhere other than themselves.

Educating them on the stuff we do is sorta oxymoronic.

I think Mike's water heater thing is way over their heads. Heck, I've gone over to Le Depot de Maison to watch their guys teach folks how to install a water heater, the "students" don't get it, AND they actually want to know. The realtors would be snoring about 2 1/2 seconds into it.

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I also like Richard's list. I've seen similar ones that actually included the furnace/AC filters and such, which is counter-productive for an HI seeking the truth about a property. I suppose that would be helpful if one wanted to find and report as little as possible.

I can't imagine a group of realtors would retain much on the technical side, but if I were going to suggest things to look for I'd stick to simple stuff like lack of GFCI's/smoke detectors/CO detectors (where needed), 2-wire outlets, old and crummy major system components, negative grade, rot, water stains on the ceilings, etc. as visible signs that work will probably be needed. I'd also stress the potential conflict of calling in contractors without getting an independent opinion from a qualified HI first ("You need a new roof real bad lady. Here's a bid...we can start tomorrow.").

Brian G.

Edjumakashun R a Good Thang [:-graduat

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I think Richard's list makes alot of sense.

It could be titled "How to AVOID a bad inspection".

These simple "nuisance" items, compounded on top of other defects that are not as easily corrected could be just enough to "break the camel's back" and scare the buyers away.

I also agree about NOT teaching them how to hide problems.

What else could we add to the list? Hmmmmm

Fix leaking faucets.

Replace missing downspouts

Replace broken glass or failed i.g. units

Make sure the doorbell works

Perhaps the agents should be educated about the value of a prelisting inspection.

If it makes sense for someone who wants to purchase to invest in an inspection, it makes equal sense for someone who wants to sell to do the same!

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That's the kind of stuff I used to do.

But, believe it or not... the show stopper was always a very simple and general explanation of the cooling system.

People were always shocked to realize it's a "de-heating" process and not a "chilling" process.

I used to use a piping hot cup of coffee as the image of the Summertime house and the insertion of a metal fork upside down with the tines up as the addition of a cooling system. People would always say, "Oh... I get it!" "Amazing!"

I used to further explain that trying to de-heat a house with a cooling system that's low on refrigerent is like trying to bail out a boat with a thimble instead of a bucket. And, since all the lubricant is in the refrigerant, running an air conditioner low on refrigerant is as bad as driving a car low on oil!

No doubt, they'd forget a lot of it after I left, but they were on the edge of their seats during. And, I bet a lot of them went home and had their cooling systems serviced.

Not too many folks really comprehend refrigeration...

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I think Richard's list is a good one, too. Years ago I did a few presentations for the new agents in a large office. I emphasized getting the house ready for inspection with suggestions like replacing burnt out bulbs, broken glass and window screens. Accessibility for items like the attic, water heater, electric panels, etc. was also stressed.

I also had suggestions on how to select a good inspector (of course I qualified).

These presentations were well received and I got a few inspections from them.

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You know, It's hard to believe that 10+ years ago these presentions were pretty much a normal and acceptable Operating Proceedure. No one thought much about it.

Back then, probably only 40% of home buyers in my area were even having home inspections. And, it was most likely the Realtors that made it where today it's almost 100%.

In fact, now if a home buyer opts not to have a home inspection, Realtors in my area insist that the home buyer sign a waver stating that "they had their chance" to have one!

We really can't forget that when we get on our demonization tangents regarding Realtors. There are definitely wise and well-meaning professional Realtors out there.

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Thanks for the input,

I'm leaning towards teaching a "making the inspection process smoother" class (thanks Richard).

As new agents, they seemed to be concerned that they would be able to identify observable defects as they walked through the house with the potential buyer.

Your information gives me a great start for the class that I can build upon in the future. If I can get one electrical panel cleared away prior to an inspection, I will have done my job [:-graduat

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

We have about 15 short classes that we can put on at Realtors weekly sales meetings. These are 15-20 minute classes.

We also have 4 classes that we can do at a monthly "lunch & learn" class. These are 45 minutes to 1 hour long).

We then have 3 other classes that we do for CE that range from 3.5 hours to 7 hours for agents.

The 15-20 minute classes are on things like:

1) Understanding Termites

2) Problems with EIFS

3) Aluminum Wiring

4) Polybutylene Piping

5) Preparing the House for the Buyers Inspection

(replacing light-bulbs, moving stuff out

from the foundation wall, taking the guard

trained Pit Bull to Grandma's, etc)

6) Why New Construction Needs Inspections Too

(40 slides of awesome New Construction

Defects that passed Code Inspections)

7) Why Do Pre-Listing Inspections

It works good. Gets you exposure in a non-confrontational scenario. Helps get you a reputation as the EXPERT in ....., and helps a FEW of the realestators understand WHY we talk about some of the things we do AND be less likely to try & hammer the next inspector that talks about Aluminum Wiring being a problem, etc.

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