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Marketing to RE agents


Gibsonguy
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Hi guys,

I am brainstorming an idea with my wife about approaching RE agents with the intent to offer their listing clients with a pre-sale inspection. Having people pre-inspect their house before they list provides an "open book" for potential buyers to see. It stops haggling after the price has been agreed, it allows the seller to know what a qualified inspector will find at the last second, and it allows RE agents to list their house as pre-inspected not to mention hanging around during the inspection and deadline worries.

I feel with proper marketing this idea could just catch on. In a buyers market, not paying for the inspection may present a plus for the potential buyer. There are drawbacks of course such as assuring potential clients that you are independant and do not represent the seller or agent and of course making potential buyers understand that it is not a guarantee of any kind.

I know there is a wealth of information on this site and would like you to ring in with any thoughts you might have. Please don't hold back. I'm really looking for subjective input.

Thanks

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Originally posted by Gibsonguy

Hi guys,

I am brainstorming an idea with my wife about approaching RE agents with the intent to offer their listing clients with a pre-sale inspection. Having people pre-inspect their house before they list provides an "open book" for potential buyers to see. It stops haggling after the price has been agreed, it allows the seller to know what a qualified inspector will find at the last second, and it allows RE agents to list their house as pre-inspected not to mention hanging around during the inspection and deadline worries.

I feel with proper marketing this idea could just catch on. In a buyers market, not paying for the inspection may present a plus for the potential buyer. There are drawbacks of course such as assuring potential clients that you are independant and do not represent the seller or agent and of course making potential buyers understand that it is not a guarantee of any kind.

I know there is a wealth of information on this site and would like you to ring in with any thoughts you might have. Please don't hold back. I'm really looking for subjective input.

Thanks

Before I targeted agents, I would do something like drive around (or use the intergore), get the addresses for listed houses, write a nice bit about yourself and the value of a listing inspection, drop a couple of cards in the envelope, and mail to the seller. I think that you would get just as many leads doing something along those lines as you would if you target reeltors.

Another note; think long term. Don't market a listing inspection as replacing the need for the buyer to have their own inspection. Not only does it potentially reduce the number of inspections out there, it does not serve the best interests of the home buying public. A buyer needs to have their own inspection performed by their own inspector.

There are plenty of good reasons for a seller to have an inspection performed. Eliminating a buyers inspection is not one of them.

Tim

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Originally posted by Gibsonguy

Hi guys,

I am brainstorming an idea with my wife about approaching RE agents with the intent to offer their listing clients with a pre-sale inspection. Having people pre-inspect their house before they list provides an "open book" for potential buyers to see. It stops haggling after the price has been agreed, it allows the seller to know what a qualified inspector will find at the last second, and it allows RE agents to list their house as pre-inspected not to mention hanging around during the inspection and deadline worries.

I feel with proper marketing this idea could just catch on. In a buyers market, not paying for the inspection may present a plus for the potential buyer. There are drawbacks of course such as assuring potential clients that you are independant and do not represent the seller or agent and of course making potential buyers understand that it is not a guarantee of any kind.

I know there is a wealth of information on this site and would like you to ring in with any thoughts you might have. Please don't hold back. I'm really looking for subjective input.

Thanks

Pre-listing inspections are a great idea for all the reasons that you've outlined. They've never really taken off in my area though. There are some places, like the SF Bay area where listing inspections are the norm. Perhaps one of those guys could chime in about his marketing techniques.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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My thoughts on pre-listing inspections are probably going to differ from others but you asked for input, so here goes…

I’ve only done a few since I started. Those have usually been at the request (and often paid for) by the listing agent, not as a sales aid but as a means of convincing the seller that they really need to fix a bunch of stuff. The handful of others, directly from the homeowners, have all had major “deferred maintenanceâ€

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I think pre-listing inspections are a logical idea, but there are some legal issues that have kept me from pursuing them harder. What few I've done have been with the express acknowledgment that the guy following me working for the buyer may very well write up something that I don't view as a problem. (Some guys around here are BIG on obvious cosmetic defects and harmless concrete shrinkage cracks.)

Call me a cynic if you want, but I think the reason most agents don't push a pre-listing inspection is that they don't want to know about any defects, and they don't want their sellers to either. It makes it easier to fill out the sellers disclosure form when all ya have to do is check all the "no" boxes. Call it plausible denial!

I guess they'd rather take the risk that an incompetent inspector won't find much wrong after an offer is written.

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Wow, thanks guys!

Great insight so far, and I'm taking it all in. I am aware that most agents will probably shun this idea however I decided to throw it up here anyways and see if anyone else has tried or has thought of trying. I have thought about maybe an extra "orientation" charge for the new buyers to give them a better understanding of the report and of their new home. I have thought about giving the homeowner the reduction in price which the orientation should recover. (it would also cover subsequent revisits by different interested parties trying to make an informed offer)

The idea of having a HI go through a poorly maintained home is not very appealing to some sellers, but then again, neither is having the deal fall through after the pre purchase inspection or after how the negotiated price always seems to make it's way down to the absolute minimum they told their agents they would accept, and are now forced to fix or pay for repairs they weren' aware of.

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Most of the realtors do not want pre listing inspections.

I haven given away 24 at their luncheons over the last 18 months and only one was used to get a house ready to sell. it was an agent house and she did the repairs and sold it, but I did get to inspected the house she bought.

One agent wanted me to do his house so he would know what he need to do to it but he wasn't going to sell it.

The agents do not want to know what is wrong with the house. Most are hoping that the buyers do not get an inspection.

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I am not really looking to do anything except inspections coinciding with CAHPI SOP. I'm not diversifying my product line, I'm just thinking of a way to increase my customer base.

When I was taking my HI courses there was a guy in my class who was always thinking of the next get rich quick scheme. Every week he has a different idea of how to use the teachings in class to make money without really putting in any work. I just want to inspect more homes and be a better inspector.

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The franchise I used to belong to had a seller's inspection. It was tricky to market because people sometimes don't want to know what's wrong with their home and they know that most of the time the buyer will hire his own inspector.

To market it, you have to make the listing agent understand that he or she has to make the seller understand that he's under no obligation to fix anything - only to reveal everything he knows about the home. Then when buyers get their own inspection and come back to the seller and demand a discount based on what their inspector saw, the seller can point out that everything that's in their inspectors report was also in the seller's report and that's why the house is priced where it is. It takes the wind out of the buyer's sails pretty quickly.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Call me a cynic if you want, but I think the reason most agents don't push a pre-listing inspection is that they don't want to know about any defects, and they don't want their sellers to either. It makes it easier to fill out the sellers disclosure form when all ya have to do is check all the "no" boxes. Call it plausible denial!

I guess they'd rather take the risk that an incompetent inspector won't find much wrong after an offer is written.

I think Kevin hit the nail on the head.

If we had a bunch of super thorough/ qualified inspector's floating around out there, Realtor's would not have a chance to hope everything would be missed (as is often the case).

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I'm here every day to learn from guys that have been in this business and have experienced a whole lot more than I have.

This thread was of particular interest to me since I'm new at this and of course, have had questions about this topic.

Once again E S YOU have managed to turn a thread into some kind of self serving circus.

I have no doubt that some valuable advice was lost because, others who could have contributed, avoided it.

I'm at a point now, where I don't know whether to take or be scared of your HVAC advice.

I consider TIJ to be a valuable part of my CE and a priceless recource.

This is school for me and you're disrupting the class.

Goddammit!!

I pick up my toolbelt for a couple of days to make a few bucks and I miss all the excitement.

I can say that the comments from ES won't be missed, but I gotta admit his stubborn resolve was amusing sometimes.

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Heck, I missed it too. I'd pruned the thread and moved a bunch of stuff into a holding cell while I pondered whether to delete it or start a separate thread with it, and the fellow went off like Christian Bale. I guess a few folks got to see it before it got taken down. It wasn't hard after that to decide what to do with the non-relevant stuff or with his access for that matter. Sorry, Red.

Ian, if you go to the National Association of Realtor's site and search their archives for inspection or inspector I'm fairly certain that you'll find several articles there that were written by prominent real estate folks about the subject of listing inspections.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, I just found this and have an idea.

Someone previously said they get the seller's info and send them a couple of cards and suggest they have the home inspected.

What if you take that and go further with it? Send the seller a couple of cards and let them know why you think it is a good idea for them to get the inspection on the house they are selling. Then ask them to keep you in mind for when they buy their next home. Twice the marketing for the same cost and effort. Work smart not hard...

Jeremy

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Hello, I just found this and have an idea.

Someone previously said they get the seller's info and send them a couple of cards and suggest they have the home inspected.

What if you take that and go further with it? Send the seller a couple of cards and let them know why you think it is a good idea for them to get the inspection on the house they are selling. Then ask them to keep you in mind for when they buy their next home. Twice the marketing for the same cost and effort. Work smart not hard...

I tried that about 15 years ago. My response rate was about 1 job for every 2,000 - 3,000 cards that I sent. I stopped that program because I was getting enough work in from other sources.

Direct mail just doesn't seem to be a very cost effective advertising method for home inspectors.

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Be careful on how they present the report:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/483109/ ... Dealers-Do

Darren, very few of the homes they list are Certified. I don't know who is doing the inspections for them. Housemeister tried the program years ago, but it didnt' catch on. Sellers are just not going to spend the extra money, let alone $950 for the entire pre-listing package.

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  • 1 month later...

Quote: Originally posted by Gibsonguy

Hi guys,

I am brainstorming an idea with my wife about approaching RE agents with the intent to offer their listing clients with a pre-sale inspection. Having people pre-inspect their house before they list provides an "open book" for potential buyers to see. It stops haggling after the price has been agreed, it allows the seller to know what a qualified inspector will find at the last second, and it allows RE agents to list their house as pre-inspected not to mention hanging around during the inspection and deadline worries.

I feel with proper marketing this idea could just catch on. In a buyers market, not paying for the inspection may present a plus for the potential buyer. There are drawbacks of course such as assuring potential clients that you are independant and do not represent the seller or agent and of course making potential buyers understand that it is not a guarantee of any kind.

I know there is a wealth of information on this site and would like you to ring in with any thoughts you might have. Please don't hold back. I'm really looking for subjective input.

Thanks

id="quoteN">

Before I targeted agents, I would do something like drive around (or use the intergore), get the addresses for listed houses, write a nice bit about yourself and the value of a listing inspection, drop a couple of cards in the envelope, and mail to the seller. I think that you would get just as many leads doing something along those lines as you would if you target reeltors.

Another note; think long term. Don't market a listing inspection as replacing the need for the buyer to have their own inspection. Not only does it potentially reduce the number of inspections out there, it does not serve the best interests of the home buying public. A buyer needs to have their own inspection performed by their own inspector.

There are plenty of good reasons for a seller to have an inspection performed. Eliminating a buyers inspection is not one of them.

Tim

I think it sounds like a great idea. I have worked with a lot of real estate agents in my day and anything that will help them snag a deal is an incentive to them. Go for it.

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Darren, I inspected one of these "Certified" homes today, listed by the agent in the Active Rain link. The inspector gets paid $350 for the HTR (4 bedroom 3 1/2 bath house).

The inspector didn't go on the roof and missed a few dozen cracked/defective fiberglass shingles. They could have been seen just looking out the window. Got the age of the roof all wrong. He inspected the roof "visually", according to the inspection report. What's that mean? Described the condition of the roof as "newer", that's it.

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