Hello. I’m a new inspector who is just getting started. I’ve been doing some research about my local market and it seems that the market is just about saturated with inspectors. For that reason, I feel that it is very important to find my niche within the market. It seems that only a small number of inspectors in the area are focusing on their ability to do pre-listing inspections. I see an opportunity here. I was wondering if anyone has advice about getting started. My understanding so far is that I should look for inspection software that is FetchReport Friendly in order to make the most of the Move-In Certified program. Just wondering if there are any other quirks of pre-listing inspections that I should be aware of. Thanks.
There’s a reason for it. No one does seller inspections. That would mean you’d have to disclose or fix thing’s. Maybe 1 or 2, in a blue moon.
Have had a few in five years. I would have starved in my SW Florida market and moved on to new way to survive. I have even removed a page from my site for that recently. Some of the best advice I got from a long time inspector was this. ( Keep in mind that you do not have to work for everyone. Ten or twelve agents that are REAL sellers are enough to provide a very comfortable life for your family. When you make a connection with an agent be sure to stay present in their mind. Be creative and do not bother them with the same marketing materials that are available to the exclusive club called everyone. ) My version of that has made me believe I have the best job I could have ever dreamed of. Good luck.
Thank you for your quick response. I understand that marketing pre-listing inspections is an uphill battle. It requires educating the consumer about the benefits of this service. I don’t think an educated consumer would be dissuaded by the need to disclose or repair defects. Many defects the homeowner would already be aware of, and would already have a responsibility to disclose them depending on state law. Homeowners typically already know if their roof leaks or if their basement floods. Other defects are likely to be found by the buyer’s inspector and will need to be repaired or negotiated as part of the deal. Fixing or negotiating things at the last minute is a disadvantage to both the buyer and seller because it slows down the process and can be very stressful. In the worst situations, it may cause the deal to fall apart. It seems to me that the benefits of a pre-listing inspection outweigh the drawbacks. Of course, the challenge is persuading the consumer to see it the same way.
The sellers never want to pay for you to figure out whats wrong with their homes - maybe 100 bucks or something like that - find a different approach, why do you think none of the saturated market full of inspectors does them?
The Realtors are very resistant to it here in SoCal. The few that I’ve booked were canceled at the suggestion of the agent.
In almost 12 years as a home inspector I probably do only a couple pre-listing inspections a year for the same reason others mentioned and the homes inspected generally were in need of extensive repairs and the buyer were more interested in a check list for the repairs.
Get certified as a Mold Inspector. That will be a profitable niche.
I thought it could be a niche service, but good luck. Tried it, sellers will pay 10 's of thousands of dollars commission to a realtor but sellers and their realtors hope a buyer won’t do an inspection and accept an offfer based on the sellers property disclosure.
I advertise prelisting inspection, have one realtor that is interested, but he deals with some higher end properties where the seller’s want to get top $$$ and don’t want to be involved in back and forth negotiations. Prelisting inspection is not precertified. Unlike a factory certified vehicle, appliance, etc., there is no ideal benchmark to measure up against except brand new construction (which in itself often leaves a lot to be desired). I have explained, I will go over the major systems and details that a buyer inspection will bring forth. It is up to them to make corrections or not. Very important for seller’s to understand, they are not experts, when they complete the Seller’s Disclosure, they are exposing themselves to liability due to misinformation. Most seller’s don’t get it.
Thank you everyone for your input. I’m disappointed to hear that the concept of pre-listing inspections has not gained any substantial amount of traction yet. A couple months ago I finished the requirements for the InterNACHI CPI certification. Unfortunately, I may have to put off my plans of starting a home inspection business indefinitely until the local market improves. I really don’t think there is enough work out there in my market for another inspector who is offering basically the same services as everyone else.
Thank you for the suggestion. Mold does not seem to be a huge issue in New England. However, radon is a big concern. Already working on getting certified to test for radon.