How to alienate your customer in one easy step

If you really want to make your clients loose confidence in you, Try to talk them out of getting a home inspection. Ironically the agents who don’t get this will also not get the point of this article. It’s childs play, but I’ll try anyway.
As a home inspector who has good rapport  with his clients I often hear things that their agent will neve hear. 3 Times this week I had inspections with clients whose agents tried to talk them out of getting a home inspection.  Frankly I’m a bit surprised that an agent would even attempt this approach in this market and give that advice to their client whom they are supposed to be representing. The reasons I hear are. “one way to sweeten your offer is to waive the home inspection.” or “you don’t need an inspection because they are providing you a whole house warranty” or ” You really don’t need an inspection on a new or rehabbed home” or  “your a handy guy, just check things out yourself at the walk through inspection”. All in the guise of making sure they “accept your offer” and you don’t “loose out on getting your dream home”. These agents are playing on their clients emotions which is not cool.  I’m hear to tell you now that it’s not the home inspection that is the “deal killer”, It’s these statements. Buyers may be naive about the buying process but they are not stupid and emotionless. They can tell when an agent is being disingenuous. It’s human instinct.  It also seems that these particular agents are persistent in controlling the inspection because I hear things like this from the buyers. My agent said “if you insist on an inspection then make it for informational purposes only and assure them they don’t have to make repairs”. One of my clients told his agent that was the stupidest thing he ever heard..LOL. Another one I hear a lot is “well if you insist on an inspection then you should use my guy”. \\ News flash // your client is not going to feel comfortable using “your guy” after you just tried talking them out of the inspection.  In fact, now that your client has lost confidence in you, they will circle the wagons to protect themselves against you and your ill advice by seeking out the best inspector they can find.  That’s usually when I come into the fray. I get comments like “my agent isn’t looking out for me and I need you to be detailed and forthcoming on the inspection”.  One young first time home-buyer (who has an MBA) was really upset because the house that his agent insisted he waive the inspection on, had the old polybutylene water distribution pipes with plastic fittings and was actively leaking in two places. There was also evidence of multiple pipe repairs.  The agent said “no biggie, we’ll just tell them to have a plumber fix it”.  The buyer snapped back “no biggie, I’m withdrawing from the contract and you are no longer my agent”.  The agent tried to sweet talk him but it was only sour grapes.

Unfortunately, that agent will never get another call from this man or any referrals from his circle of influence. The bottom line is, people are people and like the old addage says, they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The human animal needs to feel appreciated, protected and comfortable while going through the stress of buying a house. They rely on the trust of their agent. If they smell a wolf stalking that commision check with little regard to their best interest, they will scatter like lambs and the fear will be imprinted on them for a long time.

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