A-Pro® of the Midlands Home Inspections Newsletter Summer 2016
FROM THE RAFTERS
A Newsletter for Real Estate Agents and Clients from A-Pro The Midlands Home Inspections
A NOTE TO OUR COLUMBIA REAL ESTATE PARTNERS and CLIENTS
Greetings from your friends at
A-Pro The Midlands Home Inspection services! We hope the
spring heats up home
sales and shines brightly on your bottom line.
After a long hiatus, we’re excited to reintroduce
our newsletter written exclusively for our
real estate partners. We’re here to answer
your questions about home inspections, provide
insights to help you best serve
your clients, and help you build
trusted relationships that lead to more sales
today and repeat business down the road.
We’ve filled this issue of From the Rafters with
practical advice you can use and some fun facts that make nice conversation starters.
Our complimentary newsletter is part of A-Pro’s commitment to standing with our real estate partners to make
the home selling/buying process as smooth, transparent and worry-free as possible.
Please take a few minutes from your hectic schedule to give it a read. Then give us a call.
We’d love to know what you think.
All the Best,
A-Pro The Midlands Home Inspections
SELLING A VACANT HOME? TAKE STEPS TO BEAT THE HEAT
For real estate agents and home sellers, the
scorching summer season poses serious
threats to a home, especially when left vacant.
In regions where temperatures climb sky high
and humidity routinely reaches 100%, your listing
can be affected both inside and out, making it
less attractive to prospects and decreasing its value.
Excess moisture can cause mildew to grow on interior surfaces,
unpleasant odors, damage to a home’s exterior,
and rust and corrosion on metal appliances.
When preparing a home for sale, sellers should be advised to take
steps to mitigate the effects of high humidity. Whether
vacant or not, homes can benefit from the following preventative
steps to stop Mother Nature’s wet and sticky wrath.
- Thoroughly clean and dry the exteriors of all appliances. Clean enamel surfaces
with sudsy water, rinse and dry. If appliances have scratches, you
may also want to apply an appliance wax to exterior enamel surfaces to protect against
- Clean and dry the interior of refrigerators, ovens, ranges, garbage disposals, etc.
- Make sure there are no traces of food in the house.
- Leave refrigerator and freezer doors ajar. Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and in all rooms of the home to absorb moisture.
- Clean cabinet interiors and exteriors.
- In the bathroom, clean and dry all surfaces and fixtures, cover toilet and tank with plastic wrap, and put stoppers in drains.
- Turn off water at the meter.
- If there is furniture in the home, leave a light coating of wax on wood surfaces. Thoroughly vacuum upholstered furniture and clean spots and stains.
- Weatherseal windows and doors to keep moisture out. Cover bathroom vents with plastic wrap. Make sure the damper is closed on all fireplaces.
- Consider running the air conditioner for a few hours a day to reduce potential development of mildew.
- Make sure grading of the ground drains water away from the house.
- Check to see that the crawl space has no standing water and is well ventilated.
- Have the roof, vents and chimney flashing checked and repaired to prevent moisture penetration.
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts, as well as from the roof.
- Check and repair exterior wall leaks.
- Fix cracks and loose mortar in masonry walls.
- Use caulk to fill in gaps in windows and doors. Replace loose or damaged weatherstripping.
These general moisture-damage prevention steps will vary depending on your region of the country. But one thing is certain: Whether protecting against summer moisture or prepping for winter, it makes good sense to have your listing thoroughly examined by a home inspector before it goes on the market. Ask your local A-Pro The Midlands Home Inspections service about having us perform a 500-point Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection designed to ensure a smoother, more confident experience for buyers and sellers alike.
MAKE TIME TO ATTEND THE Home Inspection
Five Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Did
As a real estate agent representing a buyer or seller, should you attend the home inspection along with your client? It is an often debated question in the real estate community. Opinions widely differ on this matter. The decision to attend or not, of course, is ultimately up to you. But at A-Pro The Midlands Home Inspections service, we believe there are several compelling reasons to make attending the inspection a high priority.
- You look better in the eyes of your client: Attending the home inspection shows your client that you are fully invested in helping them sell their home or making sure they find the right property to buy. Your presence at the inspection can build confidence and grow your relationship. This extra effort may even win you a referral or two.
- You become a more effective negotiator: The findings of the home inspection play a vital role in settling on the final negotiated price. By attending, you gain firsthand, on-the-spot explanations of the condition of the house and its systems. You receive valuable information directly from the source – not secondhand. While a well-documented and clearly written inspection report should be sufficient, there is no substitute for being there.
- Knowledge is power: The more you know about houses and their components, the better agent you become – and the better you can serve your clients. The best home inspectors not only provide a detailed visual review of the home, but also educate all parties about a house’s systems and how to maintain them. Over the years, we’ve had numerous agents tell us that with every home inspection they attend, they become more skilled at communicating with their clients about a home’s attributes and problem areas.
- It’s not all about discovering what’s wrong. You learn the positive aspects of the home, as well: A The Midlands Home Inspections company, like A-Pro, believes in fair and balanced reporting. That means we point out areas of concern in addition to a home’s most marketable characteristics (new plumbing, a roof that shouldn’t need replacing for many years, well-functioning appliances, a level foundation, etc.). This emphasis on the positive is beneficial to both buying and selling clients.
- Finally, you will be able to find a home inspector you trust: If you don’t attend the home inspection, how will you know the quality of the job being performed? A-Pro encourages you to attend, ask questions, listen, learn and see for yourself the level of partnership you should expect from a professional home inspection company.
We understand that real estate agents lead busy lives. Scheduling conflicts may prevent you from being at each home inspection. But unless your client tells you otherwise, try to make the time to be part of the home inspection process. It can yield rewards today and increased sales tomorrow.
REAL ESTATE QUESTION CORNER
When attending a home inspection, what should my role be?
Some real estate agents choose to perform the walkthrough right with the inspector, while others are content to stay in the background. Either way, you’re there to be an advocate for your client, whether silently watching from the wings or shadowing the inspector. This much is guaranteed: If you’re not there, you can’t be immediately available to answer client questions or provide clarification.
Certified professionals are trained to conduct thorough and accurate visual inspections. Further, experienced home inspectors understand how to properly convey issues during the inspection without being an alarmist or blowing things out of proportion. As your partner, a skilled home inspector can put into perspective the gravity of a situation and use language and tone that aids – not derails – the transaction.
As any real estate agent would agree, it’s better to know potential or immediate problems upfront rather than near closing or months after the sale has been completed.
It’s also important to remember that you are not there to act as a “second home inspector,” so let the home inspector do his or her job. That’s one reason it’s imperative to choose a home inspection company in which you have the utmost confidence.
Keep in mind that the general home inspection is a visual inspection of systems and major accessible components. The inspection reflects the condition of the home at the time of the inspection, and the inspector will not check hidden parts of a home (those covered by walls, floors and ceilings) or anything that is not accessible when the inspection is performed.
UNDERSTANDING HOME INSPECTOR PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
CHI®& PHI® You’ve likely seen these letters tacked on to the end of a home inspector’s name, e.g., John Smith, CHI, PHI. Have you ever wondered what they meant and why they’re so important?
Here’s a brief explanation:
CHI® (Certified Home Inspectors) and PHI ® (Professional Home Inspectors) are required to undergo more than 300 hours of education and training. To become an PHI member, an inspector must pass two written technical exams with over 1600 questions and name real estate agents and brokers as additional insured on their Errors & Omissions coverage. Members must follow ISHI’s®, ASHI® or InterNACHI’s® Code of Ethics and obtain continuing education credits to stay current with the latest in building technology, materials, and professional skills.
The bottom line: PHI and CHI are more than a collection of random letters. They’re your assurance that you’ve chosen a qualified, experienced and trusted home inspector in your market.
COOL HOUSEHOLD FACTS
When was the first self-contained electric refrigerator sold?
In 1914, the first air-cooled, electric, self-contained household refrigerating unit was marketed by Fred Wolf, Jr. Known as the Domelre (Domestic Electric Refrigerator), the system was designed to be placed on top of any icebox, operating automatically using a thermostat. It was the first household refrigerating system to feature ice cubes. The Domelre used air to cool the condenser, unlike other household refrigerators that needed to be hooked up to water.
Who invented the first modern electrical air conditioning unit?
Willis Carrier in Buffalo, New York, 1902. His unit, which controlled both temperature and humidity, was designed to improve manufacturing process control in a printing plant. The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America was formed to meet rising demand for the product in the workplace. Over time, air conditioning came to be used to improve comfort in homes and automobiles, as well. Residential sales expanded dramatically in the 1950s.
Housing design changed drastically with Carrier’s invention. Before the advent of air conditioning, houses were most often built with
- Higher ceilings that allowed heat to rise
- Windows on opposite sides of a room for cross ventilation
- Rooms lined up in a row to permit air to flow between them
- Trees planted on east and west sides for added shade
- Home Inspection 101…A Free Presentation for Your Real Estate Office
- Looking for a valuable, information-packed presentation for your next office meeting? Reach out to your friendly neighborhood A-Pro home inspector to book our brief PowerPoint, “Home Inspection 101.” Topics covered include:
- Inspected Systems and Components
- Real Estate Agent Benefits
- What a Home Inspection Is and Is Not
- Answers to Your The Midlands Home Inspections Questions
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