The mad rush that caused a frenzy of home buying and selling became a somewhat noticeable problem in the home inspection industry around the third quarter of 2021. It became more evident in the fourth quarter of this year and in the first and second quarters of 2022. , it was kind of a dilemma in its own right.
With a shortfall of 4 million homes available, during a time of low-interest mortgages, and with a pandemic pushing families looking for more space to work from home and homeschool their children, Home inspections as we knew them have changed dramatically.
It was an out of control period that caused bidding wars all over North America for available homes. Sellers looking to downsize have found a perfect fit in families looking for more space. It was a difficult time not only for home inspectors, but also for real estate professionals.
Waiver of contingencies including home inspection
Realtors wanted to close deals, of course, but they certainly wanted to do what was best for their buyers or sellers. No one wanted contingencies lifted on contracts, but at some point it became clear that if 10 offers came in for a house on the same day, the best offer with the best terms, usually cash offers, offers Quick closing and waiver of home inspections began to creep into the process.
It wasn’t long before the horror stories of buying without a home inspection started popping up in various media, like this recent article from the Toronto Star. We all breathe a sigh of relief that things are back to normal.
Our mantra is “never skip your home inspection”, of course, or any other major contingency your buyer or seller is entitled to.
Home Inspection Trends
Trends show that “no touch” home inspections are becoming the norm. What does that mean? It is a virtual 360 degree visual inspection summary that brings the inspection report to life and includes every room and exterior of a home. It can be accessed anywhere, anytime from any device and shared with family or contractors.
Also, a program that provides a cost estimate for inspection summary items based on zip code is new technology. This is extremely useful for sellers doing a pre-listing inspection, letting them know how much recommended repairs will cost based on the prices charged in their area.
Now a program that provides an accurate floor plan of the whole house is available. It can be used to determine the fit and placement of furniture, and also provide exact dimensions to contractors for estimating purposes. Another service provides a digital owner’s manual for a home, allowing users to download manuals/warranty information, find safety reminders on appliances, find out the age and remaining useful life of systems and even more.
If we’ve learned one thing over the past couple of years, scaling your services is essential not just to sustain, but also to thrive.
Dan Steward is President and CEO of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial department of RealTrends and its owners.
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