This is a follow-up to a recent post about 4 concerns that tenants may have when it comes to home inspections. In this post, we will explore how to actually go about an inspection, and what differentiates a good inspection from a sub-par one.
Obviously there are a lot of things that go into a good inspection, and the only exhaustive list is the itemized one you carry with you. That said, these 4 things are particularly important to get right.
Be Proactive in Finding Hazards and Damage
It’s important to treat each home inspection as if you were planning to move your own family in there. Be proactive in looking for hazards and damage, and refuse to cut corners. Your tenants will thank you for it.
Obviously you have to find out if there is any lead paint in the house, but how much do you really know about the paint overall? Is there a good chance that there could still be some lead paint, or is the risk fairly minimal? Can you find out?
What about that roof? Don’t just eyeball it from the ground, get a ladder and climb up to have a look. It’s surprisingly easy for significant roof damage to be practically invisible from the ground, and you may even have trouble seeing it from a nearby building. Do yourself and especially your future tenants a favor and get a close look.
Check With Specialists
No one who really knows the business expects a property manager to know everything and be able to do everything. You can’t do all and be all, which is why it’s so important to delegate tasks and know who to trust. Listen to the specialists you contract with: presumably you contract with them because you have good reason to trust them.
What do your maintenance personnel say? Has your electrician signed off on the wiring? Is it safe? What about the plumbing? Can your plumber attest that all the drains are working satisfactorily?
The reality is, sometimes the truth hurts. No client wants to be told that they have a large check to write for an expensive repair, and no tenant wants to hear that it is going to take time to get a needed appliance back in working order. However, it is always best to be completely honest about unpleasant truths.
Even in cases where you do not have to deliver any terrible news, it is important to be completely honest about what you did and did not find during an inspection. Is there anything the tenant or prospective tenant should know, even if it is unpleasant or undesirable news?
The Good News Is…
The good news is that by being honest and refusing to cut corners, you will establish a professional foundation for yourself that is far more secure. People are far more likely to trust someone who goes the extra mile to show that they are trustworthy.
One important characteristic of trustworthiness in a property manager is an ability to get things done. After all, for clients and tenants both that is the whole object of the relationship: they want to trust a property manager to get things done. If you haven’t already switched to digital property management, consider giving it a try. A property management inspection app can help you to save time and be more productive.