Protect yourself from liability
The role of an impartial, 3rd party inspection is not only to protect the buyer but also to protect the real estate professional. This is why SLD Home Inspections covers the realtor in our insurance policy.
Don’t lose a sale for the wrong reasons.
About 7.5% of purchase contracts fall through because of a sticking point on a home inspection. Sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes not. I have never found a perfect home. This goes (especially) for brand-new construction. Home inspection reports (good ones) contain dozens of pages of details about the house. There are bound to be many citations. This is normal. New buyers often feel uneasy and overwhelmed with the amount of information in the report. It is crucial for realtors to give the buyer perspective on which problems are possible deal-killers, and which are not.
Help your client be informed
Encourage your client to review his or her report with you. Help the client narrow down the issues that matter most. Then, have your client follow-up with qualified contractors to provide repair estimates. This is a great chance for realtors to strengthen their own networks through referrals. When you craft your inspection response, only cite defects that are not already reflected in the agreed-upon price. If the seller offers to make repairs, then a followup-inspection may be necessary to ensure the repairs have been done right.
The seller perspective
Sellers are often willing to make concessions in order to facilitate the deal, but they have limits. It ultimately comes down what sellers believe they can get for their homes in the current market. Sellers are often unaware of defects and may have higher expectations of what the home is really worth. It is up to the buyer or the realtor to explain to the seller how the cited defects directly affect the price. Sellers usually have an emotional element to what they feel their home is worth and this is where a realtor must exercise his or her people skills.