I have done a lot of inspections for the clients of WALaw Realty, and I really like their business model.
I can imagine that this model might cause some consternation amongst many of the more traditional agents here on ActiveRain.
It is a huge understatement to say their model is different.
At a recent inspection with Marc and his Wife Kim, I asked Marc what percentage of deals fall apart as a result of my inspections. His reaction was unexpected, not because the number was small but because of another aspect of his business model that I had never considered.
When he is showing a client a house, he tries to point out everything that is wrong with the house that he possibly can. In this way, by the time the client decides to make an offer on a home it will either be a home without those defects or they will already be OK with those defects.
The main reason he is able to have this approach is because of the thing that is the most different about his agency than any other I have encountered.
He is retained by the buyer at a “flat fee” and an actual retainer is paid so that the agent never feels they are working for nothing until the magic happens.
The agents in his office are on “salary” so they too are not under the kinds of pressures that some agents are under to make the sale happen. It is hard for the home inspector to be a “deal killer,” with this approach.
Any approach that reduces the "emergency" of making a sale seems like a good plan for all parties involved.
As a buyer, I can only imagine how not being pressured to buy this or that property would have to make the whole process less stressful and rewarding.
As an agent, knowing they are making a living no matter what happens, seems like a reasonable idea.
As a seller, it might encourage them to think twice about putting homes in unsalable condition on the market with the notion that “perhaps-no-one-will-notice.”
As an inspector, any time I inspect a home that has no chance of being a fit for the client goes down, the less I feel like I am wasting my time as well.
We all, whether agents or inspectors, see homes that have extreme unrealistic expectations. And this is OK—at times there is no choice—but how about a business model that lines up the right buyer with the right house a larger percentage of the time?
Seems like a win, win, win for the Agent, the Buyer, and the Home Inspector.
To find out more about WALaw Realty, just click on the link.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board