This innovative home inspection strategy is earning Hunter Rowe buyers thousands in HVAC repairs and replacements.

THE STORY:  When we help a client put a home under contract, there is a three to four week period during which we help the buyer inspect the home and prepare a repair request (also known as a “due diligence request”) to address any problems.

A normal home inspection costs $400-600, depending on the size of the home. But even the most experienced home inspector cannot be an expert at everything. And even if they had x-ray vision to see inside walls or under ground, their licensing limits the scope of their inspection.

THE PROBLEM:  Many systems in/on a property (electrical, pluming, foundation, roof, septic, well, etc) can hide expensive problems.  Each of these systems can be inspected… for a price. Most buyers forego the cost of additional inspections because the benefits are unclear. But is that the best decision for our buyers?

We studied this problem, comparing the cost of each potential additional inspection to the potential benefits, by looking at the history of problems experienced by buyers after purchasing a home. The question: what systems in the home have  (1) the most frequently-occuring issues that are (2) expensive to fix, and (3) are not likely to be found during a general home inspection.

And the winner is: The HVAC system. If the right things are wrong, it’s a quick $4000+.  Home inspectors cannot catch the most serious HVAC issues because they are not permitted to do the disassembly required to find them. We found approximately 1 in 10 homes had an expensive problem that probably would have been found by an HVAC inspection before purchase.

The “expected payback” from doing an HVAC inspection is $4,000 cost x 10% probability = $400.

So, we interviewed HVAC inspectors to find an extremely competent professional who would give our buyers a good deal on a thorough inspection.  One of our top agents, Jed Gronewald, found Travis Robineau at Air Innovations (http://airinnovationshvac.com 919-620-6715), who agreed to do these inspections for all our buyers for $99 each.

The “expected profit” from doing this HVAC inspection is $400-$99 = $301.

We are now strongly suggesting this inspection by default for all buyers purchasing homes over five years old.

The new home inspection strategy has paid off for several buyers already, including our clients Holly & Lyle Critcher last month, when Travis discovered a hole in the heat exchanger coil and several other issues.  Those problems could not be repaired, and required a completely new unit.  As a result, we were able to negotiate a $4300 price reduction to pay for them to choose their own replacement unit after closing.

The most rewarding part of real estate for us at Hunter Rowe is thinking of these kinds of ideas. Over time hundreds of individual ideas add up over time into a big advantage for our clients, allowing us to do a better job and saving them money and trouble.