A Buyer-Centric Real Estate Approach
For many years we have been contemplating real estate transactions from the buyer’s perspective. There are all manner of ads from real estate practitioners touting their ability to sell your home for more money and get the deal done faster than the next one. We call that a “seller-centric” approach to real estate transactions. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it could create a situation where the buyer is a bit out of the picture.
At Rosie on the House, we are all about what is best for the homeowner, and that includes what is best for the homeowner-to-be — the buyer. We are taking a hard look at what it means to be “buyer-centric.”
The Arizona Home Buying Process
Let’s start with a look at how the buying process currently works in Arizona.
We engaged Rosie on the House Certified Partner REALTORS®, Vikki Gorman and Johnathan Miller with Realty Executives to help us better understand the buyer. The goal is to create the best possible Rosie on the House system and make that available to the prospective homeowner. Vikki agrees that buyers need to know what they are buying with greater accuracy, and what they may encounter once they become the homeowner.
“Supporting the buyer requires us to switch focus,” says Vikki.
We couldn’t agree more! The current process includes many safeguards for buyers, including the opportunity to conduct a home inspection, other examinations, and the opportunity to research information about the home before purchasing it. Good stuff, we say, but there really needs to be more.
This is where Rosie on the House comes in.
A key feature in a home purchase is the standard 10-day inspection period. While a good process, there can be a lot of confusion regarding the lack of specifics included in those reports. We have found not all home inspection reports are created equally. Vikki says that most inspection reports are great, but we have seen some horrible ones. Those reports will note potential deficiencies but don’t provide explanations for what they may mean or offer an estimate for the repair to a potential homeowner. For example, it may be noted, “The roof appears to have some wear. You should get a licensed roofer to inspect.”
Well, that is a bit short of all the information you should have. As a buyer, you are already paying for the home inspection and are now faced with more questions. Home inspectors are, by their training and licensing, generalists. That is their job. Most reports will note possible issues that need to be examined more deeply.
Another example of generalities is cracks in the stucco and foundations. A photo, such as the one on the top right, may be included that shows the crack. How are you to know the difference between a crack that is superficial versus a crack like the one below it that may have more to it than meets the eye.
The inspection report will typically refer you to a stucco specialist or a structural engineer for further examination and comments. Again, not really helpful to the potential homeowner.
“The buyer has the opportunity to have more inspections completed if they wish. Scheduling within the 10 days can be done,” says Vikki.
Though the more inspections you order, the more money you will spend. And the inspection fees cannot be paid out of escrow because if you back out of the contract, the inspector will not get paid.
If you don’t back out of the contract, you can request repair work from the seller to complete, or you can negotiate a credit to have the repairs done yourself.
Vikki tells us she and Johnathan take the buyer step by step through the buying process. A deficiency that frustrates both the buyer-centric real estate practitioner and the buyer is the lack of detail associated with a generalized home inspection.
Some buyers use the inspection report to squash the purchase out of fear of the unknown.
Focusing on the buyers’ needs, Rosie on the House can help to squash the guesswork and assumptions for you.
You see the deficiency. Here is the solution.
To remove the guesswork, Rosie on the House developed an inspection process where we provide the specialists you will need to produce a report that eliminates speculation about the condition of the home you are considering buying.
Step one is determining the age of your potential home. This gives us a baseline from which we can tailor specific professionals to examine the house. A house that was built in 1950 will clearly need a different team of inspectors than one constructed in 2000. Once the baseline has been established, we will look at these issues that are often not considered part of a typical home inspection yet are “must-know” for the potential homeowner:
- Asbestos Testing. This is age-dependent. If constructed before 1980, asbestos may have been used.
- Lead Paint Testing. Also, age-dependent. If the house was built before 1978, lead paint could have been used.
- Radon Testing. If your home is located in a geographical area known for the presence of radon, we will test it.
- Permits. One of the more common problems homeowners face is when they try to remodel their new purchase only to discover that previous work was not permitted. We will look at the home, determine if any work requiring permits was completed, and check with the local building departments to see if permits were pulled.
- Short-Term Rentals. Has the neighborhood you are looking to buy in have, or did they have short-term or vacation rentals? We will find out. This can be very difficult to find out and isn’t always a bad element for a buyer.
In conjunction with the items listed above that are not normally looked at, we have a cadre of Rosie on the House Certified Partners who will provide detailed specifics about the home you want to buy. These include roofers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC, structural engineers, civil engineers, and general contractors who, when called upon, will make up the Rosie Certified Home Inspection Team which you know you can count on for accurate, bonafide information.
The service doesn’t stop there. The report you receive will include specific recommendations for work needed and the costs associated with those recommendations that you will not get with a standard home inspection. Vikki notes that buyers have an opportunity to purchase a standard home inspection. As a buyer-centric realtor, she believes the more comprehensive approach better suits the serious buyer.
“Rosie creates a team so in the standard 10-day inspection period, buyers will know what they are walking into, and that makes people more comfortable,” she states.
This is not the last time y’all will hear about this, nor is this service just for a comprehensive report. This process will serve you, the homeowner, as a basis for establishing an ongoing maintenance program and help you prepare a budget and work schedule you can live with.
If you have been contemplating entering the home buying process, or you know someone who is or is moving from out of state to Arizona, help us capture their attention. Rosie on the House is here to serve every Arizona homeowner, including potential homeowners. We want to be your best friend!
CONTENT PARTNER | Vikki Gorman with Realty Executives
Vikki Gorman, serving your real estate needs in the Valley of the Sun, has sold over $40 million in residential sales since 2019. She focuses on the home buyer and seller specifically, partnering with them to find the home of their dreams, or to sell the property that their family has enjoyed for many years.
Real estate practitioners tout the ability to sell your home faster and get more money for it. Together with Rosie Certified Vikki Gorman of Realty Executives, we are taking a hard look at what it means to be “buyer centric” as opposed to “seller centric”. We introduce the Arizona Home Buying Plan for successful homeownership.