By Zoe Eisenberg
As featured in Real Estate Magazine
Joanne Chando, a broker and licensed real estate instructor serving the Fort Myers, Fla., market is staying ahead of the competition, closing deals quickly, efficiently, and with ease by offering clients the services of a home inspection team. “We strongly advise all buyers to have an independent home inspection,” says Chando. “This is both prudent professionally and as a risk management requirement.” However, not every home inspection company is equally efficient.
“Whether it’s my listing or my buyer, or both, I expect the inspector to be knowledgeable about all aspects of what should be installed and working correctly on any residential property,” says Chando, who has been working in real estate for over 35 years. “Also, it’s very important that the verbal and written reports be clear, concise, thorough and timely submitted.”
In 2001, Chando partnered with HomeTeam Inspection Service after she was introduced to the Fort Myers team, Bill Jurek and Pam Jensen, at a WCR Tradeshow networking event.
One thing that drew Chando to HomeTeam is the fact that they’re not “deal killers” or alarmists. Instead, they identify areas of concern and advise the buyer whether the problem is major or run-of-the-mill.
“I require that our home inspector not be in the ‘handyman’ or repair business,” notes Chando. “Some other inspectors I have known are all about getting the repairs done by their company. This is a serious conflict of interest.”
Instead of merely looking for problems that may offer a larger paycheck, your home inspection company should always vie for the best interest of your clients, and therefore, your company.
“I consider the HomeTeam to be part of my team of professionals,” says Chando, who appreciates that the company is not a one-man band. “Having more than one specialist inspect a property not only brings in their varied skillsets, but also saves the buyer, seller and REALTOR® time and effort.”
Of course, buyers aren’t the only clients who should bring in an inspector. A major real estate risk management technique, according to Chando, is to advise sellers to have a pre-listing home inspection. “This is especially helpful when the seller has been in the home for decades and there appears to be a lot of what we call ‘deferred maintenance,’” says Chando. “This can help us identify items that must be repaired and decide what the seller will or cannot repair.” According to Chando, this pertinent information can help aid the real estate team in properly pricing the property, offering the facts needed to negotiate a successful contract.
For Chando, HomeTeam not only offers a deep well of information, but sublime service to boot. “I know that I can call or email Bill, Pam or the office staff with any question pertaining to the physical aspects of a property and receive a considered answer and, if necessary, a follow up.”
Honesty and integrity also go a long way when providing a service to clients. “If a buyer wants an inspection that’s not appropriate for the property—i.e., a roof inspection on a condo—[HomeTeam] will not just take the money and do it.” On the other hand, Chando points out, if the buyer doesn’t realize they need a specific type of inspection, like a Four Point Inspection for insurance, HomeTeam will let them know exactly what they need, why they need it, and work it into the initial inspection to save the buyer time and money.
“Their professionalism is a positive reflection on me, my agents and my brokerage,” concludes Chando. “Knowing that I never have to worry about a client being mistreated, misled or misguided is my favorite part.”