03 Mar Walk and Talk Consultation
While we always prefer a full home inspection, the incredibly hot seller’s market in Northern Virginia is prompting buyers to make offers that waive contingencies. This doesn’t mean that buyers need to go into one of the largest purchases of their lifetime blind. Instead, buyers should consider a “Walk and Talk” consultation. Here are answers to some questions about this option.
What is a Walk & Talk Home Consultation?
Unlike a full home inspection, or even a mini-inspection conducted just before or after open house hours on a home that is still on the market, a Walk & Talk home consultation takes place when both the buyer and the inspector go to the residence together. Lasting the time of an ordinary homebuyer visit – i.e. 10-30 minutes – while the buyer focuses on aspects such as first and second impressions, the layout and the esthetics, the inspector is efficiently conducting a visual examination as well as leveraging specific techniques to assess the integrity of the structure. For example, an inspector certified in thermography can conduct an infra-red scan to determine whether there is something of concern happening behind the surface. Since they are making the visit together, the buyer is getting real-time feedback on the home.
Who should consider a Walk & Talk Home Consultation?
Whether a buyer has already made an offer that has waived the inspection contingency, or they are considering doing so to make a more attractive offer in a seller’s market, no homebuyer should go into the purchase of a home without engaging a Walk & Talk. Pre-offer, this can help a buyer decide whether to put in an offer on a potential money-pit. If the home is particularly appealing, the consultation can help the buyer get a realistic sense of the home’s condition by flagging the repairs that will be likely necessary. The buyer can make an offer knowing that there will be additional, post-purchase expenses to plan for.
What are the Scope and Cost?
The scope and cost of a Walk & Talk Consultation will depend on the individual home and the buyer’s preference. Needless to say, the time limit will dictate how much a consultation can accomplish, and the size of the home plays a part as well. After all, a one-bedroom condo consultation will be quite different from a 5 bedroom home with a pool house. Given the time constraints, the cost of the consultation will be significantly less than a full inspection. Before going to the residence, the buyer and the inspector can come to a specific agreement about the buyer’s priorities, which will help determine the specific scope. Once the scope has been decided, the inspector can quote a cost. Both these terms should be part of a clear, written agreement so that everyone is on the same page.
Why Work With Biller & Associates?
With decades of experience in home inspection, as well as home construction, Scott Biller has the expertise to add value in a situation where the buyer is at a disadvantage. Scott is a certified residential thermographer by the Monroe Infrared Technology Training Center whose knowledge of the essential components of a home allow him to quickly and effectively assess critical factors that a buyer will want to know. As one of his clients said:
“Scott was extremely thorough and was able to point out some minor issues within the 15 minutes we were in the home!! Very impressive to watch him work and to listen to his wealth of knowledge. He was very reasonable and a huge asset for this process …”
Given the cost of real estate in Northern Virginia, the purchase of a home in the area is a particularly big investment. While it’s important not to jeopardize an offer by insisting on a home inspection contingency when other buyers are waiving the same, it is advisable to arrange for a Walk & Talk consultation to go in with eyes wide open. Are you considering purchasing a home in Northern Virginia? Contact Biller & Associates to schedule the consultation that fits your plans.