Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in… Security

September is the National Association of REALTORS annual safety month. It’s a time to reflect on how to keep ourselves safe and secure in the wake of malevolent or treacherous behavior in the field. We remind our team at Kentwood Real Estate to use smart and safe business practices.

Safety in Real Estate

What are our best practices for safety? Always have a friend or colleague who knows where you’ll be and when. When meeting a new prospect, screen them first and have your friend or colleague give you a call a few minutes into the meeting to check-in.

We advise our brokers to meet new prospects ahead of showings to take a copy of their ID and to pre-screen their interest and qualifications. In fairness to all prospects, we must treat everyone equally and equitably when setting up these pre-showing meetings.

At open houses, have a front and back door open. Keep your phone in your hands. Never venture to another floor with guests. Advise homeowners to clear their house of valuables, medicines and to lock their computer screens. Trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right! These are the most basic advisories for real estate broker and client safety.

Safety’s New Meaning

In the COVID-19 era, “safety” has taken on more color and nuance. We strive to keep ourselves and our clients safe from a pandemic while assisting them to purchase, sell, or lease their home or commercial property.

Recently, one of our Kentwood Brokers told me her “buyer kit” now consists of gloves, masks, and booties, along with a few bottles of hand sanitizer. These are the items she carries in a basket in her car. I reminisced that when I was still showing property, our buyer kits and car baskets consisted of bottled water, small toys, and snacks. Clients are less interested in taking water or snacks from us, they want to know we’re focused on their wellbeing.

During REALTOR Safety Month, Kentwood brokers are doing their part to keep themselves and their clients safe and secure. We hope everyone can accomplish their real estate dream without the stress of an unsafe environment.

Colorado Real Estate News

5 Problems Your Home Inspector Might Not Catch

Whether you are buying or selling your home, conducting a home inspection can save you a lot of time and frustration down the road. Home inspections help find weaknesses in your home that can decrease its value or cause safety issues. While your home inspector is trained to catch things that the average person might not notice, they will still have a hard time uncovering problems hidden behind walls, under floors or inside septic lines. It’s important to hire the services of an experienced inspector, but it’s also important to realize that there are some problems that might require the service of other professionals, such as plumbers or electricians.

Inspector GadgetBlocked or Damaged Sewage Pipes 

When checking for clogged sewer lines in a standard inspection, major problems might not be exposed at the time the inspector is there. Home inspections are always limited to what is visible and accessible. An inspector can estimate the age of the drain pipes and tell you what kind of pipes they are. But if you are worried about bigger problems, like unseen cracks in buried drain lines, it’s wise to request a sewer pipe scoping to get the full story.

Damaged HVAC Systems

Just like sewer lines, problems with HVAC systems might not be there one day then show up the next. If your inspector tests the A/C unit and finds the temperatures are within acceptable ranges, it will seem like it’s working fine. That is, until summer hits and the A/C is under a lot of stress from working so hard so often. That’s when a faulty A/C unit can fail. If your inspector suspects that there might be a problem with the HVAC system, hire a specialized contractor to look into the job.

Electrical Problems

When it comes to electrical problems, a home inspection is nothing more than visual. Home inspectors aren’t always going to be able to identify the source of an issue with electrical wiring hidden behind a wall. This is more in the expertise of an electrician. If your inspector finds a problem they cannot troubleshoot, an electrician might have to come in and pick up where they left off.

Structural Problems

While any skilled inspector should be able to spot inconsistencies in the roofing, cracks in the foundations and rotting wood, they are not licensed engineers and won’t be able to tell you if the home is structurally sound. They can identify a problem but won’t be able to explain the extent of the issue or how much it would cost you to repair. A structural engineer can help identify any major structural defects and give you an estimate of how much it would cost to fix.

Leaks

Sometimes when a home comes on the market, it hasn’t been lived in for a while. By the time the inspection comes around many of the leaks may have dried up, making it hard for the inspector to catch. Make sure to put the plumbing through its paces. Turn on all the faucets, flush the toilets multiple times, and fill the sinks and showers all the way up before letting them drain to spot visible leaks. Always check carefully for any water stains.