The truth can be unpleasant. In a real estate transaction, the truth about the condition of a property can cause a myriad of emotions; in buyers and sellers alike. Sometimes the major and material defects called out by a Home Inspector can not only be difficult to discuss, but can also strain the relationship between you and your clients. What if there was a technique you could employ to constructively discuss defects with your clients and keep the conversations both productive and healthy. Good news! There’s a qualitative approach that will help you master how your clients digest the Home Inspection Report.

Framework for Reflective Practice
Posited by Rolfe, et al, in 2001, the Framework for Reflective Practice is a model used to reflect upon a concrete experience or issue with the ultimate goal of improving future outcomes. This model breaks each issue/problem into three separate parts: What?, So What?, and Now What? This approach helps standardize the way issues are discussed and resolved. This compartmentalization greatly reduces time spent in discussion, removes a great deal of subjectivity and emotion, and helps focus all parties on a objective and tenable solution. Using this technique, you can discuss each inspection report issue quickly and constructively with your clients.

Identify one specific issue and articulate it in one succinct sentence. Don’t bundle issues, but rather discuss them one at a time. At first blush this may appear to take longer, but is ultimately faster as you will not need to re-address issues.

Example – The electrical service is only rated to 60 AMPS.

So What?
Identify the impacts and ramifications of the issue. You should root the impacts in fact with the least amount of emotion as possible. Sticking to fact-based impacts will help keep you objective and greatly reduce time spent in discussion.

Example – National Electrical Code calls for 100 AMPs as the minimum service for a residence.

**Of note, a good Home Inspector will typically frame a defect in the “What?, So What?” format for you in their associated narrative. You’ll just have to articulate the “Now What?.”

Now What?
Identify what needs to be done in order to remedy the situation or improve future outcomes. Again, these need to be realistic, objective, and fact-based remedies.

Example – Request the Seller upgrade the electrical service to at least 150 AMPS.

An unfortunate reality is every home has defects. A good home inspector will bring these defects to light for their clients. A great agent will discuss these defects with their clients in a productive and healthy manner. Now that you’re familiar with this technique, you too can be that “great agent!”

About the Author

Jeremy Miller, MBA – Jeremy is the Owner of TIER-1 ELITE INSPECTIONS; a Professional Home Inspection company serving Southern Kentucky. Jeremy draws upon his vast background as a prior Navy SEAL, Military Officer, and Law Enforcement Executive, to create, lead, and manage high-performance teams. He’s the proud husband of a beautiful wife and father to amazing children.

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