Talk & Walk-Through Consultation

Navigating Walk-Through Home Inspections: Expert Home Inspector in Fort Washington, Maryland

Benefits of our Talk & Walk-Through Consultation

Sometimes, homebuyers find themselves in a position where they are considering waiving their right to a home inspection. This is obviously NOT ideal. Perhaps it’s done in an effort to make a competitive offer on a “hot home”. Or maybe it’s due to a crazy real estate market–we’ve seen this a few times in the last few years!

To respond to a market where this sort of scenario has unfortunately become more common, we’ve designed a new service–the “Talk & Walk-Through Consultation”

You can also use this service to book discounted 4-hour or 8-hour blocks if you anticipate seeing many properties in a day. I will accompany you to each property to equip you with the information you need to make the most informed decisions possible.

"What makes this Talk & Walk-Through Consultation different from a normal home inspection?"

A lot! If you’ve had us do a home inspection for you before, this will feel much different. Here are some of the specific differences:

Home Inspection

Home Inspection

  • Follows InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) Standard of Practice
  • Full use of tools, ladders, etc.
  • Findings communicated in a full inspection report
  • Pictures taken during inspection
  • No strict time limit (typically 3 hours or more in length)
  • NOT an option for listings which do not allow for Home Inspections

Talk & Walk-Through Consultation

Talk & Walk-Through Consultation

  • Does not follow InterNACHI Standards of Practice (or any other SOP), since it is not a Home Inspection
  • Flashlight is the ONLY tool used
  • Findings communicated orally (no report)
  • No pictures; client follows along & takes notes as needed
  • 1 hour maximum (if longer, additional rate is applied)
  • A great option to bring in a trained professional, for listings which do not allow for Home Inspections

5 things you need to know about the Talk & Walk-Through Consultation:

1. Tools

I will certainly be traveling lighter on a Talk & Walk-Through Consultation…in fact, I will only be carrying a flashlight!

That means NO ladders (I will not be going into attics or on roofs), NO screwdrivers (covers on HVAC systems and electric panels will not be removed), and NO cameras (I will not be taking any photos and there will be no report…more on that in a bit). These are just a few examples of tools that will not be being used on a consultation; again, a flashlight is the only tool used during one of these consultations!

2. Time

For us an average home inspection lasts somewhere around 3 hours (this obviously can vary quite a bit depending on the property). But there is no fixed time limit.

In contrast, a Talk & Walk-Through Consultation will take a maximum of one hour. This obviously means that these consultations out of necessity, and by design, will be much less thorough than a home inspection. I will walk through and observe the various parts of the home in whatever order seems best. The consultation is limited to whatever I can easily see while walking around the property, and it should be understood that not everything will be inspected due to the cursory nature of the Talk & Walk-Through Consultation. This is the main reason why I strongly encourage a follow-up full home inspection at a later date, if the client was successful in the seller choosing their offer. We’ll come back to this at the end of the post!

In the event that more time is needed during a consultation, additional rates apply–but for the vast majority of properties 1 hour is sufficient for the purpose of a consultation.

3. Standards of Practice

Another important difference is that, because a consultation is NOT an inspection, it does not follow any set of SOPs, or Standards of Practice. At DS Home Inspection Services, our home inspections and reports meet the InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) Standards of Practice. SOPs are in place to ensure that professional inspections meet basic criteria to be considered …well, professional inspections!

Consultations cannot–and must not–be performed in a way that makes them essentially identical to a home inspection, different in name only. This is the reason why a consultation is an excellent option for those not able to perform an inspection–because a consultation is different in nature and character than an inspection.

Another reason why a consultation, while a necessary tool in some competitive markets / situations, works best when coupled with a home inspection after ratifying a contract!

4. Documentation

I will NOT be carrying or using a camera during the consultation, and you as the client will not receive a report of any kind (this would cause the consultation to resemble too closely a home inspection, as discussed above).

It will therefore be your job to follow along and take great notes! Hence the “Talk & Walk” in the name of this service

To sum up: Findings will be communicated orally, and NOT in a report.

5. Circumstances of Use

Up until now, most of the differences we’ve discussed have focused on the ways in which a Talk & Walk-Through Consultation is more LIMITED than a home inspection.

But the last difference, and the thing that sets this consultation apart in a positive way from an inspection, is that there are certain circumstances in which your only option is a consultation. Where a home inspection is impossible, a consultation could still be relied on to gain some valuable information about a property you’re potentially interested in. If you are able to get a limited inspection, our Pre-Offer 4 Point Inspection may be the better option for you.

In many cases, a Talk & Walk-Through Consultation can help set your mind at ease or give you a little more confidence about a particular property.

In other cases, I might identify something during the consultation that is enough for you to decide that being competitive over that particular property is just not worth it to you.

An hour with a professional and trained eye at the property is better than nothing at all!

Follow It Up with a Home Inspection

If you are successful in the seller choosing your offer and have a ratified contract, we highly highly recommend (if the seller allows) that you have an “as-is” / “for information purposes only” home inspection performed.

If this is not possible, you should instead have the inspection performed the day after closing.

This allows for me to identify any concerns that may need attention sooner rather than later. If urgent repairs are needed, it’s helpful to do those repairs before moving all personal belongings in (so those belongings are not damaged during the course of repairs).

Keep in mind, you can also use this service to book discounted 4-hour or 8-hour blocks if you anticipate seeing many properties in a day. I will accompany you to each property to equip you with the information you need to make the most informed decisions possible.