Get out in front of the home inspection! With Bruce Phares.

In this podcast, we discuss strategies and techniques that real estate agents and brokers can use to get out in front of the home inspection with Seattle’s own Windermere real estate broker, Bruce Phares.

Whether you are a new real estate agent or broker or you have been at it for decades, it is always valuable to consider how you can hone and improve your preparation for touring houses. These tips can save you time, heartache, money and help you look like a pro in front of your clients.

When I suggested this idea for a podcast, Bruce got very excited and quickly rattled off a rough draft of his well-honed preparation for house-touring. As you can see, Bruce has learned first hand the value of preparing for home-touring and viewing houses.

Before we even go: We already know the era, already used Slack to send them our info on topo, drainage, previous listing comments, etc. ECA, zoning, liquefaction, known slides, etc. (I’ve got a special page I call “Search Assist”, that covers about 30 different pre-offer due-diligence perspectives). When we get there, I train my buyers on how to look at a house. Screw the aesthetics, you’ve already decided you think it’s cute, so let’s get to the bones and see what’s up under the lid first. As you get out of the car, look at the roof, the chimney, venting, type of roofing. As they get close, look at windows, siding, grading, front porch, steps, railings. As they get inside, look at the windows, floors, ceilings. Head for the basement first (Donna always gets pissed, she always wants to check out the floor plan, and I always split to the lower level). Look for the foundation. Touch it. Post-war high-density all the way to the sill? Yessss! Pre-1915 loose-mix-in-wheel-barrel-by-Ole, Sven and Erik? Sill plates. EQ proofing. Settling. Post bases. Why is the cast iron main cut away with some ABS in its place? Why is there a new cleanout lid? Signs of moisture at the base of cardboard boxes or wood framed shelving, rust at bottom of the furnace. Chimney base, loose mortar, look for the problems first. Joisting? Subflooring? Plumbing? Electrical (architecture), hot water tank, drainage. 


Then we get to go upstairs and see the house, how it lives, etc. Meanwhile, look out every window, look at the trees, look at the roofing you can see, etc. We walk the exterior, look at the window sills, downspouts, look for comp granules in the pooling at the base of the downspout, look for oil tank vent, sewer cleanout vent, what else can we see?? At some point, when I ask them as we leave what type of roofing it has if they get it right, “That’s an architectural grade roof, looks like good granulation!”, I’ll christen them as junior inspectors! I then tell them to remember this walkthrough, so when the inspector starts commenting, let’s see how much we got right or wrong, what they see that we didn’t. I make it a game. Engage them!

Thanks for this great content, Bruce!

For more information about Bruce Phares, visit his website:

As always, a big thanks to, The Confident House Hunter, a fantastic resource for getting out in front of the home inspection.