Do You Need a Mold Inspection?

Do you need a Mold Inspection?

We are going to tell you something right away about mold inspections and mold testing that is going to make 99% of all other mold companies and mold inspectors squirm.

If you already see visible mold, you usually do NOT need a mold inspection or mold testing. If you already see visible mold, you simply need to remove it. Once you see visible mold, testing is usually unnecessary and a waste of money.

When should a mold inspection or mold testing be considered?

  1. When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is present. Here a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
  2. There have been plumbing leaks or water issues and there is a suspicion that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
  3. Post Mold Removal Clearance Testing to ensure that the previous mold issues has been resolved and mold counts have returned to levels found in normal environments of the same type.
  4. Health Concerns: In some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.
  5. For real estate transactions for the protection of Buyers and Sellers.
  6. Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.
  7. Someone thinks they see or smell mold but are not sure.
  8. Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of their environment.

Just remember our simple rule: “For Your Protection Get A Mold Inspection”

Certus Home Inspections – TREC #20434

2506 Llano Springs Dr
Katy, TX 77494

(832) 378-7622

For Your Protection Get A Home Inspection


Benefits of a Home Inspection
Think you don’t need a Home Inspection? Think again!

Compare the way you shop for a car with the way you shop for a house:

If you’re like me, you look closely at the WARRANTY details when you’re buying a car. How well is the car covered after you roll it off the lot?  A new car will normally have some decent warranty coverage, while a used car often doesn’t.  You may end up paying a deductible on the car warranty, but at least most of the components of the car are covered when you buy a new one.

As for me, whenever I buy a used vehicle, I enlist the help of my friend who happens to be a mechanic.  He checks the vehicle over for defects that I might have missed, because I consider a car a BIG investment.  His expertise about cars far exceeds my own, so I trust him to tell me if the car is going to need any major repairs in the near future.  This is a ritual that’s repeated every time I’m looking for a new set of wheels.

Now compare what I’ve told you about my car shopping ritual with the way people view buying a home.

The initial investment (down payment) on a home is a sizable chunk of money to start with.  Add your monthly mortgage payment to that for 15-30 years and you’re looking at, many times, over $1 MILLION!!!!   Isn’t it ironic that we want a certain level of assurance when buying a car, but we skimp on that assurance when buying a home that will cost up to TWENTY TIMES more than a vehicle?

It’s understandable that when you’re buying a home, you have a lot of worries and expenses related to that purchase, so you decide against ordering a home inspection to save a little cash.  After all, everything LOOKS okay, and your cousin Vinny the drywall installer even walked through it and told you it’s a gem, right?

The simple truth is, different people have different areas of expertise.  Vinny might be the best drywall man in the world, but can he spot a faulty heating system, an undersized wire in an electrical branch circuit, or an obscure defect in a foundation wall that could cost you thousands to have repaired?  Probably not.  That’s the reason I look up my mechanic friend when I buy a used car:  I’m a great home inspector, but I wouldn’t know an engine relay switch from an iPOD when it comes to cars.

The point I’m making is NOT to trust your biggest investment to the opinions of those who aren’t qualified.  You’ve probably heard this tag-line before, but it’s worth repeating:



Should I stay or should I go

You’re Sure to Get a Response from Dead Prospects With This Email

By Mike Brooks

Ever had a client or prospect never get back to you?

Because you’re in sales, then I know it’s happened to you (or is happening with several of your clients or prospects right now!).

If you ever find yourself in a place where you’ve qualified a prospect, sent them information, then find that they just won’t return your calls or emails, then I’ve got a guaranteed email that will get you a response.

In fact, don’t take my word for it. Check out this word for word email I received a couple of weeks from one of my readers who used this technique himself:

“Mike, just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks. Just one tip I took from you about your ‘guaranteed email’ worked so well I needed to say thanks.

‘Should I stay or should I go’

I had a 30% response from a group of prospects I could not get on the phone a second time and did not want to chase. It worked like a charm and of the 42 responses I picked up 2 sales I would not have gotten otherwise. I also made several people smile that day. Thanks again for the technique! – Eric K.”

You’re welcome, Eric!

OK, so if you’re ready to learn and use this technique, here it is:

(Note: this email technique was one I learned last summer when I spoke at the L.A. Chapter of the AA-ISP. One of the participants shared it with us and I’ve been passing it along ever since!)

Subject of your email: “Should I stay or Should I go?”

“_________ While I’ve tried to reach you, I haven’t heard back from you and that tells me one of three things:

1) You’ve already chosen another company for this and if that’s the case please let me know so can I stop bothering you,

2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet

3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up and in that case please let me know and I’ll call 911 for you…

Please let me know which one it is because I’m starting to worry…

Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you.”

Is that great or what??

This works on so many levels including using a “Clash” song everyone can relate to in the subject line, to giving them options and an out in case they’ve decided not to work with you.

And, of course, you give people a reason to smile and that always relieves the pressure from the sales situation.

Use it this week and see for yourself how it works to get your prospects to get back with you and how it gets you deals.

What Do Other Realtors Do?

What Do Other Realtors Do?
By Christy Crouch

So I was on a coaching call yesterday and asked my Realtor what their biggest fear was around taking more listings. She said talking to them about price and what she offers vs what other Realtors are able to offer.

I said okay lets list all the things other Realtors can do to market a home and we came up with this list:

Open houses
Print advertising
Internet advertising
Sign, lockbox, mls
Brochures inside & out
Realtor tours & luncheons
Lead in signs
Price Condition Location
Staging ideas
Feedback from showings
Direct mail to neighbors
Calls to neighbors
Target mail/email to buyers and to other Realtors
Reports from internet activity
Communication and updates

I’m sure you can think of a few more ideas that we overlooked but this is the basic list of what we can do to market and advertise a home. So my next question to her was, are you doing all this and if not can you or are you willing to which she said yes.

So, that takes care of any fears or reservations you may have when thinking about what another Realtor can offer that you don’t, right?

Stop allowing that to stop you! If you just like working with buyers and prefer to focus on that, then that’s great! But if you want to build your listing inventory and control your schedule, your time, and your income then focusing on taking more listings is the best way to do that.

There are several ways to find listing leads and we listed those together as well. Here is that list, try to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 one being you cringe at the thought and 5 being it totally excites you to think about doing it:

Prospecting (calling expireds, fsbos, past clients, sop, just listed, just sold, cold calling, banks, attorney’s,etc)
Open houses
Floor time
Internet / social media
Buying the business / self-promotion
Waiting / hoping for the business
Feeding off other Realtors who are too busy to handle their business
Short sales/foreclosures/distressed properties
If you can do them all and do it efficiently that’s great. My feeling is it’s best to focus on what resonates most with you because if you actually enjoy doing it you will do it better. The key to building a big business is to do whatever it is you do consistently.

The less we focus and worry about what other Realtors are doing and focus on what we need to do to grow our own business the better off we’ll be in every area both professionally and personally.

Knowing When It’s the Right Buyer

Knowing When It’s the Right Buyer

By: Walter Sanford

Preventing the Loss of a Sale

Sometimes, you have the right buyer who wants to buy from a seller that you think should have the motivation to sell. This process can be frustrating. Add in the fact that you have both ends of the transaction and your buyer doesn’t believe that you can’t get the job done. Also, you know that your seller must sell, but all is for naught…because the sellers just will not get together to move forward.

Often the only thing you can do is send a final letter to the sellers, outlining from what they might be walking away. The letter might get to some partners who haven’t heard the whole story. The letter might make them realize what costs are and also give them a glimpse of the future. It also shows your buyer that you are doing everything possible to make the deal happen! At this point, what do you have to lose?

Take a look at a letter that I did for a coaching client this week:



Address (send to all addresses you have for the sellers)

City, ST ZIP


I am writing to you, because our discussions have not made sense to me. Through the years, I have too often heard the statement — “I wish that I had taken that offer you brought me last year.” Sometimes, it was because the seller did not understand the advantages on jumping on an opportunity from the rare “right” buyer.

I have included a copy of the offer to each of the addresses that I have in my file. I cannot disclose the name of the buyer until it is accepted. I have this buyer pre-approved for financing and I have confirmed their down payment.

Based on the ownership of your property, the taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance would be about $_____ per month, should you keep the real estate.

Based on the sales price less what you owe and less closing costs should you accept this offer, your equity is approximately$__________. Should you invest the equity at a current safe return of 4% that would return $_______ per month. When you add your monthly costs and the monthly loss of opportunity income from your equity, you are losing $________ per month.

I realize that your decision not to sell may have nothing to do with money; however, if that is an issue, we are also coming upon some changing times. Higher interest rates will reduce future buyers and reduce final sales prices. It will, however, increase your safe return income on your equity should you sell. Selling would also end your management responsibilities.

I have now said it all. You are the boss, but you can’t say you were not informed. This offer is good for 15 more days. After those fifteen days, we will be making offers on other properties.

Sometimes, there is one best buyer, and this one may be the one. Please let me know your final decision at your earliest convenience.



Company Name

The Rules of Real Estate

The Rules of Real Estate

Walter Sanford

This is a simple title that was created by years of tears.

In the last thirty-five years, I have been mentored by the best or I have mentored the best. Violate the following rules at your own risk! You can think up some reasons why these rules don’t apply, but over time, ignoring them will pay you back in the future. Some agents pay me thousands of dollars to cure problems that probably wouldn’t have occurred had they followed “the rules.”

1. Be careful in implementing rules learned from mentors who are not where you want to be in net worth, happiness, family, fun, and peace. You won’t know – so ask a lot of questions!

2. At a meeting, spend more time learning a client’s motivation than anything else. Unless you can verbally restate what it takes to achieve a client’s clear goals and the clients agree that their goals are in sight, you will have pain.

3. When you are being sold an expensive or time-consuming solution for a small real estate business problem, just say “NO!”

4. Proactive seller lead generation for two hours every day is the only way an individual agent will excel to the head of the class.

5. Most average agents are great in great markets. Only great agents are great in rotten markets.

6. Occupancy prior to close is a mistake you’ll only make once.

7. Huge deposits cure most closing problems.

8. The client remembers the close, not the price.

9. Hey, teams – net is more important than gross. That goes for everyone else, too!

10. CE credits are a government agenda and may not teach you how to sell more, make more, and have happier clients. Don’t choose your training based on CE needs.

11. Spend very little time or money generating buyer leads in any market. Spend it on generating seller leads.

12. Be loyal to one affiliate and ask them to be part of your team with responsibilities.

13. Remember, you are in sales. You can’t help anyone until you understand the client’s needs, offer solutions, ask for their business, and overcome objections – in one sitting!

14. Hanging out with real estate agents in your town will make you little money.

15. Trust a lender to whom you give most of your business.

16. You need to talk to the “right” database twice a year.

17. Technology makes great business systems faster and cheaper. If you are purchasing it for any other reason, understand the cost.

18. All great agents run out of energy. Invest well.

19. You work for free until closing so write contracts that close as quickly as possible with clients who have reasons to close.

20. Having Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within you allows you to do many miraculous things!

Annual Routine – Home Maintenance Plan

Summer has come and gone. We are at the start of a new season. Here is a checklist that you can use and incorporate into your routine home maintenance plan for your house. They are broken up into seasons.


Hire a home inspector to perform a home maintenance inspection at part of your routine home maintenance plan. Contact me at (832) 378-7622 or email me at

In the Spring:

• Check for damage to your roof

• Check all the fascia and trim for deterioration

• Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer

• Check your water heater

• Replace all extension cords that have become brittle, worn or damaged

• Check your fire extinguishers

• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter

• Review your fire escape plan with your family

• Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks to help provide a level walking surface

• Check the shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture to make sure they function

• Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer

• Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

In the Summer:

• Check kids playing equipment

• Check your wood deck or concrete patio for deterioration

• Check the nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

• Check exterior siding

• Check all window and door locks

• Check your home for water leaks

• Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles

In the Fall:

• Check your home for water leaks

• Have a heating professional check your heating system every year Home Maintenance Checklist for the Seasons

• Protect your home from frozen pipes

• Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone

• Test your emergency generator

• Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

• Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

• Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

• Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss

• Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

In the Winter:

• Clean the gutters and downspouts

• Confirm firewood at least 20 feet away from your home

• Remove screens from windows and install storm windows

• Familiarize responsible family members with the gas main valve and other appliance valves

• Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer

• Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections

• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter

• Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles

• Check your water heater

• Test all AFCI and GFCI devices

5 Closing Questions You Must Be Asking

5 Closing Questions You Must Be Asking

Mike Brooks

I get a lot of ezine topic requests each week, and the majority of them are requests for different questioning techniques to use during the qualification stage. I’m glad to see these requests because it means people understand the importance of identifying and then spending time with buyers.

I’ve written many articles over the years that address these kinds of questions, and if you’ve missed any of them I encourage you to visit my blog here.

Recently, however, I got a request for questions that could be used during the close or presentation stage. That was a good question, and I’m going to cover 5 of my favorites right now. These questions will vary from taking a prospect’s pulse to see if they are with you, to finding out if a benefit you just listed would work for them, all the way to a trial close.

All of these questions are crucial to ask during the close, and after you read them I encourage you to put these into your closing scripts and outlines. They will give you the feedback you’ll need (and don’t get because you’re not in front of your prospect) to close the sale. To get the most benefit from them, begin using them today:

#1 After giving any part of your presentation, you should ask, “Are you with me so far?” You can vary this with, “How does that sound?” Or, “Do you see what I mean?” and, “Does that make sense?”

Always listen carefully to not only what they say, but to how they say it. And always allow a few seconds after they respond to give them time to add something else.

#2 Any time you give a benefit, ask, “How would you use that?” or, “Could you use that?” Or, “Would that work for you?” Or, “Would that be of benefit in your situation?”

Again, LISTEN to what and how they respond…

#3 Another good question to ask throughout your presentation is, “Do you have any questions so far?”

This is one of the best questions to ask, and it’s also one of the least used. You’d be amazed by the kinds of questions you’ll get, and each one reveals what your prospect is thinking. You must use this question often!

#4 Trial closes are always good – “Does this seem to be the kind of solution you are looking for?” or, “How is this sounding so far?” or, with a smile in your voice, “Am I getting close to having a new client yet?”

Even though that sounds cheesy, you’d be amazed by how it will often break the ice and get your prospect to lower his/her guard.

#5 When you’re done with your presentation, always ask, “What haven’t I covered yet that is important to you?”

This is a great way to end your presentation, because if they tell you they don’t have any questions, then you get to ask for the order! If they do have questions, you answer them and then ask for the order!

The bottom line is that asking questions — and then shutting up and listening — is still one of the most important things you can do either during the qualification stage or during the close. Use the above questions during your next presentation and watch your closes get stronger and your income get bigger!