Many wholesalers get nervous when looking at a property for the first time, and I'm here to tell you there's absolutely no reason it should worry you. The common misconception is that the homeowner will start rifling off questions you don't have the answers to, which doesn't happen.
Let me ask you something... Have you ever personally bought a house? Have you rented a house? Apartment? Chances are you have for yourself or a family member, so why is this any different? (It's Not). Listen, if the property owner responded to your marketing, gave you information about the house over the phone, and then agreed to let you come walk through the property, then they want to sell, so stop worrying and be excited!!!
Don't worry about negotiating, estimating rehab costs, or anything else during the inspection. You only have three objectives while at the property.
#1 Taking Pictures - Lots and lots of pictures! You'll need them to look back at while calculating your rehab costs, and you'll also be sending them to your potential buyers so they know precisely what the property looks like and have a clear understanding of what repairs are needed.
#2 Building Rapport - Make small talk and be friendly; people are more likely to do business with someone they like, so be your most charming self.
#3 Asking Questions - Remember on the phone when you were asking about their situation with the house? Keep it up! You need to know what's motivating them to sell the property. Did they inherit it? Have a lousy tenant, run out of money to fix it up, get relocated, divorced... As a professional real estate wholesaler, it's your job to be a detective and find out what motivates them to sell.
You're a professional real estate investor now, so don't go into this all willy-nilly. Take time to prepare so that when you show up at the house, you have everything you might need, and you'll look a lot more professional. Now let's take a look at your home inspection checklist...
It should go without saying (but I'll say it anyway) show up to the house on time so the owner isn't waiting for you. I get out of my car when they show up and say you must be (seller's name) while reaching out to shake their hand. After that, hand them a business card and engage in a minute or two of small talk about the drive over, traffic, or whatever.
Then I typically pull out my camera and say if you don't mind, I'm going to take some pictures as we walk through so I can: "show them to my partner" "and go over them later with the contractor that does my repairs" or "review them later, I look at so many houses sometimes I forget which is which" (choose whichever works best for you)."
I've probably inspected over a thousand houses for myself and the investors I've rehabbed properties for, and I've found it easier to take a ton of pictures rather than trying to fill out a checklist while I walked through a house. When you go to inspect a property, I suggest that you do the same, so below is a basic outline of my process.
I know what you're thinking. That's a lot of pictures! Yep, it is... Every day I see wholesalers send out deals with only a handful of photos, and that's not the way to do it. Set yourself apart from the crowd by sending investors all the information and pictures they need to make a buying decision, and you'll sell more deals and be seen as a true professional.
Here's an example of what your pictures should look like.
Once you've walked the property, taken your photos, collected your information, and built more rapport, it's time to head back to your desk and figure out your offer. Don't feel pressured into giving them an offer right then and there; say you'll sit down and crunch some numbers and give them a call tomorrow. Be polite, thank them for showing you the house, and be on your way...
As you can see, this isn't as scary as most people think it will be; honestly, doing a property walk-through is a breeze once you've done it a time or two, so relax and have fun doing it. (it's all about the journey)