We all face those moments of huge crises – where we have many alternatives for a particular problem, and it can sometimes overwhelm us! In this context, If you’re looking to move out, then naturally, you will be looking at shopping for a home! The easiest way to do this is to find yourself a home inspector. After all, a home inspection is your one opportunity to get a crystal clear assessment of the housing industry. For many people, it is the most expensive purchase of a lifetime.
You don’t need to wait until you have an accepted offer to shop for a home inspector. Take your time to interview several candidates so that you can be sure to hire an experienced professional. After all, you don’t want to go wrong with this, do you?
Your home inspection is the best source of information about the property because their views are unbiased. The inspector you choose has your back, so take advantage of the opportunity and learn all you can from them! There will be plenty of ways that you both can help each other.
If you’ve got an inspection in the distant future, follow our advice to know how to choose a home inspector.
- Pay Attention to your Real Estate Agents Referrals
Your real estate agent might offer to give you names when you are finding a home inspector. He may be perfectly benevolent, but the reference he throws needs to be caught with caution because it might present a conflict of interest.
A real estate agent is usually desperate to close the deal, and that incentive may be at odds with that of the inspector, who gets paid for his reports. If the report raises too many issues, it can be used as an opportunity to negotiate the price. An inspector who has been referred by your agent will be leveraged to go easy on the inspection due to an ulterior motive. Being active on social media can also help. Take advice from your family and friends before taking a final call too!
- Focus on the Credentials
If you are wondering how to find a good home inspector, you can start by asking your friends and families if they have anyone they can recommend. You can also find referrals through local online communities such as Next Door or Patch, where you can find reviews given by members. Ensure that you spend time while vetting potential candidates. You could specifically look for individuals who have experience in looking at a variety of areas. This will help you broaden your search too!
Once you have found a few good candidates, search online to see whether they have any complaints against them. Try doing a prior web search with the name of the company. There are several fraud companies out there too, and you don’t want to get duped, so make sure you know exactly who you’re hiring! Recommendations are the safest way to go.
- Professional Help Can be Reassuring
Hiring someone who is certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable. With experience – they will be a part of multiple projects that will enable them to have a greater sense of what works and what does not!
Among the requirements for certification from ASHI, for instance, candidates have to pass an in-person National Home Inspector Examination and document that they have done at least 250 paid home inspections in the past. Different organizations have different requirements for getting a qualification for the home inspection.
If your country requires licensing for home inspectors, ask for proof of licensing from the inspectors that you are considering hiring. So it is preferable to find a home inspector with sufficient qualifications.
- Compare Home Inspection Reports
Imagine this – Your inspection is done, and the house has been purchased, but it’s not until many months later that you find out the house isn’t the safest bet. What do you do? No point in fretting about it! What you could do instead is get your home inspection reports in place beforehand. A safe way to choose the best house inspector will be and how well he can articulate the problems he comes across. Ask for a sample copy of an inspection he has done on a home like the one you are considering to buy; the sample reports will show how much work they are going to do.
After you are done comparing reports from several inspectors, you will begin to see which ones are detailed in their observations. You can also eliminate the inspectors who are just filling the reports with unnecessary information such as the importance of sealing a wood deck or utensils used to improve energy efficiency.
- Experience is Key
In addition to professional certifications, some of the best home inspectors are the ones who are veterans in the field inspecting homes.
He is more likely to have seen different home types and a broad range of home issues. Especially if the house is older, look for an inspector with sufficient training and other credentials, such as an architect’s or home engineer’s license. Especially for individuals who have a high budget – it’s wiser to go with someone who has considerable experience in handling the particular project. Experience in the kind of homes you are looking for is also necessary. There could be potential safety concerns, especially when moving into a new neighborhood, that one might not be aware of. In such cases, it helps to have inspectors who can predict and help you out of any potentially dangerous situation!
Remember, more experience would also mean more money spent. So pick someone who balances the experience and budget scale, without burning a hole in your pocket!
- Quote the Price
In the quest of finding a good home inspector, you also need to factor in how much money he is going to charge you. Affordability should be one of the first things you need to check while selecting a house inspector. If the person is quoting a price that does not fit your budget, then all the efforts taken to close will end up a waste.
Make a list of qualified and unqualified professionals, then add several filters and arrive at the right price.
Some inspectors will add free services that are not covered by a basic inspection, such as using a drone to view the roof or placing an infrared camera on walls and ceilings. Others will charge extra for those same set of services. While there might be others who will refer you to an outside expert to do that work.
Be aware that you may have to pay extra for specialized tests that are not covered by the initial home inspection. But if you have additional expenses accounted for in your budget, that should not be a problem!
- Fire your Questions Away
Doesn’t it happen sometimes – When you are curious about something but let it go, only to have it turn up in your life as a problem later on? When buying a house, it’s crucial to know all the little and the big details. The less that is left out, the more you will be in control. All knowledge is necessary for your safety and protection – hence, your inquisitiveness must translate into questions and, eventually, answers.
The reason you found a home inspector is because this person has the necessary knowledge to evaluate whether your potential property has any issues that would make purchasing the home a bad decision.
The best home inspector will oblige all the grilling and clear all your doubts about your satisfaction. At the same time, refrain from asking unnecessary questions. Respect your home inspector’s knowledge and time. However, if something does not look right or you are unable to understand what your home inspector is referring to, then feel free to speak up. It is always wise to ask questions now rather than discover issues after you have purchased the property.
- Inspect the Home Inspection Yourself
In olden time home inspectors usually worked alone. Over the period, homebuyers prefer to attend the inspection themselves due to trust issues. If you can take time away from work, you must plan to attend the inspection. Seeing the condition of the house in person will certainly give you a first-hand perspective about the house you are going to purchase. Choosing a home inspector who is inviting and comfortable to take you around every corner of the room and patiently explaining the process is important.
Following the inspector from room to room will allow you to get a good idea about the house and get your qualms cleared right away. It will also help you to gain a deeper understanding of the inspection report, which can feel satisfying, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer.
- Get Lawyered Up
Not everyone is law-friendly, and this point is especially for those. There will be some things that you won’t be able to predict. Having a lawyer will make that process easy. Legal obligations are detrimental on how to select a home inspector. The chief concern of the home inspector is safety, but the home inspector is not your keeper.
There are several things that you need to be aware of while selecting a home inspector from a legal standpoint. Different home inspectors have different formats of contracts that they enter into with buyers. Depending on the shrewdness and generosity of the inspector, contractual obligations will vary.
Some inspection contracts will not give you much assurance in case of undiscovered problems, leaving you with a limited warranty. The inspector’s responsibilities are often delineated in their contract, limiting their legal liability. For example, if an arbitration clause is present, it would hamper your ability to file a lawsuit in case of disaster.
Even if you were able to file a suit, there are sometimes additional clauses that limit the amount of compensation you can receive. If the contract is skewed against you, you might only recover a fraction of the cost of the inspection. It is always advisable to hire a lawyer to take a look at the contracts before entering into one.
- Take Pictures for Proof
A good inspector for homes will bring a camera along during the inspection. The inspector will also be heading into places that you will not want to go if you do not have to such as the roof, crawl space, the attic, under-decks, etc. Ask your inspector to photograph any potential issues that could arise so you can see the issue for yourself and make sure you fully understand the problems.
Preferably ask your inspector to bring infrared and thermal cameras that can give you and your inspector a look behind walls and floors that you otherwise would not be able to get without ripping out the wall or flooring. This kind of technology is very accessible and affordable. It is also a lot more efficient than ordinary pictures. Don’t be shy to get all the information you might need! Your home inspector should use such equipment throughout the inspection. But, such a level of professional help will attract a higher cost.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not difficult to find the right home inspector. One needs to be mindful and prepared. Make sure that you spend a significant amount of time researching exactly what you’re looking for! Talking to people will also help. Usually, your friends can help you out with their feedback and contacts!
Through this list, we have provided you with the most detailed list of things to keep in mind on how to select a home inspector.
It is a capital investment that needs to be carefully considered. Since you will be investing so much money and energy in it, do not finish the process in haste. Take your time in doing active due diligence and only then go about the process of selecting the right inspector for your home. Study and follow all our tips for a carefree experience. Happy home (inspector) hunting! Let us know if our article helped you find one!