HOW TO: Hire a Home Inspector
SO it's time to hire a home inspector... how the heck are you supposed to do that? I have had sooooo many clients that are going through the process of buying, selling, or owning a home for the very first time- and with that comes A TON of questions about how to do it properly. DON'T YOU WORRY!!! Sandee Payne is here to make your life just a little bit eaiser. I am going to teach you the in's & out's of hiring a home inspector.
Let's start off with the WHAT & WHY. What is a home inspection? What are they for? According to Forbes.com, a home inspection is simply an assessment of the home. This inspection is conducted by a qualified and trained home inspector. 72% of Americans believed that their home inspection before the purchase of their home helped them avoid potential issues with their home. The home inspection is a visual inspection of the performance of your home. The home purchaser can then use the findings from the home inspection to make a knowledgeable decision about the purchase price of the home for sale.
Why hire a home inspector? Well, first off they're professionsals- a certified inspector has a trained eye. Second, it's easy and normal to grow accustomed to problems in your home! You live there every single day- odd little quirks can slip your mind. Next, there could be issues in places that you're not going!! Attics, basements, inside the fireplace? They'll find them.
Let's dive into the HOW to hire a good home inspector...
1) Ask your agent! Us realtors work all day every day with people in the industry. They have most likely worked with several different home inspectors in your town or know other trusted agents that have. Even if you choose to not use the people that your agent reccomends, this can be an excellent starting point.
2) Use Google! This seems like an obvious answer, I know, but hear me out. Read reviews and then read some more. Start by looking up the people that your agent is reccomending- a honest and trusted home inspector will likely have a ton of positive reviews from people in your area.
3) Talk to your friends and family. There's a pretty good chance that you trust the opinions of your loved ones more than a random stranger, right? If you know somebody that has recently bought or sold a home, reach out to them! Keep in mind that looking into several inspectors will be how you find the right match for you.
4) Trust your gut and interview as many people as you need to. You deserve to trust the person in charge of this process! QuickenLoans.com has a wonderful list of potential questions you can ask- here are a few of them.
-Are you certified and licensed? Some states don’t require a certification or a license. However, most new home buyers seek to find a certified inspector. If your home inspector has a certification or license, you will know that they have been professionally trained and had to complete course work.
-Are you insured and bonded? By having insurance, the home inspector is covered in the case that there’s a mistake in their inspection report and the new homeowner decides to take legal action. For example, if the inspector misses something that ends up costing thousands of dollars in repairs and the inspector doesn’t carry error and omissions insurance, the buyer is liable and will have to pay for correcting the mistake.
-Are you a full-time home inspector? If they are, then you know that the demand for their services is high enough to make a living out of it, possibly indicating that they are good at what they do.
-How long will the inspection take? If it takes less than two hours, the home inspector may not be spending enough time to do a thorough inspection.
-Will you provide a full report of the inspection? What will this report include? Does it include pictures? Do you have a sample? How long will it take for me to receive it? By asking to see a sample, you can determine if you’ll be able to understand the reporting style. Also, you should be able to receive a report within 24 hours of the inspection (pending any home tests that need longer to be completed).
-Can I get names and contact information of your last three references? You’re really interviewing this person for a job. It makes sense that you do your due diligence before trusting them with such a large purchase.
5) Ask your agent what you need covered in the home inspection. It’s easy to have rose colored glasses when buying a home, but you want to make sure every inch of your house is checked for issues you may not be able to live with. You never know what you will find.
There you have it, my TOP FIVE TIPS on how to hire a good home inspector! I wish you happy house hunting!!!