6 Questions to Ask Your Potential Home Inspector
Whether you are buying or selling, having an inspection is the first step to understanding the condition of any residential or commercial space. This information can influence whether you make an offer or how high or low you set the properties price. Inspections can also point out safety hazards and other concerns. That is why it is important to find an inspector who is going to be thorough, knowledgeable and honest. There are many questions to ask a potential inspector to determine if they will exceed your expectation. Here are six that will give you a realistic expectation for service and hopefully narrow down the field for you too.
Are you state certified and compliant?
This question should always be your first. These certifications require extensive training and qualification that are necessary for any inspector to do their job effectively. Being compliant is the second part but just as important . Many inspectors will be certified but do not take steps to renew as this certification expires. An up to date certification means an inspector has proven their knowledge and are providing top notch inspections and reports. Since these reports can make a huge difference in price and buyer consideration, having a certified inspector also adds weight to the inspection report.
What was your training?
There are many way to become a home inspector. Unfortunately, online courses that provide certification same week are available. These courses are not recommended as they provide no hands on training. When deciding on your inspector be sure to ask for proof of certification, hours of training completed, field experience and continued education. By ensuring your inspector has all of this, you can be assured they are well qualified and competent to perform a top notch inspection.
Do you carry insurance?
There are two types of insurance every inspector should hold. The first is Professional Liability Insurance or Errors or Omissions Insurance. Inspectors occasionally may miss something in the chaos that usually accompanies an inspection. This insurance protects you and you inspector from future costs that may be incurred by these errors or omissions. Additionally, General Liability Insurance protects from damage incurred or injury sustained during an inspection. Ask for proof of both of these insurance to ensure you have an inspector who will stand by their report.
What type of report will I receive?
Reports can vary between inspectors. Insist on a detailed report including photographs and descriptions. This will be immensely helpful when it comes time to make the necessary repairs and adds accountability and value to the inspection report.
Are you an independent inspector or a franchise?
Independent inspectors may not require as much training or continued education as a franchised branch. Be sure to look into the requirements of your state as well as any companies you are considering using to determine their level of training and education. When choosing a franchised inspector you are more likely to find more rigorous training, continued education and insured inspectors. Franchises also tend to hold high standards of customer service and inspection because they represent a larger organization.
Do you have any referrals from past inspections?
The opinions of former customers can mean a lot. No referrals should be a red flag to anyone because even though it might mean they were not terrible, it also means they did not provide a stellar inspection. So, do your research and find out what other consumers are saying about the company, services and employees. These can help you narrow down the last few inspectors and find your winner.
You may not have known there were so many steps to choosing an inspector but keep in mind, these men and women are catching safety hazards and other concerns with your home. By asking these questions early, doing your research and insisting on education, certification and insurance you are more likely to receive the most thorough report possible. These reports can greatly influence buyer interest and price so the more information you have the better. Don’t settle for anything less than the high expectations set by the questions above.
Having trouble finding an inspector you can trust in your area? Check out the Inspect-It 1st website to locate a franchise near you, research services and get your inspection questions answered all in one place.