A home inspector will come out to the house you’re buying and inspect it. They will provide a report detailing whether or not things such as air conditioning, doors, windows, foundations, and other components are in good order. A home inspection is not something to trust a friend or relative with. It is also not something to trust to the selling agent who has a vested interest in convincing you to buy the house. By hiring a home inspector, you are sure to get a professional and unbiased appraisal of the condition of the house.
If problems are detected by the home inspector, you should discuss with the seller or seller’s agent about whose responsibility recommended repairs are and whether or not they should affect the price. Remember that if the problems are too extensive or more than you want to deal with, most real estate contracts have a clause that will let you out of the deal if the inspection is not satisfactory.
What Qualitis to Look For in a Home Inspector
When hiring a home inspector, you want to make sure you don’t have someone who is just going to take a quick look around and write down things they’ve noticed. Anybody can do that. Here is what to look for when hiring a home inspector:
- Report – This is the first and most important question you should ask. When and how will you receive the report? What type of report is used and how long is it? Are pictures and/or diagrams included? Be wary of reports that have a long turnaround time (more than a week) or are too short (ten pages or less).
- Reviews – Look for reviews and recommendations from people who have used this home inspector before. Use multiple sources including various websites and talking to people who have used them before. If a home inspector has one or two negative reviews, look to see how the problem was resolved and decide if it was handled to your satisfaction. Any more than that and you should look elsewhere.
- Certifications – A home inspector must be certified to work in the state in which the inspection is being done. Also ask about membership in such organizations as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
- Experience – Most associations require a minimum of 250 inspections before they’ll consider membership, but most pros recommend hiring someone with at least 1,000 inspections and three to five years’ experience.
- Licensing – Not every state requires that a home inspector be licensed. Any of the home inspectors’ associations should be able to tell you if yours does. If so, write down the entire license number, including any letters before or after. Those letters should help you know if you are dealing with a fully-licensed home inspector, an intern, or an apprentice.
- Insurance – Your home inspector should carry Errors & Omissions insurance and/or liability insurance. Not all states require this, so check to see if it’s required and if the home inspector has the correct type and amount.
- Training – In states where no licensing is required, some folks who do home inspections learned while working as a carpenter, an electrician, or some other relevant trade. No matter how involved these trades are, none of them translates to skill as a home inspector. Look for a home inspector who has had formal training.
- Continued Training – Home inspectors continuously update their training to stay on top of new developments, training, and knowledge. While there is a minimum amount required to renew a license, look for home inspectors who go above and beyond the bare minimum requirement.
- Length of the Inspection – A good inspection should last about 2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the home. A short inspection time indicates that little more than a glance will be given to each area. A good inspector should ask you to be there for the inspection (though this is not necessary). If they try to dissuade you from being there, find another inspector.
- Other Qualifications – It is not uncommon for a home inspector offer radon testing as well as home inspection. They may also check for termites and asbestos. Be aware of what other services they may offer and make sure they are properly certified or trained per your state’s requirements.
- Miscellaneous – If you are working with a multi-inspector team, be sure that the person who comes out to your house has the same credentials as you were told over the phone. Also, make sure the inspector will be available for follow-up questions. Also, some inspectors teach classes in their field. It’s a good sign if the inspector you are looking at also teaches classes.
- Price – This is actually the last thing you should ask about. Home inspection is one of those things where you get what you pay for. Good inspectors command higher prices. A typical home inspection can cost from $200 to $500.
Keep in mind that home inspectors are not regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As such, be wary of the price that’s too good to be true. They may be the one who’s cutting the most corners. You might save a couple of hundred dollars today but wind up paying thousands of dollars for unexpected repairs tomorrow
The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket
Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS
If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you
The text in this post was copied from a post by Home Advisor