Questions To Ask When Getting Bids From A Home Inspector
Because a home inspector is regulated state by state only in regards to being licensed and/or insured, you’ll want to ask questions before you hire one. Buying a home is a big investment, and you’re well within your rights to make sure you are buying a disaster waiting to happen. Here are eight questions you should be ready to ask:
- Do you do repairs as well as inspections? Don’t be lured in by someone who offers to repair the things he or she inspects. While this may sound like a great idea on the surface, it’s actually a conflict of interests. An unscrupulous inspector might try to push an unnecessary upgrade disguised as a needed repair. Always make the home inspector and the repairman are two different people.
- Are you bonded and insured? Anybody who has employees should have insurance for those employees, even if they are the only employee. If the inspector falls through a weak spot while inspecting the attic, they might sue you, the current homeowners, or try to put a lien on the property. Either way, things can wind up affecting everybody involved in the transaction. A home inspector should also have Errors & Omissions insurance in case there’s something significant that gets missed during the inspection.
- Do you have references? It is important to check out all references to find out if the home inspector arrived on time, did a thorough inspection, provided the report in a timely manner, etc. However, remember that they probably won’t give you references with unsatisfied customers. You will probably only get the people who gave the best reviews. Still, it will give you a chance to see the results of their work.
- Can I be there for the inspection? Too many people are content to let the home inspector do the job while they go do something else. Being there for the inspection is important. It lets you see for yourself what the inspector is seeing and lets you ask questions and get answers on the spot.
- What’s included in the inspection? While the extent of the inspection varies by region (in Florida, for example, they generally test the irrigation systems), some basics should be included. These include:
- Exterior features (outside walls, soffits, decks, roof, chimney, drainage)
- Interior items (windows, doors, plumbing, electrical outlets, switches)
- Heating and cooling systems
- Checking the attic and crawlspace to make sure they have adequate ventilation and insulation
- Can I see a sample inspection report? Seeing a sample inspection report will tell you what sort of communication you can expect. It should be easy to understand. Ideally, it should also include color photographs and diagrams, and the inspector should be willing to explain anything that you may not understand.
- Do you have special expertise for my home? All houses are different. Every type of construction has its own trouble spots. Older homes have aging issues and might use construction materials or techniques that aren’t considered safe anymore. New construction uses newer materials and techniques that your inspector should be familiar with if they’ve kept up on their training. A house with a pool will have its own considerations. Make sure your inspector knows about the home’s particulars.
- How much do you charge? By making this the last question you ask, you can avoid being swayed early on by a low price. It may be tempting to choose the $150 inspector over the $300 inspector, but be warned, the lower the price, the less thorough of an inspection you can expect.
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
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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