When you buy a home, it’s highly recommended that you pay for a professional home inspection. Yes, it’s more money you have to fork out to buy the home, but it could protect your investment in the end. The inspector will determine if the home is in good condition and if it’s a good investment. If the inspector finds something really wrong with the home, it may change your mind on whether or not to buy it.
Before you pay for an inspection, though, you need to find a qualified home inspector. This professional has your future in his hands, so you want to make sure you pick someone that’s qualified for the job. Keep reading to learn what you should look for in an inspector.
Choose Your Inspector First
Before you start shopping for homes, shop for a home inspector. It may sound backwards, but you’ll be much more relaxed as you figure out which professional is fit for the job. If you wait until you find a home and the inspection contingency countdown has begun, you could feel like you are under pressure to choose someone now. Instead, wait until you are relaxed and able to make a sound decision.
Check With Your State
Does your state require inspectors to be licensed and approved by the state? If so, you can likely get a list of approved inspectors from the state. This can help narrow down your search. You still have work to do because you need to see which inspector fits the bill of what you need, but it’s definitely a head start on who you can use.
Ask Friends and Family
There’s no better resource to use than friends and family that have recently bought a home. Maybe you have friends or family that has a friend that is an inspector. These are leads you can use to determine for yourself if the inspector will suit your needs. Friends and family are likely to be honest with your regarding the experience they had. If they had a good experience, maybe you will too? Again, you should still use your own judgment regarding the inspector’s ability to do the job, but referrals can give you a good start.
Questions to Ask a Home Inspector
Once you narrow down your list of eligible inspectors, it’s time to make your list of questions. Below are a few of the most important questions you should ask:
- How long has the inspector been in business?
- How many home inspections has he done?
- How long has he been doing inspections in this area?
- Is the inspector licensed and certified? Ask to see proper proof of his/her credentials.
- Ask to see a copy of an inspection report to make sure it’s in a format and language that you are comfortable with as that is likely what your report would look like too.
Do Your Research
Even if you talk to the inspector yourself and conduct your own interview, do your research online. You’ll likely find reviews from past clients whether on the inspector’s website or on third-party websites. You can even peruse their social media websites to see what others have to say. Their social media websites also give you an idea of the inspector’s expertise. Do they share information with their audience to help inform them? Does the inspector sound like he/she knows the topic at hand? Does he/she seem like they do the job because they love it or just to make a quick dollar?
Make Sure the Inspector is Objective
You’ll also want to make sure that the inspector isn’t affiliated with any interested party in the purchase. For example, is the inspector a friend or colleague of the real estate agent, builder, or seller? You’ll want to steer clear of anyone with that type of relationships. You want someone that will be completely objective and that doesn’t stand to gain anything if you buy the home.
If you use an inspector that is affiliated with someone that is involved in the home sale, they may get a piece of the pie from the real estate agent, builder, or seller. This could entice the inspector to steer the report to the favor of the seller, making the home look better than it might be. What you want is someone that isn’t involved at all and that can see the home objectively.
Choosing a qualified home inspector is an important job. We recommend that you do this step before you even find a home. This way you’ll have someone lined up that can do the inspection as soon as your purchase contract is signed, sealed, and delivered.