Choosing the Right Inspection Company!!
Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases most people make in their lifetime. It makes sense to hire the best home inspector possible. The extra money you spend getting a top notch home inspector will be well worth the money. Hopefully, you will find this guide useful.
1. Find out what the Home Inspector includes and how long it takes
If your shopping around, find out what the other home inspection company includes. The best home inspection will be a thorough one, where the inspector goes over every little detail of the home. You want an inspection that looks at every component of the home, including:
The roofing and attic system, including walking on the roof (when it is safe of does not damage the roof) or use of drones.
The electrical system including opening panels and checking all accessible switches, outlets, and fixtures.
The heating and air conditioning systems.
Plumbing systems, water heaters, supply valves.
The crawlspace and foundation.
Interior, windows, doors, insulation, and ventilation.
Exterior, driveways, walkways, drainage, balconies, irrigation, and patios.
Evidence of water penetration or grading issues.
Garage door, parking, and door openers.
Appliances and other general components of the home.
Some inspectors may only focus on the structure itself and nothing more. Just know going in exactly what you are getting.
Most home inspections should take two to three hours to complete. If you are purchasing a larger home, a fixer-upper, or an older home, the inspection will more than likely take even longer. Don’t hire someone who tells you they will complete the full home inspection within an hour or so. It is unlikely the inspector will be able to do a thorough job in that limited time span.
2. Verify that the Inspection Company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations
Hiring someone that just does inspections is an important tip for finding the right home inspector! Home inspection companies that sell other services – such as roofing, plumbing, kitchen and bathroom renovations, etc. – have conflicts of interest. The fact that they sell repair and renovation services means they are more likely to see problems where there aren’t any.
You want an objective opinion on the house’s state, not a soft sell on renovation or repair services. Of course, the company may do an excellent job of separating its inspection and repair services.
Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know if you will be encouraged to make unnecessary repairs until you hire and pay for the inspection.
Choose a home inspection company that’s focused solely on inspections. If you are interested in the cost of repairs or renovations, bring in a contractor after the inspection is over.
3. Check out the Inspectors reviews
Another key consideration for picking a home inspector is inspector reviews. It is always worthwhile to check out what other people are saying when hiring a service, and home inspectors are no exception. Ideally, you want to get reviews from at least a few different websites.
Google, Customer Lobby, and BBB, are good places to start. You can find out a lot about the inspector by what each customer is saying about his or her experience with the inspection company. Did the inspector seem knowledgeable? Did he or she turn up on time? Was the report comprehensive and relatively easy to understand?
While reviews are excellent, keep in mind the amount a home inspection company is reviewed is also important in order to give you the clearest picture possible on the company you are hiring.
4. Use Google to search for good Home Inspectors
If you are new to an area or don’t know any home inspectors, the first place you may want to start is Google. You can do an online search using “home inspector near me” or “home inspectors near me.” Using these search terms, you should get results showing inspectors located in your general area.
Now the hard part begins. You will have to start doing a bit of research on the home inspectors you have found. Make sure you look up reviews and any references you find. It also makes sense to do another search on the company to make sure that the company is in good standing on the internet.
Using Google to find a home inspector is a good start, but there are other methods you should fall back on if they are available to you.
5. Get a reference from your Real Estate Agent
Typically a good source for picking a home inspector can be your Realtor. Do you know your real estate agent well and trust them? Do you feel they have your best interests at heart and are not more concerned about their pocketbook? If you can confidently answer these two questions in the affirmative, then there is no reason not to trust your Realtors’ advice on who to select as a home inspector.
If your agent has been in business for any length of time, they have probably encountered quite a few home inspectors. By observation, your agent can see who does a thorough job and who does not. An exceptional buyer’s agent, one who wants the best for their client, will have a couple of home inspectors they know to go through a home with a fine-tooth comb. A trustworthy agent will not be worrying about whether choosing the “tough inspector” will cause the sale to fall apart.
If you just met your real estate agent and didn’t know them that well, you may want to consider finding your own inspector. Like every other business, there are good and bad apples in the home inspection industry. Some real estate agents will “steer” their clients to a hand-picked list of home inspectors who are less observant than others when it comes to finding problems.
On the other hand, some home inspectors do not have great delivery system when pointing out issues. I have found that the way problems are communicated can dramatically affect you as a potential home buyer. Some of the worst home inspectors, while thorough, use scare tactics to make problems sound way worse than they are! Why do they do this? If you don’t buy the home, you’re more than likely going to call them for the next house. This is the mark of an unprofessional inspector. Yes, there are bad home inspectors, just like there are bad real estate agents!
An excellent home inspector will not only be thorough but will take the time to explain the severity of an issue. If the problem they have found is a common one and not something to be genuinely concerned about, they should explain this to you. Some of the most common home inspection problems can usually be corrected fairly easily and quickly.
6. Request a sample inspection report
When selecting a home inspector it is helpful to see what their home inspection report looks like. Home inspection reports can come in many different formats, from walls of text to colorful reports with photographs. You will have an easier time reading the report if it is designed to be accessible. Any inspection company you are considering should be able to send you a sample report so you can see if the format works for you.
I would highly recommend selecting a home inspector who provides color photography of the issues they find. When it comes to home inspections, a picture is worth having. When communicating issues to the seller having pictures make things so much easier. Sometimes it is tough for non-specialists to discern problems without seeing exactly what the inspector is referencing.
7. Compare the cost of hiring different Home Inspection companies
No one wants to pay more than they have to for a home inspection, so it makes sense to shop around. However, you need to make sure you are making apples to apples comparison, remember not all inspection companies are the same. When you are looking at different companies, get a relatively detailed description of what each company does during an inspection. A more thorough inspection is worth paying more for. So is a company with better references, or one with more experience. There is nothing wrong with saving money, but make certain you are hiring someone you can rely on to do a good job.
On average, you can expect a general home inspection to cost anywhere from $400 to 800 dollars. Expect to add more to the cost for things such as pool inspections, dock and seawall inspections, wind mitigation inspections, termite inspections, and mold inspections or mold sampling. When it comes to picking a home inspector, the cost is probably the least important thing to look at. Remember you want the best work, not the cheapest person who may miss a serious problem which can cost you thousands of dollars.
8. Choose an InterNACHI Certified Inspector
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors or InterNACHI, for short, is an exceptional organization. An InterNACHI certified inspector is required to follow a strict code of ethics. When you choose an InterNACHI inspector, you will be working with someone who has completed numerous inspection courses and technical examinations.
These inspectors are also required to complete 24 hours of continuing education per year. InterNACHI is the largest inspection trade association in North America. You can learn more by visiting their website at InterNACHI. Read about what makes InterNACHI so special! Many states also have statewide associations, which can be acceptable alternatives.