When you purchase a home, an inspection could uncover existing problems that only a professional might see. Here’s how to choose the right inspector. With this information, you as the buyer could require that the seller make fixes prior to closing the sale. You may also discover issues that would convince you to cancel the transaction.
If you are selling your home, a professional inspection could point to issues to fix before putting it on the market. This can lessen the potential for unnecessary headaches with a potential buyer.
Whether you are the buyer or seller, choosing the right inspector to conduct the inspection is crucial. But how do you do this?
First, it is important to have a good grasp on what home inspectors will be looking at from their professional perspective.
A good home inspector should cover the following:
- Interior and exterior
- Heating and cooling systems
- Exterior walls
- Parapets, trim
- Examination of the roof and attic to assess ventilation, insulation, roof surface, framing, penetrations, flashing, overhangs, drainage, gutters and downspots
Generally, a home inspection takes approximately two to four hours to complete.
In addition, follow these steps to ensure that you hire the right home inspector for you:
- Shop around and select a home inspector prior to shopping for your new home. If you make an offer to purchase first, you are under a deadline, and you may feel pressured to select the first home inspector you interview.
- Do some research and be prepared with a list of questions, including questions about their education, background, the number of inspections performed, length of time in business, and what will be included in the report.
- Ask family and friends for recommendations. Or choose an inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
- Seek out a home inspector who has deep knowledge of a home’s structure and systems, not just a person with a specialty in plumbing or electrical systems.
- Verify the home inspector’s license with the state agency that regulates the industry. Also double check for any complaints. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask the home inspector to provide proof of errors and omissions insurance.
- Ask about any additional credentials including certification by the ASHI.
- Ensure that the inspector has no connections to the real estate agency listing the home for sale. This will help you find an inspector who is independent and objective.
- Invest some time in interviewing several inspectors, at least two to three, so you can have confidence in the demeanor and skills.
- Verify that the inspector has experience with the specific type of house you might be considering. Houses of different designs, age and materials come with different risks, and they may show particular signs, clues and symptoms of hidden damage.
- Lastly, always check that the inspector can produce a completed report in a timely fashion. This will give you time to review it and ask for repairs prior to completing the sale. You can also ask for an electronic copy that makes it easier to share with your agent, family and friends. Extra eyes always help.
The right home inspector can save you a tremendous amount of headaches and problems during the purchase or sale of a home. Plus, it can also save you a significant amount of money. Don’t hesitate to ask the tough questions or shop around until you are completely certain you have found the right inspector for your needs.
Finding The Right Home Inspector
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