Choosing the right Home Inspector can be challenging. Unlike most professionals, you will probably not get a chance to meet the Inspector before you hire them. Furthermore, different Inspectors have varying Qualifications, Training, Experience, Equipment, and yes different Pricing. Understand that a good home inspection requires a lot of knowledge and hard work. Ultimately a thorough and comprehensive inspection depends heavily on the Inspector’s own effort. So how do you make sure you hire the right Professional for the job?
When searching for a Home Inspector, it is Vital you do your Homework and Interview each Inspector based on some Good Advice.
Do Not Price Shop! Hire your Professional Inspector based on Services and Expertise rather than Price. When hiring a home inspector, you’re basically hiring a professional consultant to look out for your best interests and give you their expert opinion and report on the overall condition of the home. With that in mind, the inspection fee will directly represent the complexity of the inspection performed, variety of value added services, and the experience and expertise of the inspector you are hiring. Training, Certifications, Licensing, and Continuing Education don’t come cheap to home inspectors and therefore, their Expertise isn’t going to be cheap either. When it comes to home inspections as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. So use your due-diligence and hire your Professional Inspector based on Services and Expertise rather than Price. A cheap low quality inspection will not serve you well, and typically costs you much more time, money, and aggravation in the long run.
Research Their Credentials. There are no federal regulations governing inspectors. The laws are going to differ from state to state. Since each state is going to have their own standards of certification and licensing for inspectors and some don’t even have any, credibility is a big issue in choosing the right inspector. Therefore it’s important to interview your inspector or inspection company prior to hiring them. Ask what certifications and licenses your inspector holds and what associations he or she belongs to. Most associations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), and National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) have membership requirements that include minimum levels of experience, training, and continuing education, as well as compliance with a standards of practice and codes of ethics. There are also several state-level associations that your inspector may be a member of such as the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI). Also find out what level of the association the inspector occupies. Some associations have candidate and associate or other levels that basically mean that the inspector has not met the requirements to be a full member. Ask your inspector and then visit the associations websites to verify.
Ensure They Are Insured. A professional inspector should maintain coverage for professional liability and errors and omissions, commonly called E&O insurance. State Licensing requires a minimum amount of basic liability insurance in the event of an injury or property damage during the inspection. Professional liability or E&O insurance provides a safety net in the event of gross negligence by the inspector or significant omissions in the inspection report.
Get Referrals when Possible. It makes good sense to consider and hire professionals who have been referred to you by people that you already know and trust. People who received first class service and professionalism from an Inspector when buying or selling their home, are more than happy to refer them to you. You should expect that same level of service and expertise throughout your home inspection process.
Ask for References. An inspector should be happy to provide you with at least three references from previous clients. Call those clients and ask them about their experience with their inspection. Also look for Testimonials and Reviews about Inspection companies on their website and other service provider review websites.
Ask to See a Sample Inspection Report. After the inspection, you will receive a report on the inspectors findings. Again, inspectors are going to vary widely with report formats and styles which can range from; a minimal checklist of basic boxes that are checked, to long extensive narrative reports filled with technical jargon, or clean easy to follow computer reports including high quality digital photos. Inspection reports can be difficult to understand, so its important that you ask to see a sample report. Items marked as defective or inadequate without further explanation will not help you understand what the problem is or what needs to be repaired. Make sure that the inspector always specifies the exact problem and recommended corrective action as necessary.
The Biggest Challenge that Home Buyers and Sellers Face is… They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know… Especially when it comes to Choosing the Best Home Inspector to help them make an Informed and Intelligent Decision… and give them the Confidence and Peace of Mind they deserve. By following some good advice above, you can rest assured that did your due diligence and hired the best most qualified Inspector for your home.