When it comes to home inspectors, it’s a great idea to shop around. Many agents have a couple favorite inspectors that they have worked with in the past. They know these inspectors will do a thorough job, but your idea of thorough might be different than your agent’s. Or the inspector might charge more than you were expecting. Then there is always the chance that your agent is just recommending his brother, who happens to be starting out in the home inspection business. Do you see what I mean? This is why it is imperative that you always always always do your own due diligence and research home inspectors on your own.
I would suggest heading over to the American Society of Home Inspectors website. There you will find an extensive database of home inspectors that are highly qualified and easy to find. ASHI also has many great tips and pointers on the inspection process as well.
A great step in the selection process is to ask your home inspector the following questions, but this is by no means a comprehensive list of questions:
- Ask about the cost and scope of their inspection services. i.e. for condominium purchases, does the inspector inspect the entire building or just the interior, for homes with outbuildings or detached garages, does the inspection include these structures, etc.
- Ask the inspector if there is a re-inspection charge. You will be encouraged to have a final walk through; you may want your inspector to be at that appointment to make sure any requested work orders were handled properly.
- Inquire about the length of the home inspection. A typical inspection will take at least 2 hours.
- Ask if you are encouraged to be there for part or all of the inspection.
- Ask for references, credentials, and qualifications.
- Ask them to fax or email you a sample report. A good report should include photos detailing defects or problems that is easy to read. Remember, your inspection report will be used to ask the seller to remedy certain items so an inspector needs to have great written communication skills.
I have personally had great experience with the following inspectors: