Around 5.6 million homes were sold in the United States during 2018. That doesn’t include all the brand-new builds that sold.
For each of these million homes, a home inspection would have likely been part of the requirements for selling.
If you are buying or selling a home, read on. We’ll cover how to choose a home inspector that will be knowledgable and experienced.
Find a Home Inspector Who is a Member of a Professional Organization
Membership in a professional organization means that those home inspectors have specific training requirements and a professional code of ethics.
When you are Googling “home inspectors near me,” ask if they belong to any professional organizations.
The American Society of Home Inspectors and The National Association of Home Inspectors both have continuing education requirements. They require members to pass an exam to grant them membership.
Though membership isn’t necessary, asking about professional organizations is one way to find a good home inspector in your area.
Best Home Inspectors Don’t Perform Repairs
An independent home inspector is not a plumber, a general contractor or an electrician.
A big aspect of how to find a good home inspector is understanding the difference between a home inspector and a contractor or repair person.
Never choose a home inspector that offers to perform the necessary repairs for you. This creates a conflict of interest because you can’t tell which repairs are necessary and which are optional.
Remember, a home inspector will use a home inspection checklist to look over every inch of a house for problems. But a home inspector is not a specialist in a certain area such as a plumber or an electrician.
Ask for a Sample Report
After a home inspector performs an inspection, he or she will provide you with a copy of the report.
The detail in the report will vary greatly depending on which home inspector you choose.
You can find the best home inspectors by asking to see a sample report. This will give you a good idea of how thorough each home inspector is.
If the report is hand-written, you’ll know if the writing is legible. A good report should be clear to understand and formatted in a logical manner.
The report should also include what the homeowner could do to fix the issue. All good home inspection reports include photos.
Asking to see a sample report is one of the best ways that you can get a sense of how good a home inspector is before you hire one.
Look for A Home Inspector that is Bonded and Insured
Home inspectors should have insurance, but many don’t. Always hire one who does to avoid massive headaches down the road.
If your home inspector has several employees, workers’ compensation is a must. If a home inspector falls from your roof or gets hurt in the crawl space, you don’t want to be held responsible.
The inspector could sue you or even put a lien on the property if the home inspection company doesn’t have insurance. Avoid this costly risk and only hire a home inspector that is fully insured.
You also want the home inspector to have errors and omissions insurance. This is a fail-safe in case the inspector misses something big. If they have this insurance, you are covered against this negligence.
If you’ve paid for a home inspection, the last thing you want is to later find out that the inspector overlooked a huge issue. You don’t want that cost to land in your lap.
Find Out What the Home Inspection Includes
Before you hire an independent home inspector, make sure you ask what the home inspection includes. Also, find out if anything is excluded.
The best case scenario is a home inspector that looks at every window and door, tests every electrical outlet, faucet, and appliance. The more thorough the home inspection, the better.
Ideally, the home inspection should cover everything from top to bottom of a property as well as garage, walkway, driveway, patio and so on.
A good way to gauge how thorough a home inspector is would be to ask how long a home inspection usually takes with x amount of bedrooms.
Look for a Home Inspector with Experience with Your Type of Home
Inspecting a brand-new house will be totally different than doing a home inspection on a century home. New homes will need critical eyes of framing and proper use of materials. Older homes will have issues that newer homes don’t.
When you are interviewing home inspectors, ask them about their experience with the type of property you are looking at buying or selling.
The best home inspectors will understand the special considerations needed for various types of properties.
Also think about extra feature the property has such as a swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and so on.
Tag Along During the Inspection
The best home inspectors will welcome your presence during the home inspection. They will be knowledgable and happy to show you exactly what they find and what you can do to repair it.
If you find a home inspector that says you can’t be part of the home inspection, move on to someone else.
Walking around with a home inspector during a home inspection is a great way to get familiar with a property you are buying. You’ll likely learn lots of useful things such as where the breaker box and water shut off valves are located.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
Thanks for reading! We hope this guide on how to choose a home inspector helps you find a good home inspector.
Follow these tips and you are sure to find the best home inspectors in your area.
If you’re ready to get started, schedule an inspection with a Northeast Ohio home inspector.