Home inspections are imperative and integral to determining what’s wrong and right with the home you are planning to buy. They are essential to finding problems in the home’s crawl space, attic, electrical systems and overall structure.
Beware though: A licensed inspector may not be a reliable or thorough home inspector. Here are some guidelines to consider when looking for a reliable home inspector:
1. Your Realtor’s word isn’t always golden. If your Realtor recommends a home inspector, don’t automatically accept their recommendation. Proper due diligence is in order here. Do your homework regarding the inspector they recommended. A red flag would be a Realtor steering you toward only one inspector. You should be provided with options – contact info for multiple inspectors.
2. Conduct an Inspection on the Inspector. Look for positive endorsements and consumer feedback from organizations like Angie’s List. Membership in American Society of Home Inspections or ASHI (800) 743-ASHI and insurance with Errors and Omissions (E&O) are all good indicators. Also look for affiliation with the local board of Realtors.
3. Price does not always mean quality. Some inspectors with lots of experience might charge more but may not be as careful and thorough. Compare and contrast inspectors and make sure you’re getting the best value for your dollar. Plan to spend roughly $500 for the inspection depending on your state and the services included (such as a termite inspection).
4. Ask your friends for referrals. Asking a friend who is a responsible homeowner to refer you to a well qualified inspector might be a good option. A friend can provide you with a first-person account of their experience and what the inspector charged them. Furthermore, the inspector might give you a discount for the referral.
5. Be your own advocate the day of the inspection. Make sure the inspector will allow you to accompany them for the inspection. This is a good idea so you can observe and ask pertinent questions regarding any problems they might find. If you’re an out of state buyer, make sure to have your realtor accompany the inspector.
6. Remain an involved participant after the inspection. The inspector should give you and your Realtor a copy of the report. Based on the report, you will either choose to fix the items listed yourself or require the sellers (if you are buying) to fix them at their cost. Sometimes negotiations ensue and repair costs are divided between buyers and sellers. Whatever the case, make sure you’re fully informed and involved in the process.
If you’d like my personal recommendations on inspectors you can contact me: (317) 460-1692 or send me an email: Nina@NinaKlemm.com