What to Look for in a Home Inspector
Enlisting the services of a home inspector is often necessary before buying or selling a home, but these waters can be difficult to navigate for even the most seasoned homeowner. Consumers often don’t understand the home inspection process, how to use the results, or what the the findings might mean for the future of their home.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or tight schedule, comparing home inspectors can be challenging. So here’s a list to help you determine what to look for and the steps to take to ensure you get what you need from your home inspection.
- Do your research – don’t shy away from asking a prospective home inspector about their background and experience. A qualified inspector should be able to provide information and referrals. Qualified home inspectors are often affiliated with associations such as the American Society for Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association for Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI).Also, ask if your inspector has errors and omissions insurance, which can protect you in the event that your inspector makes a mistake. It is also important to verify that the liability for error is not limited to the amount of the home inspection fee.
- Use your resources – ask family and friends for referrals. It can be helpful and offer peace of mind to know that someone close to you has already used a particular home inspector and was satisfied.You may also want to refer to online sources to confirm that local inspectors are certified. These lists are often verified and provided by associations like ASHI or NACHI, which offer certifications.
- Get a second opinion – Many home inspectors are unwilling or unable to disclose the cost of repairs. Consulting with a contractor on the scope and expense of fixing any issues identified during inspection can be beneficial to you and your budget.
- Try to be present – Asking to go through some aspects of your property with the inspector can be eye-opening. Even if it is just for 30 minutes, attending your inspection allows you to see issues they identify firsthand and ask questions to get a better understanding of your home.
- Possible red flags – A typical inspection takes anywhere from 3 – 4 hours or longer, so if yours is completed in significantly less time, there may be reason for concern.The average inspection report can be from 20 – 50 pages long. If your report is only a few pages long, then you may want to question the quality and thoroughness of the inspection. And be wary of home inspectors directing you to contractors. Their intentions may be good, but it is best to avoid any conflicts of interest.
- Inspect regardless of a home’s age – Whether you are a first-time buyer or seasoned homeowner, enlisting the help of a home inspector is smart and an important step in the process. Even new construction can have underlying issues that the untrained eye couldn’t identify, which is why it is so important to find a qualified home inspector.
Another new service that some inspectors are adding to their “toolbox” is home environmental testing. If you would like to understand your home’s indoor air and drinking water quality before the big move, ask your inspector about adding the yogi home environmental test kit to your upcoming inspection or contact us to find an inspector in your area.