How to find and pick the right home inspector. The answer is relative to your needs and an individuals opinion. Most real estate professionals have their favorite inspector; however, would you make a major purchase without doing your own research? How to find the best inspector for you can be difficult but we hope this guide to making your home inspector checklist.
The purpose of this page is to educate you and give you a set of questions to help you find the building inspector that is right for you whether the inspector is with Brewer Inspection Services or another firm.
Here are a few key things to research before deciding on a home inspector, and to help make sure you’re making a fair comparison when it comes down to price.
- Find out how long they’ve been in business.
- Read client reviews and testimonials. Are they from clients or real estate agents? Do they have testimonials from three delighted clients, or thirty?
- Read about their qualifications and experience. Look out for clever wording like “10 years of industry experience.” This doesn’t equate to 10 years of “Home Inspection” experience.
- What is their background? The best home inspectors are typically those who have experience in the building industry. You want to work with an inspector who knows what’s inside the walls of your home and understands the basics of local building codes and requirements.
- Are you familiar with this type of home?
- Do you specialize in residential or commercial property?
- Are you a member of any professional organizations, like the American Society of Home Inspectors, National Institute of Building Inspectors or the National Society of Professional Engineers? (Many have a “Find an Inspector” widget on their homepage.) Can I be present during the home inspection? (If not, that is a red flag.)
- Do you carry “errors and omissions” insurance? If not, why not?
- How long is the inspection? On average, a home inspection should take two to three hours to perform. If you’re dealing with a large home, a fixer-upper or an older home, the inspection should take even longer.
- What do you inspect? Keep in mind that it’s not a home inspector’s job to inspect things that can’t be seen. The inspection won’t reveal any wiring problems hidden behind drywall or any mold problems under the shower tiles.With that said, an inspector should evaluate every possible visible place in your home, including the roof, basement and attic. And the home inspector should be in physical shape to access these places, even if a ladder or flashlight is required. An inspector should also look at things such as the water heater, furnace and electrical box. Again, the inspector may be unable to tell you if your home’s systems are up to local codes. But the professional should have enough knowledge to inform you if the systems are safe or in need of major repairs.
- Can I attend? A refusal to this simple request is a red flag. A home inspection is a fabulous opportunity to learn about your home and talk about any possible repairs that may be needed. A good inspector will encourage you to attend and educate you throughout the process.
- Most importantly, view a sample inspection report if one is available.
A good home inspection report will clearly identify the issue, it’s location, explain the significance of the problem if it’s not obvious, and give a recommended course of action.
When picking out a home inspector, spend some time researching inspectors, even if you receive three different names of inspectors from your real estate agent. Many agents give out three names because they don’t want to assume liability if their client isn’t happy with the inspection, not because they have three companies that do great work.