How to Pick the Right Home Inspector
Enlisting the services of a home inspector is crucial whether you’re buying or selling real estate. However, not all home inspectors are the same. You’d naturally want to hire the best home inspector that will help you know your property inside and out so that you can get the best value out of it whether you’re a buyer or a seller.
What does a Home Inspector Do?
Appraising a home’s condition is crucial for both buyers and sellers. If you’re a buyer, you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that the home you’re interested in is free from defects and other things that might inconvenience you in the future. On the other hand, for sellers, it’s essential to know if there are things in your property that need fixing before it’s ready to sell.
So, why hire a home inspector? This is because most of the things that indicate a home’s condition may be invisible to the untrained eye. And even if you do find something that needs fixing, you might not know the best way to go about it.
Home inspectors do the dirty work for you. They inspect every corner of your house to help you find out if there’s anything that needs to be repaired, removed, or replaced.
Hiring a competent home inspector is critical in making sure that nothing gets missed. For instance, you wouldn’t want to proceed with purchasing a house only to find out that there’s a leakage because your home inspector failed to take note of it. On the flipside, you also wouldn’t want to be a seller of a house with major defects as this may open the door for the buyer to take legal action against you.
Things to Consider when Picking a Home Inspector
Hiring a home inspector is not as simple as contacting the first home inspector that has an advertisement on your local newspaper or online. Most areas have a number of companies that offer home inspection services, and of course, you’d want to enlist the services of the home inspector that gives you what you pay for.
Identifying Qualified Candidates
Before actually picking a home inspector, you should first take a look at the field. Ask around the area where your property is located about local home inspection services. Also use the internet to find home inspectors near your area.
From what you find, take note of the home inspectors who are properly certified and disregard those who appear or sound unprofessional and have no qualifications. This way, you’d have a small group of prospective home inspectors that you can personally contact to ask for more details that will help you make your decision.
Consult Your Real Estate Agent
An additional way to help you find qualified home inspectors is by consulting your real estate agent, if you have one. Most of the time, real estate companies have contacts with home inspection companies and may even provide a home inspector as part of their package.
However, you should not blindly trust the referral of your real estate agent. Rather, take your real estate agent’s referral into consideration and compare them with other home inspectors that you’ve found. You should be wary of home inspectors referred by real estate agents as they could potentially present a conflict of interest that may end up with you losing value.
Compare Home Inspection Reports
Once you’ve rounded up the qualified home inspectors in your area, do more research on them individually and see how they size up compared to each other. One of the best ways to compare the expertise of home inspectors is by taking a look at their home inspection reports.
You can ask the home inspectors you’re looking to hire to provide you a sample of their respective home inspection reports. A home inspection report provides the client with a detailed overview of the findings of the home inspector. A skilled home inspector should know how to give a report that is comprehensive, detailed, and easily understandable by the client.
Take Training and Experience into Consideration
Another great way to compare home inspectors and see their level of competence as compared to each other is by taking a look at their track record. This consists not just of their training and education, but also of the work that they’ve done in the past.
Your home inspector should be trained by professionals and should be duly licensed. It’s a plus if your home inspector has been specially trained through recognized programs in the home inspection industry. Furthermore, take a look at your inspector’s clientele to see if they’re trusted by high-value clients.
Search for Reviews and Testimonials
Most reputable home inspectors today have an online presence. Their website should not just present the services they offer, but also have reviews and testimonials that reflect the quality of service they provide.
You can also search for reviews in forums or message boards online where you can see what former clients have to say about them and their service.