If you are in the final stages of buying a new home, don’t skip the home inspection. This step in the buying process can reveal issues and safety concerns about the property. Your home inspector will write a report that details flaws in the house, giving you an upper hand in the negotiation process and possibly saving you from getting stuck with a property that requires multiple, extensive repairs. Choose an inspector who’s experienced and knowledgeable. Here are a few questions you should ask when hiring a home inspector.
Ask About the Inspector’s Background
When hiring a home inspector, you want to find an expert who understands their trade. Great home inspectors have often worked in home maintenance or the construction industry and know their way around a house.
Find an inspector with experience. He or she will be able to identify problems and safety concerns because they know what to look for. You’ll also want to find an inspector who is certified by their state or an independent organization. This shows the home inspector is well-trained and ethical.
Choose a Home Inspector Who Works Full-Time
A part-time home inspector may not have sufficient experience to do a thorough job. If you’re on a tight schedule with closing, a part-time inspector could have limited availability and not enough time to complete the inspection documents to meet your deadlines.
Ask for References When Hiring a Home Inspector
Hire a trustworthy home inspector. When looking for a professional, ask friends or family for recommendations. Call at least three inspectors to find someone you feel comfortable working with. A home purchase is a significant investment. Hire the best for your home inspection.
Ask What the Inspection Covers
A home inspector may give you a quote over the phone. Chat with him or her to make sure you understand what will be inspected. If you have specific concerns about the property, make sure the inspector you want to hire will be inspecting those areas.
Many inspection companies also offer a la carte services. Do you need a water test? Are you concerned about radon in your new home? Ask the home inspector if he or she can perform a termite inspection and what the cost will be.
Find Out How Long the Inspection Will Take
Most home inspections will take between two to four hours to complete; however, this depends on the size of the home. It is also possible the inspector may discover issues that need further scrutiny, requiring additional time. An inspector should be able to give you a good estimate of how long the assessment of your property will take.
Ask your inspector if you can be present during the inspection and if he or she is willing to review the findings with you. A good home inspector will explain any serious issues or defects and help you understand the problems.
When Hiring a Home Inspector, Ask What Will be Included in the Report
An inspection report is a useful tool for helping you make decisions about your purchase. If major issues are identified, you may be able to renegotiate with the seller for repairs or to ask for a lower price. Your report will also be helpful after closing. You can use the information to decide where to focus your home improvement efforts.
When hiring an inspector, ask what will be included in the report. He or she may offer a sample report showing how they present their findings. Choose a professional who includes good notes and color pictures in the inspection report. You’ll want to have them for reference.
An experienced inspector will help you better understand the condition of a property. He or she will be able to explain safety concerns, minor issues, and major defects. Don’t skip the step of hiring a home inspector. Their knowledge is invaluable in making such a big investment.