You finally find the right house, but before you start moving in, you’ll need to have the home inspected. Your agent may recommend an inspector, and it may be tempting to just hire them, but this is your opportunity to get an expert assessment from someone you trust and whose opinion you value. No matter if you choose the inspector recommended by your agent, or one that you find on your own, it is important to make sure prospective home inspectors meet the proper criteria and that you ask the right questions.
Prospective home inspectors should be licensed to practice in your state and affiliated with a professional inspection organization. Check with the state licensing board to be aware of any complaints that may be registered against them.
After finding a few professionals who meet the criteria, ask for references. Follow up with the references to learn more about prospective inspectors. Try to narrow it down to your top two inspectors to begin the interview process.
First ask to see a resume. This will give you an idea about their background and how long they have been working in this field.
Find out if they carry insurance? They may make a mistake or perhaps miss something, it happens, but it shouldn’t end up causing you hardship. If they carry errors and omissions insurance, you will be protected.
Ask if they can guarantee their work? Insurance will keep you protected regardless, but an inspector should be confident in their abilities.
Will they provide you with proper documentation of the inspection? A written narrative report is much more beneficial to you in knowing exactly what is going on than a checklist.
Ask how long they expect it to take and if you can be there on inspection day. Most home inspections take about three to four hours, but can adjust in time according to the size of the house. If they promise to have it done in less than an hour, they may not be as thorough as they should be. It’s important that you’re able to attend the inspection. You’ll be able to follow along and know exactly what is going on with the house.
Lastly, how much will it cost? Prices will vary, but the cost should be proportional to your investment. A larger home may cost more as examining the extra square footage will take more time.