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10 Tips For Choosing a Great Home Inspection Company

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10 Tips For Choosing a Great Home Inspection Company

When you're preparing to buy a house, you want to know you're getting what you're paying for. After all, home problems lurk behind walls that look perfectly fine. Then you don't know about the slow leaks, the asbestos tiles, and the other problems until you've signed the deed and now own the house.

A good house inspection company can help you find these problems and more. They'll let you know if you should move ahead or scrap the deal altogether. 

But how do you know you can trust a home inspector? How do you know they know what they're doing and not just rubber-stamping some paperwork so they can collect a check? 

You can move forward with a home inspector if you know what to look for. By the time you've finished this article, you'll know whether you've found a home inspector you can use for years to come or a home inspector you should avoid. 

Reasons For Hiring a Home Inspector

A home inspection is usually an optional element of buying a home. Sometimes a bank will require an inspection before they will secure the mortgage. Otherwise, you can hire a home inspector to determine if they are any hidden problems you cannot notice with a basic walk-through. 

Sometimes a seller is hiding a problem. Sometimes the seller doesn't even know they have a problem until the inspector has found it.

Here are a few common problems home inspectors uncover: 

  • Mold inside the walls
  • Pest infestation
  • Failing plumbing
  • Failing heating
  • Failing electrical systems

Sometimes the home inspection will confirm that you're buying a perfectly sound home. Because the home inspection can reveal expensive problems, sellers will include a clause in their contract which allows a buyer to back out of the deal until the seller has repaired the problems. A buyer could also negotiate for a lower price because of the problems the inspector finds. 

So how do you know if you've found a good inspector? Here are ten different things to look for. 

1. Look Local

Start with a local inspector. A good local real estate agent will have an idea of local inspectors that have the time and expertise to do the job. If you choose a local inspector, you'll have someone who understands local homes and their infrastructure. 

They will know what to look for when the home has some potentially suspicious spots. Plus, a local inspector understands the local climate and how it affects the home. They can recognize if a seller is attempting to cover up mold, for example. 

2. Ask Around for Recommendations

Ask other people for recommendations as well. Your agent will have their go-to inspector, but you should still ask around to see what others have to say about this home inspector. 

Ask neighbors, co-workers, and family members who live in your areas for inspectors they'd recommend. Then visit the Better Business Bureau online. If you search for the inspector online, you'll also find honest reviews about their work. 

3. Research the Inspector

Once you think you've found a home inspector, begin doing more in-depth research. Look at how long they've been in business and the type of reports they produce. Look for the number of inspections that this inspector has performed. 

You should also look at the inspector's Google reviews. These reviews will have honest opinions from people who have used this inspector in the past. People are eager to share with others when they feel like someone has ripped them off or someone has done an exceptional job. 

All of this information indicates the inspector's experience. The more houses they've inspected, the better they should be. They'll have seen more problems and be able to spot issues quickly and easily. 

4. Ask Questions

When you've found a good inspector, take time to interview them. Remember, you're hiring them. You want an inspector who has good communication skills and that can talk easily to you. 

Ask the inspector about the types of homes they've inspected. You want an inspector who is familiar with your particular type of home. 

Also, ask them what additional tests they typically conduct. For example, older homes may need a chimney inspection or pest infestation test. Vacant properties may have problems with mold or rotting decks. 

A good home inspector will know which tests to run on your particular home. 

Ask the inspector about the issues they look for based on the climate and geology. This especially matters if you're moving to a new part of the country because you do not know how the environment affects home deterioration. A local inspector will understand if the local geology is prone to emitting radon or if the home is in an area that has flooded and thus may have mold. 

5.  Ask About Prices

A home inspection cost will vary depending on the inspector and the amount of testing they conduct. Here are the basic costs to expect when you hire a home inspector. 

  • Walk-around inspection: $280 to $400 for a visual check of the interior and exterior
  • Thermal imaging: $250 for a test that helps identify issues within the home's walls or in the foundation
  • Radon tests: $150 to determine if you have high levels of radon
  • Lead tests: $300 to determine if you have lead paint or lead pipes

Your home inspector will determine which tests you need based on the age and location of your home. The reviews that you read about the home inspector will help you determine if they're worth trusting or not. Some home inspectors may order tests for things that are highly unlikely. 

Thus, you should ask the inspector why they want the tests that they want. Have them justify their choices, especially since you are footing the bill. 

6. Ask for Sample Reports

Ask your prospective home inspector about sample reports. Good home inspectors will have reports on their website that show you what they include in a report. Great reports will have details about issues in the home, ways to fix the issues, and photos of the problems. 

7. Ask for Credentials

Ask the home inspector for a copy of their license and insurance documents. Home inspectors have to have a license in most states. So, if you have a legitimate inspector, they will have no problem producing a license or certification. 

Ask if your home inspector belongs to any professional associations. This credential shows you that your home inspector is seeking to grow and learn, staying on top of all the latest trends. 

Home inspectors who want ASHI certification must pass the National Home Inspector Examination. This also requires them to have completed 250 paid home inspections. Passing these tests verifies that the home inspector truly knows their trade and will do a great job on your home

8. Compare Reports

Once you have different home inspector reports in hand, compare them. Look for the things that each inspector does and does not do. Which ones have the most experience with your particular home in your particular part of the country?

Comparing reports will quickly show you which inspector has the most thorough report and thus which one you should hire. 

9.  Check with the State Agency

After your inspector shows you their credentials, check with the state agency on the certificate that indicates their credentials. You can also check for a record of any complaints lodged against this inspector. Look for the credentials such as ASHI certification or InterNACHI certification. 

10. Ask About Specialty Inspections

Ask your home inspector if they've conducted any specialty inspections. This especially matters if you have an old house or if you have features like pools and decks. 

The inspector should look for things like asbestos, lead, soil testing, pool erosion, and deck decomposition. A good home inspector is also a multi-inspector or someone who can look at all facets of the home. 

Choose a House Inspection Company Confidently

A good house inspection company will be one that has inspectors with vast experience. They will have inspected a variety of homes, and thus they'll understand the gamut of tests that they need to run on particular homes. 

Additionally, a good home inspector will be someone local. They'll know that local inspectors understand the climate and environmental hazards that can secretly wreak havoc on a house. Then they'll look for these problems. 

Are you looking for an excellent real estate agent so you can buy the home of your dreams or sell your home? If so, contact us

We employ top real estate agents in the state. Our team employs 3D tours, drone aerial tours, virtual reality tours, video slide shows, augmented reality, and virtual staging. As a result, we help buyers see your home for the beautiful structure it is. 

We also help buyers find the perfect home for their families. Give us a call today and let us help you with your real estate.