Key Items to Look For In a Home Inspector

Erich Kelter - Friday, July 05, 2013

So, you’ve finally signed the paperwork to purchase a home, now what? Time to find a good Home Inspector, right? Certainly! Here are some key things to consider when looking for a Home Inspector.

Choosing a Home Inspector can be stressful and somewhat time consuming, all during a time that for many home buyers will be filled with stress and anxiety. First off, relax! It doesn’t need to be a crazy time; you should be filled with excitement and joy rather than stress and anxiety. Following these few tips below can really make this time easier for you.

Research and pick your Home Inspector

Do your homework! Many Realtors will provide you with a few names of reputable (hopefully) inspectors that they know and trust. While this may appear to be a borderline conflict of interest, most agents work in good faith and would only pass along the names of inspectors they’ve come to know very well and trust. Most agents out there are indeed good people and want to ensure you are protected during your home purchase. Despite fear mongering and other media scare tactics, most Realtors are not in collusion with their recommended Home Inspectors. However, you should still interview your potential Home Inspector, regardless of whether they are referred to you, or you choose to research and pick your own Home Inspector yourself.

Questions to ask your Home Inspector

One of the first things that is usually asked by a potential client is “how much?” This should actually be the LAST question you ask your potential home inspector! Before finding out the Home Inspection fee, you should be asking questions like, “How long have you been in business?” or “How many inspections have your performed, and to what standard do you follow?” What type of background, training and experience does the Home Inspector have? Ideally a professional Home Inspector will have some type of construction, trades, architectural or engineering background & experience. A high quality training program (such as the Carson Dunlop course) should also have been successfully completed. Watch for so called “Certified Home Inspectors” that earned their certification by taking a two hour online course.

Is the Home Inspector insured?

Ideally a professional Home Inspector will carry professional Errors & Omissions as well as General Liability insurance. Does the Home Inspector provide a handwritten checklist report, or a computer generated report with photos? A typical Home Inspection generally takes about 2-3 hours to complete, if the Inspector you are interviewing says it takes one hour; it’s time to move on. Is it ok if you accompany the Inspector? Do they have any other industry recognized credentials, i.e. WETT certification or a Thermography certificate referencing the ASNT SNT-TC-1A guideline if offering Thermal Imaging? Do they perform home inspections on a full time basis, or is this just a weekend job for them? These are just some of the key things to ask for while looking for a Home Inspector. If there is any doubt regarding these items, it’s time to move along.

Ask for the Fee

Once the interview process is completed, now ask for the fee. Typically you’ll find the full time, properly trained, insured and experienced Home Inspector may be a little more money than the part timer that only works on weekends to supplement income with no real vested interest in their business. Bottom line is you get what you pay for! Is it really worth trying to save $50 when dealing with the largest investment of your life? Some things are worth shopping around for to save a few bucks, your Home Inspector isn’t one of those things.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. performs professional and through Home Inspections in Barrie, Orillia, Alliston, Collingwood and all of Simcoe County.

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