A Good Home Inspector Is More Than Just Credentials
Finding a home inspector is an important part of the home selling and buying process. To find the right inspector for your needs, you need to look beyond credentials.
You should be ready to interview multiple candidates to make sure that the person you hire is a professional with experience. The home inspector you hire is going to serve as your eyes and ears. He or she will tell you the true condition of the home you are considering purchasing. Remember, a home is likely one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make.
Check Out Real Estate Agent Referrals
A real estate agent might give you a list of home inspector names with the best of intentions. However, there is a conflict of interest.
Your real estate agent, for all of their kindness and niceties, wants to sell you a home. This becomes difficult if an inspector gives a report that highlights several serious issues with the home. A bad report could scuttle the deal entirely or could give you the power to negotiate a lower price for the home. If an inspector is referred to you by your real estate agent, he or she might feel obligated to give a less-than-honest inspection. Therefore, it’s recommended that you take real estate agent referrals with a grain of salt, do your due diligence, and find an independent inspector.
Find Inspectors Who Are Qualified and Trustworthy
Talk to friends and family members who have recently purchased a house, and ask them who they would recommend. There are also online communities and directories that can provide valuable information.
Other valuable resources include the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. When you visit their websites, you can review the experience, certifications, and histories of local inspectors.
Once you have highlighted a few candidates, do a Google search about them to see if there have been any complaints. The Better Business Bureau may also have information about the inspector you are considering.
Take Credentials With a Grain of Salt
Hiring an inspector who has been certified by a professional organization can give you confidence that the inspector knows what they are doing. However, licensing and certification alone do not guarantee a great inspection. Undercover investigations have shown that even inspectors who have great credentials miss serious problems in homes, including roof damage, rodent infestation, and plumbing issues.
Look at Previous Reports by the Inspector
If you want to know how thorough the inspector is, get a copy of an inspection done on a home similar to the one you are considering. When you look at the report, you can get a feel for the amount of work they will do. After you compare reports from multiple inspectors, you will see which ones offer detailed observations and which ones are just going through the motions.
A home inspector can help you identify major flaws in a home before you invest in it. It is worth it to take the time to find an inspector who has the specialized credentials needed to provide you with a trustworthy inspection report.