Thu, Nov 29, 2018
Your mortgage company, real estate agent or friends may have recommendations for the best home inspector in your neighborhood.
Usually these referrals are spot on. However, before hiring the first inspector you call, there are a few things to keep in mind.
We go into more detail about each below and reveal the average home inspection cost.
What to look for when hiring a home inspector:
Relevant Professional Background
Licensed and Bonded
No Conflict of Interest
You may have noticed that the list of requirements did not include cost of home inspection. There’s a good reason for that.
Editor’s Note: Download our home inspection checklist before you hire a home inspector. You’ll be glad you did! Click here for instant access ]
A standard home inspection costs anywhere from $250 to $750. While it may be tempting to select the cheapest quote, you may not be getting your money’s worth.
A professional home inspector has the experience and ability to identify problems that could cost thousands of dollars to fix. If you make the mistake of hiring someone that’s under qualified to inspect for serious problems it could easily come back to bite you months or years down the road.
That being said, you should start your search with the goal of hiring the most knowledgeable inspector in your area. Ideally they should have a great deal of experience as an inspector but also a background in engineering, construction or even architecture.
When researching home inspectors it is always preferable to hire someone with a professional affiliation.
The two most common certifications are provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
I should also mention that even though your home inspector has a certification but it doesn’t guarantee that they’re a great choice. Always use your judgement.
One area that homeowners need to be careful with is avoiding home inspectors that have a conflict of interest. Be very careful not to hire an inspector that is also a contractor or works within a remodeling company.
Since home inspectors are not supposed to give recommendations on how to fix the problems they discover, you still may encounter one that does. Be wary of any recommendations you receive as they may create a conflict of interest between the inspector and their intentions.
Depending on the condition of the home that’s being inspected, the format of the inspection report may be important to you.
For example, some inspection reports are simple checklists that are completed by hand. Others include photos and more detailed descriptions of the condition of the home and its components.
If you’re looking for a detailed report be sure to ask for examples before hiring your next home inspector.
Since home inspections usually occur during a pending sale, the turnaround time is often very important.
If you need the report by a specific day or on a short deadline be sure to ask about the expected turnaround time. Communicating your needs and deadline beforehand will ensure that there are no misunderstandings about when the inspection report needs to be completed.
As you can see there are many elements to consider when choosing a home inspector. Start by asking for referrals from family, friends and of course your real estate agent.
The inspector’s job is to identify existing problems and they are typically the bearer of bad news. Every home will have hidden problems that have yet to be discovered (even new homes). Use this information to your advantage.
Keep in mind that the more you can find out about the condition of the home, the more informed decision you’ll be able to make when putting together an offer on your new home.
Download our inspection checklist before you hire a home inspector. You’ll be glad you did!