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Hiring a Home Inspector: Check These Key Areas of Qualifications

Hiring a Home Inspector: Check These Key Areas of Qualifications

     
December 15, 2014  |  Real Estate

Finding your dream home means making sure it meets all your expectations. It has to be as wonderful as you think, as ideal of a property as you wish it to be.

Enter Home Inspection.

Old-school homebuyers simply relied on their own impressions of the home and on the information given to them by the seller’s real estate agent. Home inspections were not exactly a part of the home buying process. Today’s buyers on the other hand, are more careful and meticulous making a home inspection a necessity in buying a property. True, it is an additional expense but it is worth every cent for peace of mind – “prevention is better than cure.”

Finding the Right Person

Getting the right home inspector to do the job well requires some research. You can’t just handpick someone with a nice name or a fancy sounding company. Being qualified should be tied to experience, knowledge and skills.

Your Realtor should be able to recommend highly-qualified home inspectors or you can seek recommendation from family and friends who have had home inspections done on their property as well.

 

Shortlisting your best candidates will be easier by focusing on these five key areas of qualifications:

1.      Skills/Experience/Knowledge

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the inspector’s training and experience, and even the history in client acquisition and relations as it relates to his home inspection career. The track record must be exemplary and training should include construction and building maintenance standards.

There are specialized fields in home inspection. Depending on the location and age of your home, you may need to hire an inspector who is qualified in dealing with asbestos, lead-based paint or other hazardous substances. In some cases, a homebuyer may need to get a home inspector who is knowledgeable in geology or structural engineering. Include in your interview the components or aspects of the property that are included in the inspection.

2. Memberships with Home Inspection Associations/Organizations

Though this is not a pre-requisite as the skills and experience are far more valuable in hiring a home inspector, an association membership is a huge plus. Such groups and organizations provide their members with training and certification programs, as well as keeping them updated with information about the industry and inspection standards. Having this kind of “back-up” in a way can give you assurance that you are working with a legit, credible inspector who knows what he is doing inside-out.

Examples of home inspection associations are the American Society of Home Inspectors, National Association of Home Inspectors and National Institute of Building Inspectors

3. References

Check the inspector’s work portfolio both in project samples and the people he has worked for in the past. Ask for photos of homes he has worked on (a Before and After photos are helpful) and more importantly, request for contact persons including phone numbers where you can reach them of several homeowners who have used the inspector’s services.

Be sure to talk to homeowners who have had their homes for a couple of months or more already. Some problems that have been overlooked during the inspection can take a while to surface.

Take advantage of online reviews as additional reference to vouch for the home inspector of your choice. Yelp.com is a good site to read reviews.

5. Sample Checklist or Inspection Report

Ask for a sample report or checklist for your evaluation. Check if the information is explained clearly and accurately. Are there notes and explanations, and not just mere checkboxes? This is important to know how completely the inspector is willing to present the information to you. Keep an eye out for problems that could present a safety hazard. These items should also be included in the report.

5. Insurance for Errors and Omissions

Nobody is perfect even home inspectors! Errors are likely even with top-notch inspectors. Problems could still be overlooked. After all, inspectors are working with human eyes and not bionic ones. So to be prepared for possible blunders of your home, ask about the company’s policy. Do they have insurance for errors and omissions? Who stands behind the report – the company or the individual inspector? What are the guarantees and for how long?

You may want to consider asking the inspector if you could tag along during the inspection (just don’t get in his way!). This will allow you to also see first-hand the problems the house has or potential concerns that will appear in the report.

Allot a free day for this if you plan to come to the home inspection. Looking over every square inch of the house is a long walk in the park…without the leisure. So square your shoulders and be ready for a long day of home inspection work.

 

The Blake Team is full-service real estate company based in Denver, Colorado offering the most comprehensive real estate services in the market. The team specializes in working with Buyers & Sellers, foreclosures/HUD, short sales, and luxury properties allowing hundreds of families and individuals get into their dream home.

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About the author

The Blake Team is a full-service Real Estate team based in Aurora, Colorado specializing in working with Buyers & Sellers, foreclosures/HUD, short sales, and luxury properties. A team with years of experience and an impressive success rate that made it the No.18 real estate brokerage in the nation, as well as the No.1 Keller Williams agent in Colorado led by CEO & Founder Lisa Blake. The Blake Team is your No. 1 choice for getting your dream home!