When writing an offer on a home, agents are regularly asked by their clients how they are supposed to know if there is something wrong with the property. This is where the home inspector comes into play. Home inspectors are a critical part of the home buying process. A great inspector will examine the property thoroughly and inform the clients of their findings promptly. A poor inspector has the potential to gum up the entire process and leave clients unsure about how to proceed. Here is what to look for when searching for that stellar home inspector:
When interviewing an inspector find out how long they have been in business. The longer they have been examining homes, the more likely they are to notice issues that may have been missed by a novice inspector. It is also wise to look for reviews on Yelp or Angie’s list. If they have been in business for five years or more and have 5-star reviews, you might be onto something.
Length of Inspection
Ask the inspector how long it takes to review the property. A quality inspection can take upwards of two hours for a typical residential home. You are going to be living in this house for years to come. Don’t settle for someone who spends only 30 minutes inspecting your future home.
An excellent way to vett an inspector is thorough is to look at reports completed on other homes. If the report has forty to sixty pages filled with pictures and details about the house, you can be confident the inspector was meticulous. It is also wise to ask what will NOT be included in the report. For example, most inspectors do not examine sprinkler systems. A home inspection is a general inspection of the home. If you want a more detailed review of things like solar systems or pool equipment, you will need to contact someone specific to that trade.
Be Present for the Inspection
Being present for the conclusion of the home inspection is important. Some agents believe their client needs to be there for every minute, while others think the report alone is sufficient. I recommend clients do a walk through with the inspector AFTER he has completed reviewing the property. If he needs to stop every 2 min to explain something to you, the inspection will take too long, and he may become distracted and miss something. Possessing only a written report is often confusing. Have the inspector explain it to you. This will take thirty to forty minutes.
Ask Realtor for Suggestions
Of course, there is an easy way to find a stellar home inspector that doesn’t involve interviewing multiple people, reviewing reports and reading reviews; ask your local Realtor. An experienced agent knows who to use and who not to use. If you would prefer to interview a couple of inspectors, ask the agent for their “short list” of inspectors and interview those people. If you trust your Realtor to write an offer for you, trust they will recommend quality real estate tradesmen. By leveraging their experience, you can simplify the process and find that stellar home inspector in no time flat.
John Jennings, III
John Jennings, III is a licensed Realtor® who works for Mid State Realty in Coalinga, CA. John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (559) 970-4312.