Many people hire home inspectors based on word-of-mouth. While this might sound like a good approach, it is important to understand that not all homes are built equal. This means the inspection approach may vary depending on the property type. For example, a pre-purchase home inspection is different from a new construction final inspection. You need to be sure that the inspector you’re hiring is qualified to inspect the type of home you’re interested in. Here are ten home inspector hiring mistakes you must avoid to ensure a proper property inspection.
Not Checking Credentials
Many organizations offer certification to home inspectors. The two most famous institutions in the United States are the National Association of Realtors and the American Society of Home Inspectors. If your inspector isn’t certified by either of these organizations, this might be a red flag. Furthermore, you should check if your state licenses your home inspector. Certification and licensing requirements vary by state, so do your research.
Hiring the First Inspector You Find
An Orlando home inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process. With so much riding on the report’s outcome, you can’t afford to hire the first inspector that comes your way. Instead, take your time to vet different candidates. Compare their credentials, experience, and fees before making your final decision.
Not Asking for a Sample Report
A sample report will give you an idea of what to expect from the inspection. A good report should be comprehensive and easy to understand. It should also include photos of any problems found during the inspection.
Not Scheduling a Walk-Through
Walking through the property with the home inspector is an opportunity to ask questions and get more information about the property’s condition. The inspector should point out any areas of concern and offer advice on how to proceed.
Not Getting Several Bids
Home inspection fees can vary significantly, so getting bids from several inspectors before deciding is essential. Furthermore, ask about any additional costs that might be associated with the inspection, such as travel fees or rush service charges.
Besides asking for a sample report, ask for references too. A good home inspector will have no problem providing you with a list of satisfied clients. Once you have the references, reach out and ask about their experience with the inspector.
Not Having a Written Agreement
A written agreement should spell out the scope of work and the fee for the inspection. Be sure to review the agreement carefully before signing anything. Other aspects to check in the written agreement include the inspector’s qualifications, experience, and liability insurance.
Not Checking for Insurance
Home inspectors should carry professional liability insurance if they make a mistake during the inspection. If your inspector doesn’t have insurance, you could be held liable if something goes wrong.
Most inspectors will bill you after the inspection is complete. If an inspector asks for payment upfront, tell them you’re uncomfortable with it. If they insist on a 100% advance payment, do not have promising references, and seem desperate, consider backing out of the deal.
Not Asking Questions
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the inspection or the report. A good inspector will be happy to answer any questions you have. You can ask these questions to get the discussion started:
- What is your experience as a home inspector?
- How long have you been in business?
- What does your inspection include?
Home inspections are an important part of the home-buying process. By avoiding these 10 mistakes, you can ensure that you get a thorough and accurate inspection. If you have any questions, ask us in the comments.