My Guarantee to you
I guarantee to work for you, my client, and only you as I inspect your house. I guarantee to visually inspect all the accessible structural and mechanical components and for any possible safety issues. I will report to you my opinions in a well written, easy to read, and concise computer generated report including digital pictures.
Buying a new home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make and is a decision that will affect you for years to come. The process can be extremely successful and confusing. So protect yourself, do not fall into this trap!
Buying a new home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make and is a decision that will affect you for years to come.
The process can be extremely stressful and confusing, and of course, there is always considerable risk involved when making such a large purchase decision. A professional inspection can significantly reduce your risk and help make the entire home buying process easier and less stressful. I really enjoy helping my clients in this process. Customer service is my highest priority.
So protect yourself, do not fall into this trap.
The majority of homebuyers rely on their real estate agent to refer an inspector, but there is a conflict of interest present. You want to know a little secret? Many home inspectors are dependent upon agent referrals to stay in business. As a result, they tend to minimize defects to keep the referring agents happy. Obviously, this is not in your best interest.
This may be the only business where the referring marketplace punishes those who do the best job.
Of course, not every agent is waiting to take advantage of you. There are certainly ethical agents who want their clients to get the best inspection possible. If you are comfortable with your agent, listen to their advice. However, you still might want to use the following list of questions to make sure you are choosing the right inspector:
- How long have you been in business? Quality experience does count in this business. There is no substitute. There are inspectors who have been around for many years who do a crummy job. With no training and no continuing education, they often do not realize how sub-standard they are.
- If your state requires licensing ask if the home inspector is licensed. Unfortunately, there are inspectors out there operating illegally.
- Do you have any formal training? On an annual basis, quality inspectors will seek more than 50 hours of formal training through professional inspector schools, weekend seminars, or conferences.
- Will you be doing my inspection personally? Make sure you know who will be doing your inspection. You want the boss.
- What associations do you belong to? If your home inspector does not belong to any home inspection associations, he could be operating with limited knowledge and experience. NAHI and ASHI members agree to inspect to a recognized Standard of Practice and agree to adhere to a Code of Ethics. Do not even think of hiring someone who is not a member of NAHI or ASHI. Learn more about NAHI by clicking here.
- What standard do you use for inspecting? Many inspectors do not use any recognized Standards of Practice. The NAHI and ASHI Standards of Practice are the most widely recognized. Your state may have its own standard. You will probably find it is based upon the NAHI or ASHI Standards or it is the NAHI or ASHI Standards. Other home inspection organizations have standards of practice. Most of these parallel the NAHI and ASHI Standards.
- How long will the inspection take? There is no right answer to this question. Each inspection is different. Older or larger homes take longer. Homes on slabs are easier than homes with crawlspaces. At a minimum, any home will take 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours of time to perform the inspection and write the report. A quality inspection should take 3 or 4 hours on a very large home or on a home that is over 50 years of age.
- Can I attend the inspection? Make sure your inspector allows you to attend the inspection. If not, be cautious. Being at the inspection and seeing the problems will greatly increase your understanding of the problems.
- Are you insured? Most real estate contracts make the buyer liable for any damage done by the inspector. Make sure your inspector carries liability insurance.
- Can I see a sample report? Looking at a sample report is one of the best methods of comparing home inspectors. Much of what we do involves written communication. The report is what you are paying for and is a direct reflection on the inspector. Make sure it is in a well-organized format that you can understand. If the inspector is reluctant to show you a sample of his work, run. Click here to see our sample: Sample Report.
- Will my report contain photographs? The most advanced inspectors take digital photos of defects and provide them in their report. Photos make it easier for everyone to understand the problem. Especially when the problem is where you cannot see it easily. Like the roof or the crawlspace.
What percentage of your business comes from real estate agents? Be wary of anyone who receives more than half of their referrals from real estate agents. They may be more concerned about the next referral than they are about your new home.
- How much do you charge? Fees vary widely. You will find that inspectors who have been around a long time and do a good job tend to charge more. It is like anything else. You get what you pay for. In fact, you can probably judge the skill level of the inspector by his price. In this case, you want the best, not the cheapest. Most real estate contracts require the seller to repair defects found during the inspection. Missing even one of these defects can end up costing you money. Need more convincing? Think about this. If Casey Anthony had hired the cheapest attorney she could find, do you think she would be a free woman today? Why people would put their dream home at risk over a $25 to $50 price difference is beyond me.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau for unresolved complaints. You might also want to check with your local court system for judgments entered against the company. Try searching Google.com for “Judgment” and your county name.