How to Locate a Good Inspector - Well Worth Reading!

Locating a knowledgeable inspector to examiner your new home is not an easy undertaking. I am sure that in the process of locating a suitable home for your family you didn't just look or examine one home but probably carefully considered several. Then why would you consider only interviewing one inspector? Would you leave the decision up to your agent to “pick” an inspector for you? Hopefully not! I recognize that there is a bonding that occurs when you spend so many hours with your agent selecting the home you are purchasing but the inspector whom you will entrust and depend on to evaluate your future home should be sovereign from a realtor.

Many times you will not find information for first-rate inspector in the realtor's office area. Perhaps one reason is that some inspectors who are good for the home buyer are not good for the realtor. Think about that! I have verified that agents or managers of real estate companies have actually thrown brochures supplied by competent inspectors in the “wastebasket” to avoid getting into the hands of home buyers. Fact!

I suggest the following approach to finding a well seasoned inspector. Asking these questions may assist you with the task before you.

  1. Do just as you possibly did to select your agent to assist you in locating your new home – Ask your trusted friends who have recently purchased a home who they hired to inspector their new home.
  2. Use your telephone directory to locate several inspectors in your area and call and interview them. Inspectors can also be located in free real estate magazine published in your area.
  3. What do you ask the inspector? Here are needed answers important to a buyer:

    1. How long have they been in this Profession? (Remember in order to use “Professional” – there must be a License issued by a state). Many of the home inspection associations make the testing available from his or her home computer. The states that issue a Professional License mandate that the testing be performed in a controlled environment. When tested in that fashion your not able to have a “buddy” stand behind you and help with the answers. Be on the alert that many inspectors advertize they have many years of experience – but what in? The inspector with many years as a certified inspector would be a better selection.

    2. What is their affiliation with Professional Home Inspection organization and who are they. A good one? American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Membership with ASHI also mandates that testing be performed in a controlled environment, not from a home computer.   

    3. Do they have errors and omissions insurance? This insurance is a must have to protect you in the event the inspector omits a serious defective condition of the building. Most inspectors do not carry this insurance.

    4. What assurance can the inspector give you that he or she is capable or well-informed enough to carry out this responsibility? Remember that you will be making your decision to purchase a home on the findings of a Certified Home Inspector. 

    5. What form of inspection report will you receive after the inspection? Beware of a “check box” inspection form, carbon copy reports; fill in the blanks form or even inspection reports without photos. These styles of inspection reports are not professional to say the least. You should receive a full complete evolution of the property. A report should be capable of being e-mailed shortly after the inspection – this enables you to have a copy on your computer for future references and the ability to print an additional copy if necessary. You can also send a copy of the inspection report to your agent if you wish. The report is a PDF format and will download very fast even with a slower computer.

    6. Surely the above suggestions are not all the question that you may like answered but asking question of the inspector should give you a “good feeling” about who your going to have inspect that home for you.

    7. And last – The price of the inspection. Here at Assured Home Inspections we don’t make claims to be the cheapest but would you ask for the cheapest car in the car lot when you will be depending on its performance for many years? I’m sure not. Performing over 5000 inspections in 16 years should give you some assurance that our Professional fees are equitable.