One of the most important and often overlooked steps in the home buying process is the inspection. For first-time homebuyers choosing a home inspector can be a challenging proposition and finding the best professional inspector not only gives you the peace of mind you deserve but can save you money on costly repairs or headaches caused by unforeseen damage. While it’s not a legal requirement, nearly every Real Estate professional will advise you to get a comprehensive third-party inspection before the option period ends. Here are five considerations to help homebuyers navigate choosing the best home inspector.
Referrals and Reviews
More often than not word of mouth referrals from family and friends motivate homebuyers to choose an inspector. Because they have first-hand experience with an inspector’s services and trust their performance, this is often the best way to choose a professional home inspector. Many people prefer the same inspector for decades of real estate transactions and have built a relationship on trust, transparency, and integrity. Additionally, looking at an inspector’s online reviews will allow you to accurately understand their customer service and the quality of their inspections. Because home inspections need to happen quickly, it’s essential to make a decision as soon as possible and be confident in that decision.
Schedule a Call or Consultation
In this day and age, everything is online and often can be misrepresented, so one of the easiest ways to make sure you trust your professional home inspector is to simply speak to them on the phone. You can get quick answers to any questions and get an idea of their dependability and demeanor. During this call, you can make sure they are bonded, insured, licensed, and experienced. You can also ask how long a typical inspection takes, which will give you an idea of how thorough an inspection they perform. It should take anywhere from 2-5 hours for a typical residential inspection, depending on a number of variables, including age, condition, and size.
Understand What to Expect
A home inspection provides a detailed report on all mechanical systems, framing, foundation, roofing, and more while identifying potential deficiencies and offering a full view of the property’s condition. Inspections identify any necessary repairs or the potential for future malfunction, which allows potential homebuyers to develop a budget for repairs and negotiate these into closing credits. Inspectors do not perform repairs and ethically should not recommend contractors other than other third-party inspectors. Transparency is at the core of home inspections because they act as an unbiased third party without a vested interest in the real estate transaction.
Like most things in life, when choosing a professional home inspector, you get what you pay for. Compare some different home inspectors reviews versus cost, and you will often find that spending a bit more upfront can save you a lot of money down the line in repairs or damages. Home inspections not only identify deficiencies, but they can also predict repair costs and necessary maintenance in the first year of homeownership, which allows for better budgeting and projections.
Avoid Homes Inspectors that ask to Walk the House Solo
While it’s your choice whether or not to attend the inspection, it is often recommended that you do so that inspectors can provide the highest level of service and transparency. If a home inspector requests to conduct their inspection alone, this can be a major red flag, and it is probably best to work with a different inspector. Also, avoid inspectors that offer to conduct and repairs or maintenance themselves and look for a licensed contractor with a specialty in the field that needs addressing.