Are you selling a home or are you buying one? You certainly need the services of a qualified home inspector. In most states and cities in the US, and in other countries, there is actually no requirement for home inspection. However, most homebuyers need to make sure the homes they would acquire meet standard criteria in safety and durability. No one would definitely want to buy or live in a house that is about to explode or tear down.
You should not be surprised that most states and cities do not implement stringent regulations covering the home inspection sector. Thus, you may have a hard time finding and hiring qualified home inspectors. The task may be further difficult because surprisingly, there are just too many home inspection service providers operating in many communities. How could you be sure you are dealing with the right, qualified and reliable inspector? Here are several guidelines.
Ask for credible opinions. You might start the search by asking your relatives, friends, or colleagues if they could recommend any home inspector. Nothing beats actual experience. You may know if a friend in the past encountered a problem about home inspection. Likewise, you may hear about good inspectors, who did not cause any problem eventually. From the list you may get, go and conduct a background or satisfaction check.
You could also ask the opinion of a trustworthy real estate agent. Property agents of course work closely with home inspectors. Every day, agents and inspectors meet, in different cases and homes. That us why it is just logical that real estate agents know who among the home inspectors are good and who are not. Ask for at least three recommendations or references from an agent.
You may start asking yourself questions the moment you do a background and professional check on any inspector. First, where was the home inspector trained? Stay away from inspectors who could not tell about his training. He might just be a poser or a con artist. Is the inspector attending continuing education classes? Is he a member of any professional organization? If he is, what are the membership requirements? Is the inspector carrying an Errors and Omissions insurance? If the answer is affirmative to all the questions, then you have found the right and qualified home inspector.
Another way to find a qualified and good inspector is to look at the inspection coverage. You should ask for a copy of a sample inspection report. It should be about 20 to 50 pages long, including colored photographs to show actual home defects. Find out what systems the inspection covers. You should beware about inspectors who exclude too many services. Are there specific and important services that would require additional charges? There are specific areas that general inspectors normally should not cover like sewerage, septic tanks, molds, foundation, electrical system, air conditioning and heating, soil tests, and chimney, among others.
Lastly, before hiring any home inspector, determine the requirements of your lender or the local government. You surely would not want to spend another few dollars for a different home inspection that is not covered by your general home inspector. It is best to avoid hiring specialists to do specific inspection, but if there really is a need, then go ahead (especially if the home to be inspected is really old).
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