When shopping for a new home, most buyers want to purchase a property that is in great condition. It is important that the structure and the systems in the home are in good shape. The average homebuyer isn’t trained or expected to notice all defects after only a couple of walk-throughs. Whether you’re buying a new home or selling a property and want to get a pre-listing inspection, here are a few important questions to ask when hiring a home inspector.
When Hiring a Home Inspector, Learn About His or Her Qualifications
If you get a recommendation through a friend or your real estate agent, be sure to check the inspector’s credentials. What qualifications, certifications, and licenses does the inspector have?
A home inspector should be certified by one of the home inspector organizations, some of which are state-specific. These organizations offer state-approved examinations, codes of ethics, continuing education, and licensing for professional inspectors.
Ask About Experience
Property inspectors are often self-employed and spend most of their day in the field performing inspections. They have a keen eye and attention to detail which is useful in identifying defects or potential problems in a property. Hire a home inspector with experience. They will be better practiced at inspecting and will perform the inspection accurately and quickly.
Ask about your home inspector’s background. Many have experience in the construction industry and understand all aspects of residential home construction. They are also skilled in managing time and interacting with real estate agents, homebuyers, and homeowners.
Ask How Long the Inspection Will Take When Hiring a Home Inspector
When you’ve found a home you want, make sure the home inspector will be able to visit the property within a reasonable timeframe. You don’t want your offer to fall through because the inspector wasn’t available.
Depending on the size of the property, a typical home inspection takes two to three hours to complete. After the inspection, you’ll receive a report detailing the condition of the property. When hiring an inspector, ask how long it will take and how your report will be delivered. Depending on the inspector, the report might be a hard copy sent through the mail or it may be viewable online.
Find Out What Will be Inspected
Talk to the inspector about their responsibilities. The inspector will check all aspects of the home including the roof, exterior, basement or crawlspace, foundation, structural components, heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, fireplace, attic, insulation, and ventilation. However, there may be exemptions to what your inspector can or cannot do.
Ask what your inspector looks for as part of his or her standard home inspection. Learn if other services are offered. Some home inspectors can provide radon testing and wood-destroying insect inspections at an additional cost.