11. Do you take any continuing education in order to keep your expertise up to date?
Know one can know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.
10. Are you licensed to perform home inspections?
This is very important as many states do not require a professional license and anyone can simply claim to be an inspector with no background training or related experience. Seek out an inspector that is licensed even if your state does not require a license.
9. What items do you check during the inspection?- Be sure to get a list of items that are routinely checked during the home inspection. Most professional home inspector's follow a standard of practice which outlines the things that will and will not be inspected. Ask to see a copy of the inspector's (SOP) Standard of Practice before the inspection.
This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of the professional inspector that you have hired.
7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, a checklist, photographs, environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this, combined with the seller's disclosure and what you notice yourself, makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies for various systems and components, and minor imperfections. These are useful to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.
6. How much will it cost?
Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality.
5. How long will the inspection take?
The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection.
4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest. Be sure you understand the difference.
3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?
Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training, licensing and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.
Russell G. Cloyd
House 2 Home Inspections, LLC is a showcased Union, KY home inspector on Inspectopia.com!