Six Important Factors To Consider Before Hiring a House Inspector
At Wittney Estates we always advise our clients to hire a house inspector before contract. Before our clients hire a house inspector we review the following information with them. A house inspector can save you thousands of dollars and a house inspector can also cost you thousands of dollars.
1. Qualifications. Ask open-ended questions about the inspector’s training and experience as it relates to home inspections. The inspector should have some training in construction and building maintenance standards and a track-record of experience in the home inspection business. Depending on the location and age of the home, you may need to hire an inspector who’s qualified to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint or other potentially hazardous substances. At Re/Max Wittney Estates we always advise our clients to hire a structural engineer. Your Wittney Agent will be willing and able to recommend several well-qualified home inspectors.
2. Scope. Ask the inspector which components of the property are — and are not — included in his or her inspection. Will the inspector check out the roof? How about the swimming pool? The built-in appliances?
3. Sample report. Ask the inspector to provide a sample of his or her checklist or inspection report. Does the report include a narrative description or just check-off boxes? Is the information presented and explained clearly and completely?
4. References. Ask the inspector for the names and telephone numbers of several homeowners who have used his or her services. Call those people and ask them whether they were satisfied with the report and other services they received.
5. Memberships. Many good inspectors don’t belong to a national or state association of home inspectors. However, all else being equal, an association membership is often a plus. These groups provide their members with training and certification programs and up-to-date information about industry practices and inspection standards.
6. Errors and omissions. Even top-notch inspectors are only human and can make errors or overlook problems they probably should have noticed. Ask about the company’s policy in such situations. Does the company have insurance for errors and omissions? Does the company or individual inspector stand behind the report? Many companies ask customers to sign a waiver limiting the company’s liability to the cost of the inspection.
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