5 Questions to Ask Before you Hire a Home Inspector

Hiring the right home inspector is important. After all, you want the inspection to leave no stone unturned when determining the condition of the house you are considering purchasing. Unfortunately, the professionalism and range of services vary widely in the home inspection industry. So it pays to ask the right questions before you choose. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. What does your inspection cover?

    A home inspector should be able to present you with a detailed list of what is covered in the inspection. Don't settle for a vague verbal promise like, We check everything top to bottom. Get it in writing.

    In addition, you should get an assurance that the inspection complies with all Local and State or Provincial regulations.

  2. What are your qualifications?

    As with most professions, experience counts. You want to check how long the inspector has been in the business, and how many homes like yours he has inspected. Also ask about his credentials. What professional training programs has he completed? Does he belong to a recognized home inspection association? (If so, he should have an ID card to prove it.)

  3. Do you also offer to do home repairs or renovations?

    If he does, it’s a conflict of interest. You want an inspector to give you an unbiased report as to the condition of the house, without any expectation of getting some contracting work on the side.

  4. How long will the inspection take?

    You'll want to find out if the inspector takes his time and does a thorough job, or rushes things so he can get as many homes done in a day as possible. On average, a typical single family home should take two to three hours to inspect properly.

  5. May I contact some references?

    Ask for references from people in the neighborhood you are considering. Then, make sure you call them.

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