As a home buyer, you rely on your inspector to evaluate a property and provide information critical to your buying decision. Inspection results could determine whether you move forward with a home purchase or terminate the deal. Given the importance of this step in the process, take a few moments to ensure that you are selecting the right inspector. Here are a few tips.
Understand the inspection scope and limitations
Inspectors have a list of items that they will evaluate. More importantly, there are certain things that they will not or cannot check. Be sure to understand the full scope and limitations of your inspection. In some cases, you may opt for additional tests (with an added charge).
Ask about reporting methods
There are a range of reporting methods used by inspectors. Some will complete a written report during inspection. Others provide electronic reports later that day (or the next day). Some even include photos in their reports. Ask inspectors ahead of time about the format and delivery time of reports so that you can meet deadlines for decision-making.
Inspector’s background and certifications
As in any profession, not all inspectors are created equal. Experience, certifications, and membership in trade associations will vary. Typically, inspectors who are members of organizations like ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) abide by a code of ethics and employ certain trade practices that may help protect consumers. If this is important to you, take a moment to ask about an inspector’s professional background and experience before hiring one.
Length of inspection
Homebuyers often forget to ask about inspection timeframes. Inspections can vary based on the inspector and the scope of the inspection. Knowing whether you will be at a property for two hours versus four hours is certainly important, especially if you are taking time off work to attend the appointment.
Make good decisions
Selecting the right inspector and negotiating inspections results are among the many critical steps of the home buying process. Working with an experienced real estate agent ensures that you are receiving the proper advice and guidance at every step.
By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland. Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail [email protected].