Your home is generally your biggest investment. Therefore, it is critical to take all necessary precautions when you are buying a home to ensure you are making the best financial decision. One of those decisions is hiring a home inspector. What Matters Selecting A Home Inspector?
A home inspection can give you information that is useful in negotiating repairs into the purchase contract, obtaining credit at close for repairs, or providing an escape out of that contract. However, the reliability and depth of the information you receive will vary depending on the home inspector you hire. While a good inspector can provide you with valuable information, a bad one can leave you in the dark about potential defects. Here are some basic tips:
- Read the contract – determine what your inspector does (or doesn’t do) during an inspection. For instance, a contract can reveal if your inspector will climb to the roof or check every outlet. Furthermore, a contract can help you identify who will be performing your inspection. However, it is important to note that specialists may be needed to check chimneys, radon, alarms, and other more complex spaces and systems. Be aware that inspectors can analyze only what’s accessible; latent defects, like bad wiring or mold behind drywall, can’t be discovered without making destructive holes.
- Length of Inspection – Ask how long the inspection will take, as it commonly determines the thoroughness. However, keep in mind that a condo will take less time than single family home. A good inspector will generally take between 1-2 hours for a typical sized home.
- Report Delivery Timeframe – The same goes for the report; find out when you can expect to receive it, and the types of details and photographs it will contain. Some local Victoria home inspectors do not provide photos! Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires reports to be submitted to you within 2 days of payment for the report (after inspection, of course).
- What Equipment Will Be Used – Specific tasks require inspectors to use specific tools. For example, an infrared camera is required to check for air duct leaks, and see leaks inside wall cavities, but few home inspectors use these tools. Other tools frequently used are moisture meters, gas meters, and/or a sewer inspection camera! If you have any specific concerns about the home, let the inspector know. The inspector should bring all of the tools to the job that are needed to thoroughly check the home.
- Check Ratings and Reviews – Reviews by former clients. You can use sources such as Google Review, web searching your inspector’s business name, social media, check out the Better Business Bureau, or any other consumer review websites. Additionally, you can ask for prior customers as references and talk to them directly about the inspector’s work.
- Experience matters – Ask about the inspector’s background, training, and experience. Some may be former construction foremen, home builders, or architects. Avoid those who offer their own services to fix problems they may find. TREC prevents Inspectors from repairing any home they inspect for a minimum of 12 months! Inspectors may do hundreds of inspections a year or only a handful; while volume doesn’t matter, experience does. Check to see if they’ll provide you with a sample inspection report so you can see how detailed or thorough they are. Barrie Inspections has several sample reports available online!
- Are they Insured? – What limitations on liability exist in their contracts if they miss something important? TREC requires all inspectors to have Liability and Errors & Omissions coverage.
- How Do They Accept Payment? – Although the cost of home inspections is typically based on square footage, there may be additional fees for follow-up questions or inspections if needed. If you’re not going to be present, how will you get them paid so you can get the report? Most reputable home inspectors can accept all forms of basic payments. Not everyone accepts credit/debit cards. Find out up front! Barrie Inspections accepts cash, check, money order, and credit/debit card payments online or in person!
- Additional Certifications – While additional certifications are not required, they may be helpful. You may want to see if the inspector is certified by a third party organization like the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association (CCPIA) or by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Both organizations require study and testing before awarding their certificates, and both have continuing education requirements. Other helpful certifications include those for septic systems, water wells, pools/spas, etc.
- Verify Your Referral Source – Make sure any referrals are from a reliable source. Realtors are not allowed to receive kickbacks or choose only one preferred inspector. So generally they may be a great source of referrals. TREC requires them to provide a list of at least 3 home inspectors for you, if they give you a referral. You may want to pick your own inspector, however, to ensure that what’s best for you is the person’s only consideration. At a minimum, verify those referred to you by doing the proper research as stated above!
If you have any doubts about whether you should hire Barrie Inspections or not, check out our reviews on our Spectora website from Realtors and Clients. In fact, Barrie Inspections performs many Realtor personal purchases! When they know who to call, you do too!
Barrie Inspections is ready to handle all your real estate inspection needs! We have the experience and expertise to give you the best value and the most detailed inspection! Call 361-298-0472, email James@BarrieInspections.com, or schedule on our website 24/7 HERE. Barrie Inspections is here to help you! If you’re interested in seeing a sample of these reports from actual Barrie Inspections client inspections, please visit HERE.