The perfect property may be filled with issues the naked eye cannot detect. The best way to protect yourself from the unknown and prevent headaches after the purchase is by using a quality home inspector. For many novice buyers all home inspectors are the same. While this is true for the most part there are some important subtle differences that can save you time and money. Knowing the right questions to ask or the right information to research will help you find the best inspector for your situation. Here are four tips to help choose the right home inspector.
Do Your Own Research.Your home inspection is the last line of defense before the purchase. It is the final opportunity to find any defects or hidden issues with the property. If you use the first person that presents themselves, you may regret it a few months down the road. Even if your attorney or mortgage broker makes a recommendation you still need to do your own diligence. Read through any online reviews you can find and see if there is any chatter on social media. Ask your real estate agent if they have heard of the company and if there was any negative feedback. Never shy away from using a referral but always do your own homework just to make sure you are completely comfortable.
Background Info.Your inspection is too important to use a company you can’t find online. Your inspector doesn’t necessary need to be a twenty-year veteran, but the company should be established. With a few clicks you should be able to find the company on social media and easily visit the website. Any company that is not online it may be a red flag that they are outdated or don’t really want new business. If you can’t see who is doing your inspection and what qualifications they have there are plenty of other inspectors out there you can use.
What to Expect on Inspection Day.The inspection can be a long, tedious process depending on the age and style of the property. As boring as it may be you have every right to suffer through it if you want. In fact, it is recommended that you attend your home inspection. Any inspector that tells you they don’t want you to show up should be crossed off your list. It is a difficult part of the job, but most experienced inspectors accept the fact that buyers will be present and ask plenty of questions. The best inspectors will take some time to let you know what they are looking at and if there is anything you should take note of. The biggest takeaway is that a good inspector will have no issue with you showing up on inspection day. If they do you need to find someone else.
How Long is the Process Start to Finish?On most real estate contracts, the inspection must be done within a few days of agreement. Your inspector search should start as soon as you start looking for homes instead of after your offer is accepted. You need to find out how booked your inspector is over the next few weeks. If they are booked for weeks in advance you need to look elsewhere. Another important factor is how long the report will take to get back to you. Most inspectors can turn the report over in 24-48 hours. You should never have to wait 3-5 days for a copy of the inspection. You are on the clock as soon as your offer is accepted. Don’t waste days waiting for your inspector.
It can be argued that the right inspector is the best money you will spend throughout the home buying process. Take your time, ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with the home inspector you choose.