Over 75% of the real estate contracts in Albany, Leesburg or Southwest Georgia contain contingencies that were discovered during home inspections. This translates into millions of dollars saved by home buyers, who had professional home inspections conducted. Here are some suggestions that might be very useful for you if you are considering having a home inspection completed to help remove the stress of this process:
WHAT ABOUT TRAINING, CERTIFICATIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS?
It is important for you to check the training, education and qualifications of the home inspector that you use. Each state has their own requirements and nationally, the largest accreditation associations: InterNACHI and ASHI can readily attest to the professional certifications of their members. Specifically look for certifications and advanced certifications in at least the major systems areas of your home: roof, structure, exterior, electrical, plumbing, heating & cooling, crawlspaces, Etc. You may also want to check for certifications in energy efficiency, water quality, air quality, mold, radon, water quality, chimneys, wells, pools, decks, etc.… and other areas that are of importance to you that you would like to have covered during the home inspection process.
WHAT ABOUT CUSTOMER REVIEWS / RATINGS?
It is important for you to do some research and check out the reviews and ratings on the home inspection service. This can give you a good idea of the professional level of service they provide and can help you get a feel for what kind of experience previous customers had hiring them to do their home inspection. Most professional home inspection services will have ratings on Google / facebook / Yelp, Etc…
WHAT ABOUT TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY?
Don’t make the mistake of assuming all home inspectors have and use the same tools during a home inspection – that is simply not the case. Make sure the home inspector you hire is on the cutting edge of technology, modern tools, training and certifications for the home inspection business. These things can make a big difference in the quality of both the inspection you receive as well as your report.
WHAT ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL STATUS OF THE HOME INSPECTOR?
It’s important to know that your home inspector is an established professional business with strong ties to your local community or service area. Look for a home inspection business that is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and of course the Better Business Bureau. Why? This likely means they are not a “here today – gone tomorrow” operation and will be around should you ever need their services again. It also means they will back their business to guarantee customer satisfaction. These businesses also invest back into your local communities and demonstrate a strong sense of social responsibility in making communities better places to live.
WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE?
A home inspector generally is not required to be bonded and insured, however, it’s very wise to find one who is. Why? That means that the home inspector has been back-ground checked and has been determined to be professionally certified by the insurance company providing coverage. Hiring a home inspector who is bonded and has Errors & Omission insurance coverage provides an extra level protection for you as a client of the home inspector.
WHAT ABOUT THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT?
Don’t assume that if you’ve seen one home inspection report – you’ve seen them all. There is nothing further from the truth today. Does the home inspector utilize modern technology in internet cloud-based services and digital reporting that you can access with a click of a button? Make sure the home inspector uses a report that is easy to read and follow and has high resolution images and video (if applicable). Make sure the report is readily available and can be sent electronically or printed out in hard copy if needed. The more user friendly your report is – the better position you and your agent will be in to seek contingencies during the negotiation stage. A great report can save you and your agent so much time and effort. While a bad report can mean drudging through dozens and dozens of pages with very complicated and confusing wording.
WHAT ABOUT COST?
Truth is – there is no set price range for a real professional home inspection. Why? Every home is different and unique. Many factors come into play when you look at pricing a home inspection: square footage, stories, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, age of the home, basement, crawlspace, fireplaces/chimneys, roof type, roof pitch, garages, other free-standing building or structures, Ect… Does the home have a pool or spa? Do you want to have the air quality checked? Do you want your water quality checked? Would you like a Mold or Radon screening completed? Do you want the inspector to conduct an advanced comprehensive thermal imaging inspection? Does the home come with a well or septic system or would you like a sewer scope inspection completed? Would you like aerial images of your home? Is your home an older home and your concerned about the presence of lead-based paint? Home inspections can be as comprehensive as you want them to be to provide you with unbiased information to help you make an informed decision about the home you are thinking about purchasing.
The worst mistake many home buyers make is assuming that if you see one home inspector – you’ve seen them all – and try to find the cheapest inspector out there. That is the worst thing you could possibly do. Think about it for a minute. If you are considering investing thousands and thousands of dollars into a home – don’t you think it makes sense to hire the best home inspection services available to you instead of just trying to find the cheapest service out there? Truth is anyone can buy a magnetic sign, screwdriver and ladder and call themselves a home inspector. You will find inspectors out there that will undercut prices because they try to make up the difference by doing a larger volume of home inspections. Or they may be amateur and are having trouble finding clients. Ask your self – who would you rather hire – someone who is the cheapest one available – or someone who is really going to do a comprehensive inspection and keep your best interest at heart – no matter how long the inspection takes? As is true with most things in life – trust us – you will get what you pay for.
In the grand scheme of things, the amount of money you spend on a professional home inspection – regardless of who does it – is going to be a penance compared to the money you will be investing in your dream home. In most instances, the amount of money you spend on a professionally completed home inspection is going to be minute compared to the amount of money you could possibly save based on contingencies discovered during a comprehensive inspection by a professional home inspection firm. On most occasions – a professional home inspection more than pays for itself.
Make sure you hire a home inspector who will take the time to walk you through the inspection and make sure you understand all the discovered deficiencies. While any professional home inspector will always welcome you to be present for the inspection process itself – the truth is there are many things that you cannot accompany the inspector on during the inspection process for insurance and liability reasons. If you can make it to the house – at least at the end of the inspection – you should always do so. However, there may be circumstances that prevent you from doing so. If so, make sure that the home inspector takes the time to go over the inspection report with you at least. That way you have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Don’t be shy – make sure the home inspector explains everything to you so that you have a comfort level with the inspection findings.
One last suggestion for you: If you find a home inspector who tells you they can also do the repairs on the deficiencies they find in the inspection – or makes specific recommendations on who you can call to get the work done – RUN. You should look for a home inspector who only offers inspections, not repairs. There is a direct conflict of interest scenario. So, if your looking for a professional home inspection service that is going to do a thorough competent home inspection and put you and your family’s health, well being & safety first – we invite you to consider Sentry Home Inspection Services.