5 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors

new-jersey-home-inspectionA home is most likely the single largest financial transaction of your lifetime. It makes a lot of sense to prepare a list of questions to ask a home inspector. A home inspection with a qualified inspector answers the all-important question if your soon-to-be home is a rock solid investment or a lemon.

A home inspection is only as good as the inspector who does it. A lot of homebuyers are surprised to learn that many home inspectors are unregulated, meaning it’s buyer beware. It’s up to you to choose a qualified home inspector to help make the largest purchase of your life. You should interview two to three home inspectors before making your final decision.

Here are 5 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors:

1.  Have you inspected properties similar to mine before?
There are many types of inspections – house inspections, condo inspections and new build inspections. You’ll want to find an inspector who is experienced inspecting the type of property you’re thinking of purchasing. Inspecting a house is a lot different than a condo – while a house has a roof and furnace to worry about, a condo has other things to worry about like a balcony.

2.  Have you been certified?
Although home inspectors are by and large unregulated, certification helps set the novice inspectors apart from the experts. As mentioned, it’s buyer beware when it comes to home inspectors. Just about anyone can open up a business tomorrow and call themselves a home inspector. To help protect yourself, find out if your inspector is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

3. How long have you been in business? Can you provide references?
To avoid fly-by-night inspectors, it’s a good idea to ask how long a home inspector has been in business. The home inspection industry is all about positive referrals from satisfied customers. If an inspector has been in business for 20+ years, chances are they must be doing something right! A home inspection isn’t cheap, so you’ll want to ask for two to three references.

4. How much do you charge?
Since the home inspection industry is unregulated, inspectors are free to charge as they see fit. Similar to when you’re choosing a contractor, you shouldn’t simply go with the inspector with the lowest fees. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Home inspections can costs upwards of $500, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

RELATED: 8 Important Steps for Your Final Walk Through

5. When can you provide a written report?
It’s highly recommended that you do a walkthrough of the property with your home inspector. Not only can you see any areas of concern, it’s especially handy for first-time homebuyers who aren’t very knowledgeable about houses.

Despite the tour from your inspector, you’ll want at a written report. Having the report in your hands when it comes time to make your final decision to purchase is crucial – you’ll want an inspector who can deliver the report within a couple business days at the most.

Patrick Parker Realty works with a network of professionals for home buying and selling peripheral services.  Contact Us today for a referral to one of our trusted partners.