Buying a House? Hiring a Home Inspector? This is what you need to know.
I. Avoid the Rubber Stamp Inspector.
The main thing you want to avoid is a “rubber stamp” home inspector. Normally, this is an inspector referred by a buyer-agent that doesn’t want any problems found and the transaction to close (and get paid). An agent may recommend an inspector that (cough, cough) might not be as detail-oriented as they should be. Typically, a rubber stamp inspector will conduct an inspection, issue a report citing a few minor issues (they always have to find SOMETHING), and offer a thumbs up. As a listing agent, I’ve dealt with too many inspectors recommended by buyer-agents that seem to avoid looking for problems. Don’t make this simple mistake. Take the time to find a reliable, thorough, inspector.
II. An informative report is just as important as a good inspection.
A detailed and in-depth inspection is paramount, but a well-written report can be just as important. If a buyer is going to request repairs or a monetary credit from the seller, they’ll need to forward a copy of the report to the seller and listing agent. A poorly written report can be costly because the seller won’t necessarily understand what is wrong, why, and how it should be addressed. A well-documented home inspection should note the problem, the probable reason, and recommend repair. If further inspections are needed, that should be noted as well. As a buyer in a competitive market, you’ll be under strict timelines to request repairs. Having to wait a couple of extra days for clarification of a poorly written report is not advisable.
III. If the property has unique features, make sure your inspector is qualified.
Not every home inspector is qualified to inspect EVERYTHING, and some properties have unique features that, if not properly accounted for, can pose an issue. Does the property have a basement with the potential for radon? A pool? Solar panels? Insect damage? Make sure you hire a home inspector (or multiple inspectors) that is qualified to inspect any special features and can adequately address potential problems.
At Lawyers Realty Group, we NEVER recommend rubber stamp home inspectors. We encourage our clients to look for their own home inspector, but if you need a referral, we know some of the best. And if your property has unique features, we’ll take that into account and make sure all your bases are covered so you can…..Buy Smart. Live Well.