When you trust me to inspect your home, I will do my utmost to give you the very best home inspection experience possible. From doing a thorough inspection to explaining my findings in a way that will educate and not scare you, my goal is to give you peace of mind. Here are several things you can do to help me:
1.Attend the inspection. Being at the inspection gives you the opportunity to meet your inspector (me!), share observations, and ask questions. It allows me to explain how we inspect and report and reduce some of your anxiety about the inspection. During the inspection, I can point out or explain things as we go along so you will know what to expect when you receive your report. I understand that you might not be able to attend due to work, family commitments, or other demands. If you can’t attend, I will make every effort to share my findings with you by phone before we leave the inspection site.
2.Limit the number of people present. I understand being excited about your (possible) new home and wanting your loved ones to see it, but having too many people in the house during the inspection increases the chance that I will miss something significant because of being distracted. You can help me a lot by asking that family members and friends not come to the inspection so I can concentrate on doing a great inspection for you. Please do not bring contractors, landscapers, decorators, etc. to the inspection for the same reason. Sometimes we will arrange for termite or radon contractors to come by during the inspection, but these folks are familiar with how home inspectors work and know how to do their job without getting in our way.
3.Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your inspection. I’m working for you. There is no such thing as a silly question – I once had a first-time buyer who pointed at the plumbing vent pipes on the roof and asked what they were and why there were so many. She wasn’t being cute or silly, she honestly didn’t know. I thanked her for asking and explained how the plumbing vents worked without making her feel bad for not knowing.
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. We’re here to help by providing a great home inspection that will give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Want to talk with a home inspector? Call me!
Search the Internet and you’ll find any number of lists that tell you how to find and hire the right home inspector. Mine is shorter than most but I’ve added a “twist” at the end. I’m going to assume you already have a name (or names), so let’s jump right in.
1.Due Diligence: Do your homework! First thing to do is check out the inspector’s license. In Virginia, home inspectors must be licensed through the Virginia Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Here is the link http://www.dpor.virginia.gov. The DPOR website will show the license status and expiration date (good to know to make sure you’re not hiring an inspector with an expired license). Reputable inspectors should be a member of either ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors). Both are outstanding organizations and promote home inspector excellence through training. Look at the inspector’s website, Google Business page, and any other Internet sources about them you can dig up. Read their reviews – what do their customers say? Keep in mind that even the best inspector may have a less than rosy review. Ask people you trust what they may know about the inspectors you are considering.
2.Sample report: The sample report can tell you a lot about the inspector. How thorough are they? When describing an issue, does the inspector use language that is clear, understandable and not overly alarming or dramatic? Does the inspector seem reasonable and balanced, or do they make a major issue out of every little flaw? Are the pictures clear? How about spelling and grammar? Home inspectors aren’t expected to be English majors but the report should not look like it was written by a third-grader. Is the information in the report really useful to the prospective buyer, or is it just filler? A good sample report can be a major selling tool for a home inspector.
3.Interview: Here is the twist! Once you’ve narrowed your list of prospects down to the final candidates, call them. Any home inspector who wants to work for you should be willing to give you a few minutes of their time. Do they encourage the client to attend the inspection? If not, that should raise a red flag. How many inspections do they do in a day? If they’re in a hurry to get to the next job, they may not give your inspection the time and attention it deserves. What are their prices? Be careful here as the cheapest inspector is not always the best one. No doubt you can think of many other questions to ask your prospective home inspector. Talking to the inspector will give you an idea of their personality, communication abilities and people skills. I once had a realtor call me out of the blue because his regular home inspector wasn’t available. We ended up working together on multiple deals, and the realtor later told me the reason he hired me was because I took the time to talk to him and I “sounded like a nice guy” when we spoke on the phone (I am a nice guy, by the way). If the home inspector sounds open, honest and sincere and you get a good vibe from talking with them, you may have a winner.
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Finding and hiring the right home inspector can help make the home buying process less stressful. So search carefully and choose wisely. You’ll be glad you did.
Want to interview a home inspector? I would be happy to talk with you.
The main reason is because they're misleading. A home inspector’s job is to observe and report, nothing more. Saying a house “passed” or “failed” an inspection is really going beyond and rendering an opinion. What is considered “passing” or “failing” by one inspector may not be so for another. The worst house we ever inspected had some $13,000 in needed repairs, but it did not “fail” the inspection. It was just a house needing a lot of attention. We reported what we saw in clear, candid and non-alarming language and everyone was satisfied. The buyer knew what they were getting and the sale went through because we avoided using misleading language.
When it comes to the word “code,” many people, including some home inspectors, confuse a home inspection with a code inspection. They are not the same. A home inspection is a limited, visual, non-invasive examination of a home’s condition at a given point in time. A code inspection is just that – An inspection of the home’s components and systems (HVAC, plumbing, structure, etc.) to determine if they conform to required codes. Home inspectors need to be familiar with various codes so they can recognize and point out issues observed during the inspection, but they are not code inspectors. Even if an inspector also happens to be a licensed electrician, plumber, etc., it would still be wise to avoid using the word “code” because it could give the client the wrong impression.
Using these words doesn’t mean the inspector is bad or dishonest. It just means they may need to work on their communication skills or re-think their understanding of what a home inspection is. Doing a great inspection is important, but just as important is communicating the findings to the client clearly and candidly. Avoiding misleading language will go a long way towards accomplishing that objective.
Have questions about home inspections? Call us – We'd love to talk with you.