When purchasing a home, home inspections often put the buyer’s mind at ease and may allow for renegotiation. An inspection also gives buyers an opportunity to opt out of the sale if major problems are discovered. Here are some important questions that buyers should ask their home inspector.
- Are you a member in good standing of a professional inspectors organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI)? (Some states require a license)
- What is your specialty? If the inspector only has training in one area and has no other expertise, the inspection may not be comprehensive.
- Do you have references? How long have you been in business and how many inspections have you performed?
- What advanced technology do you use? (i.e.-infrared camera, ultrasound machine)
- What exactly does the inspection cover? (i.e.-plumbing, heat, electric, structure, alarms, sewer, foundation)
- Can we accompany you on the inspection?
- Do you carry all necessary insurance, including professional liability, general liability, and errors and omissions insurance?
- Does the report include estimates of repair costs?
- Do you offer a written guarantee on the inspection?
- What type of report will I receive, and when will I receive it?
If there is a specific area of concern, hiring a professional who specializes in that area may beneficial. Also, be aware that there may be a conflict of interest if the home inspector also offers to perform repairs.