Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
Category: Home Improvement
A home is the biggest purchase a couple or family will make in their lifetime, so it’s extremely important to hire a professional to inspect the home before going through with the purchase. Do your research and use these tips as a guide when looking for trustworthy inspection services.
Tips for Hiring Home Inspection Services:
Ask Around. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors to recommend a home inspection services business. Check out home inspectors at bbb.org to read reviews or complaints from homeowners. Avoid business that have received many complaints from previous consumers. Be sure to find out how long the home inspector has been in business.
Check Credentials. It can be tricky to check the credentials of a home inspector because often the state doesn’t require inspectors to be licensed and many reputable inspectors don’t belong to a professional organization. Find out if your state does require a license, if so, be sure the home inspector you hire has met the necessary qualifications to obtain a license. Don’t rule out an inspector because they don’t belong to an organization, but hiring a member is a plus because they are required to participate in training and certification programs to stay up-to-date.
Ask Questions. Ask the home inspector which areas of the property are and are not included in the inspection. Ask how much experience they have with your type of home. Find out if you are able to be there during the inspection. If the inspector doesn’t want anyone present, this is a red flag and you should look elsewhere for a home inspector.
Request a Sample. Ask the inspector to supply a sample report with an inspection checklist. Review the report and make sure it’s thorough and straightforward. Look for reports that have a detailed description rather than just boxes that are checked-off. The report should clearly state any problems that could become a safety hazard in the future.
Request References. A reputable home inspector will easily be able to provide a list of references you may contact. Reach out to the references and ask if they were completely satisfied with the inspector’s services. Don’t just speak to new homeowners, some problems the inspector may have missed could take longer to be discovered so it’s best to talk to someone who's owned their home for a longer period of time.
Understand the Insurance Policy. Even a reputable inspector can make an error from time to time. For these situations the business should be covered by an errors and omissions insurance policy. You may be asked to sign a waiver that will limit the businesses liability. Always ask if the business offers a guarantee in case a problem arises later. If so, be sure to get the guarantee in writing.
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