So, you’re looking for a new home and you find yourself daydreaming about moving into one of the “finalists” on your list. It’s definitely an exciting time and you can’t wait to make that big move in your life. But what do you need to do to make sure the home of your dreams doesn’t become a waking nightmare? One of the key people who will help you along in your home buying journey is a home inspector. Did you know that as the homebuyer, you get to pick the home inspector? With that in mind, you shouldn’t trust the job to just anyone! Here are a few timely tips:
The inspection phase of the homebuyer’s journey is an absolutely crucial step because it is the buyer’s only chance to get a full assessment of the home’s true condition and of any issues before forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on the property.
1. You have the Right to Choose Your Own Inspection Company
Other stakeholders in the transaction may offer you a few home inspectors’ names and they may have great contacts. These references are likely given with the best of intensions, but they can potentially be a conflict of interest. An inspector who was referred by your agent, for example, may be tempted to overlook problems. Unless you have unshakeable trust in the referring party, you should seek out your own inspector.
2. Look for a Bonded and Insured Inspection Company
You will want to make sure that whoever examines the home is bonded and insured. This is one of the most important questions to ask when you interview home inspectors because if an uninsured inspector is injured during the inspection, they may try to hold you or the homeowner liable.
3. Make Sure Your Home Inspector Doesn’t do Repairs and Renovations
Inspection companies that sell other services such as renovations have conflicts of interest. The fact they sell other services means they are more likely to see problems when there aren’t any. Choose an inspector who only does inspections.
4. Find out What the Home Inspector Does and How Long it Takes
Good home inspectors are thorough: laboring over every little detail. You will want an inspection that looks at every component, including:
- Heating and AC
- Basement and Foundation
- Roof and Attic
- Mold, Radon, Lead, and Asbestos
5. Verify That you Are Present During the Inspection
As the prospective homeowner, you have the right to go to the inspection and ask the home inspector to explain all the different things they are looking for. This will also allow you to take note of any areas that may need revisiting in the future. Also, ask your real estate agent to come along; the best agents will help you get all the information you truly need.
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions and one of the most expensive purchases we make in our lifetimes. It only makes sense to hire the best home inspector possible who meets your exact needs as a homebuyer. When choosing one, always be sure to do your own research, interview potential inspectors, and seek out referrals from your friends and family. By making the needed preparations and educating yourself, you can make an informed decision in this important step in the homebuying process.