Thursday 13 November 2014

What makes a good home inspector?

When you're looking at a list of home inspectors - whether from your agent or from a Google search - and making some calls to see who you feel comfortable using, there are some very basic criteria you'll probably be looking for.

One of the obvious ones is their education and certification. Do they have specific and sufficient education related to inspecting homes or are they just a general contractor moonlighting ion te inspection business?  Do they belong to a professional home inspection association with a published set of standards, both in terms of practice and educational requirements?  While you'll still get a mix, just like in any business, industry-specific education and certification go a long way in ensuring an inspector will know their stuff.

The next obvious one is experience.  Do they have enough experience to put things in context?  An inexperienced home inspector may not be able to adequately judge the seriousness of an issue.  Of course, there is no guarantee, but an inspector who has more than a few inspections under their belt will have seen enough to be able to pick up on things that a brand new inspector might not.

One final point, though, which is not as obvious and somewhat difficult to judge ahead of time is their ability to communicate and explain issues.  If an inspector does not adequately explain just how serious something is or give an idea of what is involved with fixing the problem, then even little issues can be magnified by the human imagination to be very serious and expensive issues.

If you're working with an agent you trust to take care of your best interests, then ask them to recommend a couple of inspectors to call.  After being on an inspection or two with a specific inspector, an agent will have a feel for how well they fit these three general qualities.

(Side note:  if you're not working with an agent you trust to take care of your best interests in recommending an inspector, what on earth are you doing?)


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