Top Five Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Inspector
Buying a house is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make in your life. A mistake while making this decision can cost you years of savings as well as vast amounts of emotional distress.
However, knowing the condition of the home you are considering will not just ease the stress but will also ensure that you’re making a prudent investment. One of the best ways to learn more about the house is having a home inspection done. The inspector will thoroughly check a house right from the interior and exterior structure, to the plumbing, ventilation, appliances, and much more.
If you’re looking for a home inspector, selecting the best one to work with from numerous available options may prove to be a challenge for most people. To help you quicken your search, here’s a list of the top five questions to ask a real estate inspector before hiring one.
1. What does the inspection include?
To compare inspectors, you need to know what the inspection includes (or doesn’t cover). Ideally, the inspection should be as thorough as possible.
At South Texas Certified Home Inspections, we open every window we can open and test every outlet we can check. A lot of inspection companies don’t test the appliances, but we turn on dishwashers and laundry machines to see if there are damages on the gaskets or other parts.
2. Can I tag along on during the inspection?
Some homeowners leave the inspectors alone to examine the home, while others want to be more hands-on and follow along as the inspector works. If you fall into the latter camp, which several experts recommended, make sure your inspector is willing to walk you through the process. It is essential to find an inspector who can communicate clearly and takes the time to explain things.
At South Texas Certified Home Inspections, we offer our clients the opportunity to walk around with us and ask questions. An awful lot of customers don't know much about the house. They want to know about the heating system and how to turn off the electric if there’s a problem with the electricity. We are happy to help them with answers.
3. Are you bonded and insured?
A surprising number of home inspectors don’t have insurance. Say the inspector falls through the attic or slips while inspecting your roof. If the company doesn’t have the appropriate insurance, they may sue you or the current homeowners or try to put a lien on the property. So make sure the company is insured before the inspector sets foot on the property.
At South Texas Certified Home Inspections, we believe that somebody with employees should really have general liability insurance, and they should have errors and omissions insurance in case there is something significant that they miss. Besides, whenever one party is sued in the transaction, it tends to pinball all over the place where everybody ends up in the lawsuit. You're avoiding personal liability by making sure that they have their own insurance.
4. Do you perform repairs or just home inspections?
Some homebuyers seek the advice of a general contractor rather than a home inspector. That is a mistake, as they provide expertise from a different point of view. A home inspector is typically checking the roof or the appliances if they’re included in the home. A general contractor is coming in from a repair standpoint and can quote for whatever repairs need to be done. In fact, providing both services could create a conflict of interest, because buyers can’t always distinguish between necessary repairs and optional upgrades.
At South Texas Certified Home Inspections, we suggest that after the home inspection, you should hire a specialist or general contractor to find out how much a kitchen renovation or plumbing upgrade might cost. Get the unbiased opinion first. Then you bring in the contractor to quote for what those repairs are.
5. How much do you charge?
Notice that price is the last question mentioned. That’s because shopping on price alone may lead to cutting corners. You might be saving a couple of hundred dollars to hire the cheapest inspector, but you could be paying in a big way because the inspector wasn’t thorough or the report was hard to understand.
If you’re looking for a real estate inspector in Cinco Ranch, Cypress, Damon, Friendswood, Houston, and neighboring areas, reach out to the experts at South Texas Certified Home Inspections. For over a decade, we have been providing professional real-estate home inspections with the help of latest technology and methods. Our founder, Donald Rollins, is certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and carries out inspections in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC).