08 Feb How to Choose the Right Home Inspector for Your Property
If you’re looking for a home inspector, ask for referrals from friends and family. But be wary of the real estate agent’s recommendations, as they may have ties that could cause a conflict of interest.
You’ll also want to ensure an inspector has professional liability insurance or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This will protect you if they accidentally miss something during an inspection.
Ask for Recommendations
As a real estate agent, it’s important to help your clients find a trustworthy home inspector. While it may seem like a conflict of interest, assisting your client in selecting an inspector will ensure that they get a thorough home inspection.
Ask your clients to reach out to their network of friends and family members for recommendations. Then, consider tapping into your local real estate professional networks for further suggestions. Searching online directories such as Angi and Angie’s List is another great place to start. Be sure to use the filters on these sites to filter out “paid advertisers” who might bias results.
Once you’ve narrowed your options, ask each inspector for a sample report. This will give you a good sense of their work and attention to detail. It will also help you compare their lists of what they check for to decide which suits your client’s needs best.
Check for Certifications
Choosing a home inspector is one of the most important decisions you will make when buying a home. The right inspector can give you peace of mind that the home you are purchasing is a good investment and not a money pit.
The first step in vetting an inspector is asking for a sample report from them. A thorough report should include explanations, graphics, and useful references. In addition, the inspector should be open to answering any questions you may have during and after the inspection.
Another great way to vet an inspector is by checking their professional certifications. You can do this by entering your zip code into the websites of professional organizations. Also, check for reviews and complaints if the inspector is listed on crowdsourced directories such as Yelp or Angi (formerly Angie’s List). This may be a red flag if they don’t have any online.
Check for Insurance
Home inspectors carry liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients in the event of an accident or mistake. Typically known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this policy covers the cost of legal fees and compensation paid to the injured party.
Look for a home inspector who offers this insurance to ensure their coverage is current and in good standing. You can also ask the home inspectors on your list for a copy of their E&O insurance certificate to review their specific limits and coverage details.
A home inspector with extensive experience in the industry will be better able to spot potential problems than those with less experience. In addition, an inspector who has performed many inspections is likely to have more experience with different types of homes and will be able to offer a more comprehensive assessment. Ask the inspectors on your list for a sample report to understand how detailed they’ll be in their inspections.
Check for Reviews
As a real estate professional, you know that not all home inspectors are created equal. Choosing the right home inspector for your client can make all the difference in a smooth transaction and a happy client.
One of the most important things to look for in a home inspector is their experience level and background. Please find out how long they’ve been in the business and ask for a sample report to see how thorough their inspections are.
Look for a certified and insured inspector with a good reputation in the community. A quick Google search or a call to your local Better Business Bureau should give you plenty of information to help you choose the right home inspector for your clients.
Consider asking your clients to do a walkthrough of the property independently before hiring an inspector. This will help them feel prepared for the inspection and give you a glimpse into how they’ll approach the property evaluation.