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How Do You Avoid Hiring a Bad Home Inspector?

Story Highlights

  • No.1 - Ask for credentials and background information
  • No.2 - Review a sample home inspection report
  • No.3 - Inquire about the length of your inspection
  • No.4 - Ask to attend the home inspection
  • No.5 - Avoid inspectors who recommend contractors

There are many benefits when it comes to hiring a home inspector but it can be disastrous if you hire a bad one.

When hiring a home inspector it is important that you know who you are hiring and that means that you will have to put in some time researching their credentials and background.

A bad home inspector might do a substandard job, which means that it could cost you (tens of) thousands in the long run should something bad happen to the house.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid hiring a bad home inspector:

No.1 – Ask for credentials and background information

As mentioned, the first thing that you need to do is to ask for credentials and background information. You need to choose a certified inspector and you have every right to ask for their qualifications.

If you are working with a seasoned real estate agent, they will definitely be able to refer someone reliable. However, if you are working with a below-average agent, then the chances are good that they will recommend a below-average home inspector.

Why? Well, many agents hire substandard inspectors because they don’t want their deal being hampered (i.e. the inspector will purposely omit certain facts from his report) but a good real estate agent will always choose quality over anything else.

No.2 – Review a sample home inspection report

A good home inspector will agree when you ask them to send you a sample of a home inspection report that they did recently.

A solid report should be between 20 to 50 pages long. Anything less than that should be seen as a red flag. It should also contain photographs that highlight defects or faults.

Main areas that should be covered by the inspection include the mechanics, structure, electrical, and plumbing.

A good home inspection report will be thorough and explain in detail what the current state of the house is.

No.3 – Inquire about the length of your inspection

A home inspection doesn’t take that long with an average inspection lasting between 2-3 hours.

It might take more time, depending on the size of home you have, the number of electrical panels, the condition of the property, and so on.

It is always wise to ask the inspector how long it will take before he or she starts the inspection so that you know what to expect.

Anything that is below average is an indication of a gloss-over, meaning that the inspection was not as thorough as it should have been.

No.4 – Ask to attend the home inspection

The best thing that you can do is to attend the home inspection yourself.

It might take some time out of your schedule but it will definitely give you peace of mind.

Let the inspector walk it through with you and ask him or her to point out any faults that might go on his or her report. Use the opportunity to ask questions about minor and major faults.

If the inspector cannot answer it correctly, you might be dealing with someone who is not fully qualified. Perhaps now might be the time to get the help of an expert.

No.5 – Avoid inspectors who recommend contractors

The main job of a home inspector is to find the faults of a home and to report on it. So, if a home inspector offers the services of a contractor, he or she could be creating a conflict of interest.

You should also watch out for home inspectors who want to do the repairs themselves. This will only lead to liability issues.

Unless a home inspector is qualified to do repairs and can provide the qualifications that he has, it is best to find someone professional to fix the home for you.

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