Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector
Posted On: Oct 28, 2016
Considering a home inspector for either a pending or potential home sale? It’s always a good idea to ask a few questions to ensure you’ll get exactly the service you need out of the inspection. Here are a few you should consider before hiring a licensed home inspector.
Are you licensed?
In New York State, home inspectors are required to obtain appropriate licensing. There is nothing wrong with asking a potential inspector if in fact he or she is properly licensed. It’s also worth asking if he or she is a member of any reputable professional associations, such as the National Association of Home Inspectors or the American Society of Home Inspectors, or one of the many statewide associations out there.
How long will the inspection take?
Most home inspections will take between two and three hours to complete; for larger dwellings, it may take even longer. Anything less than that may not be enough time to be thorough. If an inspector plans on being in and out in an hour, that may be a red flag.
Keep in mind that the inspector will need to complete a report for you as well; you should ask when to expect to have the report in hand after the inspection. Get it in writing. It isn’t unreasonable to expect that to be turned over to you within 24 hours.
Can I attend the inspection?
It’s never a good sign if an inspector refuses your request to be onsite. The home inspection is a great way for you to become educated on your home, and learn about potential issues or repairs that may be needed. The inspector shouldn’t have a problem talking you through what he or she is doing. This person is an expert and you are paying for his or her time; you should take advantage of the opportunity.
What does the inspection include?
It’s good to get an idea of what the inspector plans on checking. While we’ve mentioned that some things that can’t be seen are not part of an inspector’s job to review, he or she should be checking every visible part of the home, from the basement to the attic (and roof!). Listen for some of the more detail-oriented items, such as opening and closing windows, testing outlets and appliances, turning on the faucets, etc.
Are you experienced in inspecting residential properties?
Many home inspectors specialize in commercial properties, or a niche like construction; however, nothing is better than having experience specifically with homes. Find out if your inspector typically deals with residential properties; even ask how many he or she has completed over a specified period of time! While an inspector may have years in business, it’s possible that he or she only does a few home inspections a year.