1. What does typical home inspection cover?
Your home inspector should ensure you that their inspection and also the written inspection report will meet all requirements applicable in your state and comply with a standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request a copy of these items in advance and then be able to ask any questions you may have. If there are systems you want to have inspected that are beyond the basis home inspection discuss the inspection process of these systems and the inspector’s ability to perform them or will they be outsourced.
2. How long have you been in the home inspection profession? How many inspections have you completed?
The inspector should be able to provide you with his or her history in the profession and referrals. If your REALTOR® has given you a list of their recommendations you are indeed ahead of the game! To obtain a home inspectors license is relatively easy by completing a 140 hours of class time, passing a multiple choice test and attending 40 hours of field training. Developing the expertise to properly perform home inspections takes years. I recommend home inspectors licensed and certified to perform inspections in New Jersey that have been in the business for over 10 years. With this type of experience they have seen it all and can anticipate possible future problems for my clients and customers.
3. Are you experienced in residential home inspections?
Experience as a contractor in home construction and being a licensed structural engineer is helpful, however, it is not an added benefit without the training and experience in the field as a home inspector.
4. Will you repair or make improvements based on your inspection?
I personally see this as a conflict of interest. The home inspectors I recommend have a professional supplier list which they will share with their customers. You may also want to turn to your REALTOR® who will have recommendations as well.
5. How much time should I and my REALTOR® block out for the inspection?
It has been my experience that the average on-site single family home inspection runs from two to three hours. Keep in mind inspectors specializing in specific systems may be brought in during the basic home inspection and these inspections in most cases will also be completed within this timeframe.
6. How much will my home inspection cost?
Costs will depend on the size and the age of your home, scope of services and other factors. For example, for a four bedroom, two and one half bath home, Pillar To Post, a local home inspection company charges $495.00 for their basic home inspection which coves an inspection of the home, radon testing, and an inspection for wood boring insects. They also perform septic, mold, well, EIFS, lead paint and oil tank testing as needed for additional fees. Think of your home inspection in terms of the size of the investment you are making. This mind set will but the additional cost of a home inspection into perspective. Keep in mind that The Department of Housing and Urban Development does not regulate home inspection fees.
7. Do you provide a written report and when should I expect to receive it?
Ask to see the format of the report and determine whether you will be able to understand the reporting style of the home inspector. With today’s technology many home inspectors can print-out your basic home inspection report on-site provided they have received payment from you. A good rule of thumb is to expect to receive the report with in two to three days. To expedite the receipt of the report, provide your, your REALTORS® and your attorney’s e-mail to the home inspector so the report can automatically be e-mailed to all parties.
8. Should I attend the inspection?
Home inspectors welcome their clients to attend the home inspection. Inspectors will explain their findings as they move through the home or review their total findings at the end of their inspection. I recommend to my customers to stick to their home inspector like glue! Many home inspectors will give training sessions on the operation and future maintenance of systems as part of their home inspection.
9. Are you a member of a professional home inspectors association?
Home inspectors can maintain memberships in many state and national associations. Request to see their membership ID, and research the association.
10. Do you attend continuing education courses to keep your expertise current?
The home inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to you the consumer. Inquire as to what course the home inspector has completed in the last two years.
Need recommendations on home inspectors? Please contact me to receive a copy of my recommendations.
Madolyn Greve, ABR, CNE, CRS, GREEN, SRS, SRES, NJ Notary Public, is a REALTOR® and licensed real estate agent with Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, 4 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542, Mercer County Board of REALTORS® 2015 Top Producer, recipient. Cell: 609-462-2505, Office: 609-921-1050, www.linkedin.com/in/MadolynGreve and firstname.lastname@example.org