Before You Hire a Home Inspector
The Six Most Important Things to Know About Home Inspections
Hire a Home Inspector who will work for you and ONLY for you.
Home inspections are essential during the home buying process. The home inspector’s duty is to act as an objective third party and provide accurate pertinent information about the home. This provides the client with a clear picture from which to make informed decisions. Be sure your inspector knows you are his client and is prepared to represent your interests exclusively. The home inspector is there to give you enough information to make an informed decision and will not directly influence any decision you make. The home inspector only works for the client, not the realtor or vendor.
Hire an experienced inspector with REAL credentials.
The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) is a national organization with membership requirements tough enough to assure you that your inspector will be trained and knowledgeable. A CAHPI candidate can achieve full member status only after:
1) Completing 250 fee-paid inspections that comply with CAHPI Standards
2) Passing a comprehensive written test and
3) Proving that his reports provide enough information to meet the CAHPI Standards
4) Complete 18 education credits each year to remain in good standing.
Avoid the “one-hour wonder”.
An inspection of an average sized home should take two to three hours. Ask how long your inspection is likely to take and be wary of the inspector whose response seems to express pride at being fast. A fast home inspection is not to your advantage. It takes time to be able to inspect all the systems of the home and explain it properly.
Don’t shop price only.
Money is tight for most people and especially in the midst of buying a home. However, it is possible to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. If you pay a $100 less for an inspection that didn’t disclose a serious problem, did you really save a $100? Choose your inspector based on education, experience and reputation. Not the cost of the inspection.
Plan to attend your inspection.
There is no doubt that your home inspection would proceed more quickly without your presence. As a result, some inspectors will tell you it is not important for you to attend. I disagree. You will get much more benefit from the inspection if you are present. Then you are able to see first-hand the concerns identified in the report and you can ask questions to be sure you fully understand the implications. If at all possible, be there.
Hire a good communicator.
Inspectors who are willing to answer your questions and give clear accurate information will make the experience much more valuable. Thorough explanations and clearly written reports with pictures detailing issues is the home inspector’s goal.