According to a 2018 survey by ME bank, 58% of homebuyers in Australia spend less than 60 minutes inspecting a house they want to buy. To put this in context, these homeowners spend more time watching television in one evening than inspecting their most significant purchase.
When you’re buying a house, you can’t risk an inadequate inspection. If potential errors go undetected, you’ll pay dearly for them down the line.
Here’s a look at some things you can do to help you find an excellent home inspection service before closing on the property.
1. Don’t Go for the Real Estate Agent’s Pick
If you’re looking for a home inspector to close on a house, it’s tempting to use the realtor’s recommendation. However, as well-meaning as your realtor might me, that’s not the best idea as there is a conflict of interest.
The realtor’s interested in you closing the deal. On the other hand, an inspector’s interests lie in assessing the house and delivering a report for them to get paid. If the assessment takes too long, it will put the inspector at odds with the realtor.
Furthermore, if the home inspector’s report ends up raising many issues, it gives you ammunition to negotiate a lower price, trimming the realtor’s cut. As a result, the home inspector your realtor recommends might feel obligated not to conduct an in-depth inspection that messes up the transaction.
Short of implicit trust in your realtor, it’s advisable always to seek an independent home inspector for an objective report.
2. Request for a Sample Report
Speaking of reports, you shouldn’t go without requesting each home inspector you assess to furnish you with a sample of their report. A home inspection report is essential as it gives you an incontrovertible proof of how thorough the inspector’s work can be.
The report can also let you know if the inspector knows how to communicate their findings in a way clients can understand.
As you check out reports from several home inspectors, you will begin to discern those who offer detailed observations from those who don’t. Steer clear of any inspector who offers generic recommendations as that can indicate a lack of in-depth assessment.
On average, a home inspection report should have a few dozen pages covering findings on all the major house systems. If the inspector posts their report online along with a video, that’s a plus.
A good home inspection report is one that incorporates colour photos of the issues the inspector uncovers. Vivid images (and videos) followed by a detailed description of an issue are indicators of a job well done.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) offers some report samples you can use to gauge the inspector’s work.
3. Compare Several Inspectors
As with anything else, you get the best home inspection deal when you shop around. By comparing several candidates, you get to gauge the median in the market you can expect on price, experience, and depth of service.
However, as you consider several candidates, remember to compare apples to apples. Assessing home inspectors who aren’t in the same league isn’t the best approach to making an informed choice.
4. Ask for Certification
Any home inspector you work with has to be timber pest certified. When you choose a Safeguard pest control home inspector, you get to work with a professional trained in exceptional standards of practice. An timber pest certified home inspector is also trained to follow a code of ethics that ensures you receive excellent service.
To add to that, a timber pest certified home inspector must pass several inspection courses and technical exams. After qualifying, such home inspectors also complete 24 hours of training every year to improve their skills.
While it doesn’t mean you can’t find skilled and experienced home inspectors who aren’t certified, it never hurts to have an extra layer of assurance.
5. Look for the Right Kind of Experience
On top of being Timber pest certified, you need to look for a home inspector with several years of experience under their belt. The rub here is that not any experience will do. A home inspector you can trust needs to have a track record of having dealt with a varied type of housing and reported on a broad range of issues.
Moreover, you need to hire a home inspector who has worked with the kind of house you need to be inspected. For example, if you plan to inspect an old house, a home inspector who has handled several similar houses will be more suitable.
You should also keep an eye out for extra certifications that point to added experience complimenting inspection services. For example, an inspector holding an architect or home engineer’s license will deliver a more thorough assessment in the case of an old home.
6. Enquire on What the Inspection Will Entail
Before signing on a home inspector, you should find out what their inspection will entail and how long it will take. A great home inspection needs to cover all components of the house, including:
- The electrical components
- The air conditioning and heating system
- The attic and roof
- Water penetration and grading
- The foundation and basement
- A thorough pest inspection
- An assessment of environmental issues such as asbestos, radon, and lead paint
- The plumbing system
- The house’s structural condition
On average, a home inspection should take two to three hours to finish. In some cases, the inspection may take longer, depending on whether the house is bigger, older, or a fixer-upper.
7. Confirm the Service Provider Only Inspects Homes
Several home inspection businesses also handle related services like repairs and renovations. The problem here is that since they sell these other services, they are more likely to notice issues in these areas when there aren’t any.
An inspector that only handles inspections will remain objective instead of trying to cross-sell you on other services. If additional services complementing the inspection become necessary, be the one that brings in these professionals.
Don’t Risk Hiring a Mediocre Home Inspection Service
Your house is likely the biggest purchase you’ll make. As such, you must invest in adequately inspecting it before closing to avoid paying for a lemon. Only a qualified and experienced home inspection service with a solid track record can unearth potential issues that make or break the sale.
As part of your home inspection, you’ll need to bring in pest inspectors. Safeguard Pest Control has 30 years of experience in delivering pest control services. Talk to us today for a full range of pest control services that go beyond the call of duty to serve you.