Seven Things You Must Know to Avoid Hiring The Wrong Home Inspector
1. Get A Home Inspection From a Locally Owned and Operated Company
Nobody works harder for you, the client, than we do because we live and work in the community! The success of the business depends on exceeding your expectations for quality and professionalism each and every time. So be sure to get an inspection from the company who cares because they have a vested interest in insuring your Total Satisfaction!
Also, it takes a full-time home inspector at least 100 inspections to develop the eyes, ears and nose for hunting down problems. Part-time home inspectors simply don’t have the time in the field to develop that radar. Be sure to ask how many inspections the inspector conducts annually and how many years he/she has been doing them.
A quality full-time home inspector conducts between 200 and 400 inspections annually - blind inspectors conduct 50 to 200 inspections annually. All-Pro Home Inspectors conduct between 200-400 inspections each year and this requires extensive referrals, by prior clients, lenders, real estate agents and others -- so there is a much greater chance the inspector is not blind!
On the other hand, if the inspector is doing three inspections a day, he’s probably not spending the time needed to do a complete job. A complete home inspection is going to take around 3 to 3.5 hours. Anything less and you’re just getting a drive by inspection.
2. Education & Training
Being a contractor is very different from being a Professional Home Inspector. Home inspectors are responsible for evaluating all of the systems and components of the home -- not just one aspect such as the brick or the framing. To be able to provide a competent evaluation of all of these elements takes formal education and training. Did the inspector attend one of the top home inspection schools, or did he order a late night TV course, or have his brother in law Bubba show him how to inspect over the weekend?
All-Pro Home Inspectors complete over 90 hours of course training, completes over 100 field inspections with a trainer and has to pass the rigorous Tennessee exam. Comprehensive, continuing education and training is a must!
In Tennessee, an inspector is required to be licensed by the State of Tennessee Home Inspection Licensing Board. While certifications are certainly important, it’s the combination of Experience, Education and Training that make the difference in the competency of your next home inspector. Certifications let the world know that the inspector can pass a test, not that he can inspect a home properly. We all know people who are certified for one thing or another that we wouldn’t hire under any circumstances. There is simply no substitute for experience and proper training when it comes to home inspections in Middle TN.
4. Tools of the Trade
Buying a home is an extraordinary investment. So why would you want merely an ordinary inspection? There is no reason to wonder if you’re getting the best inspection if the inspector is using cutting-edge technologies and the proper tools -- such as Laser Thermometer, Hand-Held Computer, Moisture Meter, Outlet Testers, etc. All-Pro Home Inspectors have the proper tools, such as these, to ensure that the systems are properly evaluated and issues, potential problems and damage are identified and documented.
5. The Inspection Report
The top home inspectors in today's business don’t produce handwritten reports. A professional inspector will provide at least a 30+ page narrative report, and not some little 10-15 pages that you can’t read because he writes like your doctor.
You should want the report to be written in plain English, not some “Techno Jargon”-that only the home inspector can understand.
The report should not contain a repair cost estimates. Inspector should NEVER make repairs or offer to make repairs at a later date. This is a conflict of interest.
Ask for a sample of an inspection report so you’ll know what you can expect for your time and money. After all, you are the client!
6. How Long Has The Inspection Company Been In Business
Is the inspection company locally owned and operated or are they some far away faceless corporation” where no one is monitoring and evaluating the quality of their work? If you are dealing with a multi-inspector firm, how long has the inspection company been in business? Does the inspection company have dedicated employees serving as customer service representatives to schedule appointments and provide any needed follow up assistance? All-Pro Home Inspections has been in business since 2008, with over 3,245 residential inspections completed by the All Star inspection team at All-Pro Home Inspections.
7. Ask To See What Other Home Buyers Have Said About The Inspector
Quality Professional Home Inspectors ask their clients to complete comment cards upon completion of the inspection or go to their website to leave a review. Professional Inspectors want to know what they are doing right, as well as what might need improvement, because you can’t improve what you don’t measure. If the inspector can’t or won’t provide client referrals, he might be blind in more ways than one!