With over 90% of home sales involving a home inspection (source: ASHI), it’s probably safe to say that home buyers recognize the value and power in having their new home inspected as part of their buying process. Just as important as it is to have your new home inspected, it is equally essential that you hire the right professional for the job. With a seemingly daunting number of home inspectors to choose from, we put together a list that will help you weed out the best from the rest so your home inspection can be a positive experience and truly helpful in making significant decisions. Here is our top five list of considerations.
1. Is Your Home Inspector Certified?
In Minnesota, as with many states, home inspectors are not licensed by the state. So, before hiring a home inspector, look to make sure they are certified by a nationally or internationally recognized association. Being certified means that your home inspector is adequately trained, follows an industry-accepted standard of practice, and adheres to a specific code of ethics. A certified inspector will be able to provide you with a comprehensive report and communicate clearly in straight-forward terms to help you make significant decisions when buying a new home.
The two primary industry associations that offer home inspector certifications are InterNACHI, the world’s largest property inspector organization, and ASHI, one of the oldest home inspection organizations in the nation. Both are great!
2. What Are Past Clients Saying About Them?
Dig into customer reviews online to see what other clients have said about the home inspector you want to hire. Are the reviews positive? Does it seem like the inspector is reputable? Check on Google and Facebook, or anywhere else you can find them, as people tend to leave reviews when they are pleased with the service they received or upset and disappointed with their experience. It is usually wise to give weight to positive customer reviews, as you are more likely to have a similar experience.
3. What Do Their Inspection Reports Look Like?
Look for an inspector who has a link on their website, sharing sample inspection reports to give you an idea of what to expect. Top-quality reports from A-List home inspectors will be in-depth and include many high-resolution images, videos, and descriptions of how different areas of the home are inspected and what deficiencies were found. Modern reports will be optimized to be viewed and accessed from anywhere via smartphone or PC.
Low-quality reports will look and feel outdated and may not provide the same level of detail as a top-quality report.
While that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a lesser report, it can have a big impact on how you, the client, can interact with, digest, and share portions of the entire report.
4. What Kind of Services Do They Offer?
A good percentage of today’s home buyers look for add-on services in addition to their Pre-Purchase home inspection. Radon testing and sewer scope inspections are the most common in Minnesota. If these services are of interest to you, does your inspector offer these services as well? If not, you may need to schedule these additional services with other providers, which can be inconvenient.
If you are looking to buy a townhome or condo, does your inspector offer ‘Interior-Only’ inspections? Most townhome communities and condo buildings are managed by a Homeowners Association (HOA). The HOA is typically responsible for maintaining most exterior and shared elements of the home/community/building. In most cases, it does not make sense to pay a home inspector to inspect these elements. To be blunt – only pay for what you need and avoid a ‘one size fits all’ inspector.
5. Are They Personable and Do They Offer a High Level of Customer Service?
Everyone appreciates a service professional that is responsive, polite, knowledgeable, and accessible. For this reason, look for the basics. Do they answer the phone right away or call back promptly? Do they respond to emails quickly, and are they clear in their communication? Do they make themselves available for questions or conversations before, during, and or after the inspection?
Purchasing a home is a significant event in your life. You need to make sure you partner with professionals that want to help make your home inspection a positive experience.
If you’re looking for a Minnesota home inspector in the Saint Michael-Albertville area, Twin Cities suburbs, or greater St. Cloud area, reach out to us at Due North Property Inspection. We are certified, customer-focused, and passionate about inspecting homes and helping clients.