How to pick a good home inspector
When it comes to purchasing a home, it may feel like there are a thousand hoops you need to jump through before getting to closing. We're here to make that just a little bit easier. Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process - so picking the right inspector is something you don’t want to mess up.
No need to worry. Here at Inspectify, we’ve dealt with thousands of inspectors… so we know what sets the good ones apart from the rest. We’ll walk you through exactly what you want to look for when picking a home inspector.
What is a home inspection?
As you probably already know, a home inspection is an assessment of the condition of a property. A professional inspector (typically licensed in most states) will look for defects or issues with the house, as well as its structure and systems.
Over the course of a few hours, the inspector will walk you through the property and point out any issues they find (we highly recommend that you attend your home inspection). They will point out all problems: from quick fixes to significant repair needs.
Why do you need a home inspection?
Buying a home is typically the biggest purchase of most people’s life. As such, you want to make sure there aren’t any unexpected issues with the property. Home inspections are necessary because they help you:
- Avoid purchasing a “money pit.”
- Discover any issues with the property before committing to buy it.
- Fix problems before they become larger / more expensive.
- Request that the sellers fix issues or accept a lower price.
Home inspections cost about $350 on average. However, the average home buyer saves about $14,000 based on the results of their home inspection (based on the difference between the initial offer and closing price).
While we know it’s not always possible to get seller's concessions (and it’s nearly impossible in today’s market), home inspections are always worthwhile. They will help you understand what repair costs come with the home. This allows you to make a fully informed decision when choosing to buy a home.
So, how do you find a good inspector?
Inspection reports are only as good as the inspector, so hiring a good one is critical. It can be challenging to ensure you’ve found a good inspector - especially since you are trusting their judgment on such an important purchase.
Here are a few things to look for when picking your inspector (skip to the bottom for the quickest way).
Check for certifications
There are two major organizations that provide inspection certifications: ASHI and InterNACHI.
To receive certification from ASHI, you have to pass the National Home Inspector Examination and have recorded proof that they have done at least 250 paid inspections. InterNACHI requires candidates to pass an Online Inspector Examination and submit four mock inspection reports for evaluation.
Thirty-five states require that Inspectors pass a written National Home Inspector Examination (the same one ACHI uses). When talking to inspectors, you should request proof of certification.
While these certificates don’t guarantee they will be a good inspector, they are a great place to start.
Reviews from previous clients are a great way to vet an inspector. Keep in mind - inspectors are in charge of their websites, so they will likely only show their best reviews. Look for google or Yelp reviews to get a complete picture.
Go for experience
While it’s not a perfect indication of skill, inspectors with more experience tend to be better. Assuming an inspector consistently does four inspections per week, that would be about 1,000 inspections in five years.
Experienced inspectors have seen many different kinds of houses and nearly every issue imaginable. They are more likely to know what to look for.
How much do they charge?
Nationwide, the average cost for a home inspection is about $350. However, that can easily double if you are looking for someone with more experience or training.
There are many things to consider in terms of price. More important than price, be sure to ask for the scope of the inspection. You may be able to get a cheap inspection, but they might not cover everything you’d like.
Additionally, look out for surcharges for infrared cameras, sewer scopes, or radon testing. There are also several specialty inspections out there that you may end up needing.
Another thing you can do is request to see their previous work. Is the report easy to read? Do they provide explanations for the issues they found? How detailed are their findings? Did they take good pictures to show you what the problems are?
These are all excellent questions to answer when looking into sample reports. If you find it confusing, you can always run the report by your agent to see what they think.
It’s a lot of work… we know
We know what you must be thinking: that seems like a lot to do in such a short time frame. In truth, it is, especially since you have so many other things to take care of (financing, appraisals, the list goes on and on).
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got a super quick way to find the best inspector in your area -- and it only takes a few minutes.
"We've done the hard work, so you don't have to"
Let us handle it for you.
This is by far the easiest way to find a good home inspector: let us show you the best options. At Inspectify, we have a nationwide network of thousands of highly qualified inspectors.
Before we let any inspectors on our platform, we do everything we mentioned above, including:
- Checking for proper certification
- Ensuring their online reviews are 4-star or higher
- Determining their experience level
- Analyzing samples of their previous inspection reports
When you are looking for a home inspector, save yourself the hassle. We have a dedicated partnership team that carefully vets and maintains the quality of inspectors on our platform.
You can book today in just a few minutes.