What to look for in a quality home inspector.
Once you’ve found your next home and have a signed purchase agreement, you will need to have that new place properly inspected for structural issues or necessary repairs prior to closing. How do you know who to select for this important job? Here are some characteristics of a quality home inspector:
Not just any handy-man will do! You want to hire someone with an extensive background in building materials, mechanical and electrical systems and modifications, energy efficiency issues and repair processes. Having someone who understands both new and old products and their pros/cons as well as maintenance and repair needs is also beneficial. This person needs to know it all – from driveways and foundations to windows and appliances.
Contractor expertise on its own is not enough. You need your inspector to be clear and concise in their assessment of your property – which might mean delivering difficult news. They need to be able to translate sometimes complicated or technical subject matter in a way that you can understand and process. Both in writing and orally, this inspector needs to communicate very effectively the concerns of your new home and their recommendations prior to closing on the home.
Although not all states require licensure, there are qualifications to look for in a quality home inspector. Find an inspector who has taken courses and are certified through the Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII) and are members of reputable organizations, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) and MSHI (Minnesota Society of Home Inspectors). These organizations have rigorous requirements for membership, and offer continuing education classes for technical skills and customer service.
Finding the right inspector will likely require a recommendation from a friend or your realtor. Just make sure you choose wisely as so much rides on what this person says about your future home. There are excellent home inspectors out there, but there are not-so-hot ones as well. If your inspector has the characteristics described above, you can feel more confident about your inspection results and your new home.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.