Whether you are buying or selling a home, it is always a good idea to have a home inspection done prior to any financial transactions occurring. Having a professional home inspector come to your current (or future) home will allow you to identify any potential issues before a sale occurs.
It is always a good idea to be present during the inspection. If you have any questions, you'll be able to ask them while the inspector is present and you won't need to call them later.
Here are 10 steps that you should take before and during the home inspection process.
1. Choose a Home-Inspection Company With Good Credentials
Make sure that you choose an inspector that is licensed. Each state has different licensing. You can find what licenses your state offers by doing a search online. The American Society of Home Inspectors is a good place to start.
2. Do Online Research
Ask inspectors for references and call past clients. You should also read reviews on sites like Angie's List, Yelp and Google.
3. Get A Written Report
Ask your inspector for a sample report before you hire them. One of the best things that you and I can do would be to make sure that the home inspector that we choose provides detailed written reports. Some inspectors may try to just hand you a written checklist at the end of the inspection. You don't want that! Checklists can lack some of the important information and advice that you need.
4. Ask About Professional Affiliations
Find out if the inspector that you are considering is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). This will not completely guarantee that the inspector you choose will be high quality. However, there is a very high likelihood that an inspector that is a member from one of these organizations has a certain level of professionalism and training.
5. Ask What Won't Be Included
Weather conditions like snow my prohibit certain portions of the home from being inspected. Make sure that you have a full understanding of what will and will not be examined in your inspection.
6. Attend the Home Inspection
Be present for the inspection. Being there in person will provide you with so much more perspective on the home.
7. Make Sure the Home Inspector Has the Right Equipment
A good home inspector will have a number of tools that they should bring into your home. You should anticipate on seeing electrical testers, a carbon monoxide tester, a moisture meter, a ladder, and inspection meter, a flashlight and more.
8. Follow the Inspector Around and Ask Questions
Don't worry about asking what you think may be a "stupid" question. Understanding the inner workings of your home is important. Try to learn as much as you can from the inspector during the inspection.
9. Ask About Optional Tests
Some inspectors have the ability to perform additional tests. This can include testing underground storage tanks, testing paint for lead, testing drinking water for lead and bacteria, and testing for radon gas in the air.
10. Get a Full Oral Report
Once the home inspector has concluded the inspection. Have him or her give you a full oral report while you both are still in the house. This will be a good time to ask questions.