Start the search process early. If you pick a name out of a hat or just choose one of the three home inspectors commonly referred by agents, you aren’t likely to get the highest quality of service. Many beginning home inspectors work out of their homes and are not truly a “business”. Don’t be lulled into believing that a warranty policy will “protect” you. Most of these policies sell for a few hundred dollars and when last researched, the average payout was about $100.00. That isn’t a good bargain and certainly not any real protection. Think of warranties as glossy “sales tools” which are designed to mitigate your fears. A good quality home inspection will tell you when you should be fearful and why.
One of the vital things that should always occur with a home inspection is a full expression of what the client is and IS NOT getting with a standard inspection. There are limitations and people need to know what they are.
Really good home inspections concentrate their efforts on MAJOR problems and limit their verbalizations to what is truly important and what home buyers will remember. The inspector follows a protocol that respects the fact that there is a considerable diminishing rate of return for the time invested.
Experienced home inspectors can profile the likelihood of problems existing according to the age, changes, and overall condition of the building. With this information in combination with a targeted inspection, a realistic budget can be projected for repairs and replacements within the coming 5 year time period.
Realtors today believe that the home inspection is the second biggest hurdle they have to overcome to complete their sales transaction. It follows closely behind the appraisal. Alas, there are all different qualities of home inspection processes and home inspectors. There are “content free” home inspection reports that are cynically designed to “see no evil” and hence be the least difficult for a real estate agent to cope with. There are full disclosure and full documentation reports that are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Many long-time professional home inspectors believe that franchising within the industry has greatly lessened the value of home inspections. Home buyers would be very wise to ask to see a copy of a typical home inspection report prior to making their selection.