What to Look for In a Home Inspector

Are you almost close to owning your dream home or are have you almost bagged that sale of your home you have been looking to sell? Then make sure, that you do not bypass one of the most important steps in such transactions – home inspection.

A home inspection is a security measure for both parties in a sale, and before you embark on this activity, it is best that substantial research and knowledge acquiring goes into it.

The buyer vs. the seller

The buyer and the seller are at different standpoints where a home inspection is concerned. For a buyer, a home inspection is testing the investment he/she is about to make and at times, it is demanded by the third-party funder.

For a seller, it is what decides and defines the sale. And for both parties, the report of the home inspection will affect the price negotiations. And since the buyer and seller favor opposing price levels, a home inspection affects both parties in a dissimilar manner.

If either of the parties takes up the responsibility to arrange for one, there are chances for biases or manipulations to occur. Essentially, a home inspection should be objective at every step.

Hence, a third party who has nothing to lose or gain whether the sale goes through or not is the best choice for a home inspector. And it is also better if both the seller and buyer appoint a person to inspect the home and a consensus is then achieved.

Making the choice

As with any choice, you will need a set of criteria when choosing a home inspector. It is quite common that the recommendations of a real estate agent are the only criteria taken into account before a choice is made.

But if you think about it, it is quite illogical since a home inspector must highlight problems that could break the sale agreement while the realtor does not want this situation (if you are in the position of a buyer).

This is in no way to dissuade you from listening to your agent. No, you have to listen to them because they have experience and expertise you might not have, but blind trust is best avoided. You need to dig in a little deeper before you make the choice. Here are some nuggets of information about a prospective home inspector that you would find useful.

Being part of a certified organization

For home inspection as a profession, there are certifying organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors. There are also bodies that function in individual states. It is preferable not to select a home inspector who does not belong to any organization or association.

Past experience and client feedback

A home inspector must have some substantial experience in the work of – you guessed it right – home inspection. A number of years in the industry of real estate, building or home maintenance does not equate to inspection experience.

If you are being constrained for some reason to choose a beginner, then at least choose someone who has undergone exemplary training in home inspection (though this is not advisable). Don’t be carried away by certifications that are obtained in a short period of time. A home inspection is not something you can study through a crash course.

Get the list of clients your prospective candidate has dealt with. Contact those people who houses were inspected a long time ago. Because it is these people who can say whether the home inspector’s advice and prediction stood the test of time.

Industry presence

A home inspector is typically safe for choice if he/she is from the building and construction field. Such people know what goes into a house and have an eye to spot these technicalities and judge the property expertly.

Scope of inspection

The prospective home inspector must be prepared to examine the interiors and exteriors of the house including its electric and electronic systems, structure, pest concerns and so on. A home inspector, in this context, must be a jack of all trades.

There are some things that a home inspector may not be equipped to point out, for which you might need a specialist. Thus, a home inspector must also be capable enough to highlight areas that need expert advice. And it does not hurt for you to know beforehand what the home inspection does and does not cover.

Equipment used

Home inspection needs solid equipment such as flashlights, ladders, and digital cameras. Apart from the basic tools, nowadays, home inspectors have access to high-tech gadgets that help them present a thorough report. At the same time, carrying equipment just for the sake of showing off is not a good practice.


Home inspectors are also subject to make mistakes. In such cases, you should not be the loser. Enquire about the errors and omissions clause of the contract. There might be insurance or some guarantee that the home inspector or the company could be giving in this circumstance. Carefully check if the agreement that you are signing is discharging the inspector from a responsibility that he/she is supposed to bear.

Time and cost

The actual process of home inspection could easily take more than two or three hours. The exact time depends on the size of the house, its history and so on. If your choice of the inspector is not devoting enough time, then the quality of the inspection will be at a drastic low.

And yes, a good inspector does not come cheap. Consider it a part of your investment for a good transaction. However, the highest charging inspector may not always be a highly experienced one. Choose the best based on all the criteria. And among this best, choose the aptest in terms of price. Don’t make a costly or a cheap choice. Make a smart choice.

Your participation

Your home inspector can never prevent you from accompanying him/her on inspection day. If your participation is in some manner discouraged, then consider it a danger signal and move on to another option.

A home inspection is an essential part of your property deal. Do not choose based on just one criterion, instead, analyze multiple measures. That will lead you to an inspector who can help you make a wise choice for a good investment.