Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Inspector
The home inspection process is for your protection. A professional home inspection is important to protect you against unexpected problems and expenses when buying a home. The selection of a good home inspector is a critical step in the home buying process. Below are some important questions to ask when interviewing and selecting a home inspector.
- How long have you been a home inspector? How long in the Denver metro area?
Minimum of five years in the Denver Metro area
- What percentage of your clients are referrals?
35% or more referrals indicates a recommended Home Inspector
- How many home buyers did you assist with home inspections in the past year?
A quality Home Inspector will perform 150 or more home inspections a year
- How and when will I receive my home inspection report? What will the report include?
You should receive the home inspection report within 24 hours of the completion of the home inspection. The report should contain ample photos particularly of any concerns. A summary of the significant concerns and recommendations is suggested.
- What is your availability to assist me with questions regarding the home inspection report?
The home inspector should be willing to schedule a call to review your home inspection report.
- Will you go onto the roof to inspect the roof? Do you recommend a separate roof inspection by a licensed roofing contractor?
The home inspector should (weather permitting) be willing to go on to the roof. In any case, an inspection by a licensed roofing contractor is highly recommended.
- Do you recommend a radon test? Do you perform radon tests? Additional cost?
Yes. More than 50% of the homes tested in the Denver Metro Area test high for radon. Most home inspectors will perform a radon test for an additional cost of $100 -$150.
- Do you have any professional credentials?
Home inspectors are not licensed by the State of Colorado. Professional affiliation such as The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is desirable.
- Will you go into attics, crawl spaces and sub-floor crawl spaces? Yes. Home inspectors should be willing to go into all accessible areas of the home.
- Can you share recent references?
Yes. 3 or more within the past year is ideal.
- How long is a typical inspection?
Generally a thorough home inspection will be 3-4 hours depending upon the size of the home.
- Do I need to be present at the inspection?
No you do not need to be present, however, you will get the most benefit from the home inspection if you are present for all or the last hour of the home inspection.
- Will you test all electrical outlets, wall switches and windows? Yes. It is important that ALL accessible outlets, switches and windows are tested. A sampling saves time for the home inspector but leaves you at risk for unexpected problems.
- Do you recommend a sewer line inspection?
Yes. Sewer line repairs will vary as to complexity however repairs often cost $3,000 to $ 12,000 so it is important the sewer line be inspected .
- Do you have liability insurance?
Yes. Professional liability and workman’s comp insurance is a must.
- What happens if you miss a problem in the house?
The home inspector should have a reasonable policy regarding missed items. A few home inspectors provide a short term home warranty. Many home inspection contracts limit the home inspector’s liability to the cost of the inspection. The home inspector should maintain professional errors and omissions insurance.
I hope these questions help you in choosing a home inspector. If you have any comments or questions please contact me at 303-591-2116.