Before you make your final buying or selling decision, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with a property and allow you to make an informed decision. Ask these questions to prospective home inspectors:
1. Will your inspection meet recognized standards?
Ask whether the inspection and the inspection report will meet all state requirements and comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics, such as the one adopted by the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Customers can view each group’s standards of practice and code of ethics online at www.ashi.org or www.nahi.org. ASHI’s Web site also provides a database of state regulations.
2. Do you belong to a professional home inspector association?
There are many state and national associations for home inspectors, including the two groups mentioned in No. 1. Unfortunately, some groups confer questionable credentials or certifications in return for nothing more than a fee. Insist on members of reputable, nonprofit trade organizations; request to see a membership ID.
3. How experienced are you?
Ask how long inspectors have been in the profession and how many inspections they’ve completed. They should provide customer referrals on request. New inspectors also may be highly qualified, but they should describe their training and let you know whether they plan to work with a more experienced partner.
4. How do you keep your expertise up to date?
Inspectors’ commitment to continuing education is a good measure of their professionalism and service. Advanced knowledge is especially important in cases in which a home is older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.
5. Do you focus on residential inspection?
Make sure the inspector has training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection, which is very different from inspecting commercial buildings or a construction site. If your customers are buying a unique property, such as a historic home, they may want to ask whether the inspector has experience with that type of property in particular.
6. Will you offer to do repairs or improvements?
Some state laws and trade associations allow the inspector to provide repair work on problems uncovered during the inspection. Davis and Associates Inc., Realtors® 1112 Broadway Quincy, IL 62301 217-224-8100
However, other states and associations forbid it as a conflict of interest. Contact your local ASHI chapter to learn about the rules in your state.
7. How long will the inspection take?
On average, an inspector working alone inspects a typical single-family house in two to three hours; anything significantly less may not be thorough. If your customers are purchasing an especially large property, they may want to ask whether additional inspectors will be brought in.
8. What’s the cost?
Costs can vary dramatically, depending on your region, the size and age of the house, and the scope of services. The national average for single-family homes is about $320, but customers with large homes can expect to pay more. Customers should be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
9. What type of inspection report do you provide?
Ask to see samples to determine whether you will understand the inspector’s reporting style. Also, most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
10. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
The answer should be yes. A home inspection is a valuable educational opportunity for the buyer. An inspector’s refusal to let the buyer attend should raise a red flag.
Source: Rob Paterkiewicz, executive director, American Society of Home Inspectors, Des Plaines, Ill., www.ashi.org.
Rick’s knowledge and professional personalize approach in assisting clients began in 1976, after graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. Degree in Finance, with special concentration in Real Estate and Urban Economics. He is the firms Designated Managing Broker.
Besides yearly sales achievement awards, Rick was twice elected President of the Quincy Association of REALTORS® and was honored by the Q.A.R. with Realtor of the Year and the Outstanding Career Realtoraward. Rick is experienced in residential and commercial sales and leasing, with an added background in the Management and Rehabilitation of rental property. He served as Commissioner and Chairman of the Quincy Housing Authority for over 17 years, providing oversight to over 300 subsidized housing units; which functions to ensure the availability of clean, safe and affordable housing for low income residents in our area.
For nearly 10 years, Rick held a Pre-License Instructor license, teaching the necessary coursework for those seeking Real Estate careers, while continuing to mentor and train new agents in development of successful careers.