Interviewing the Inspector ~
the Right Questions
Are You a
You need a full-time inspector, preferably one that has
extensive experience in residential inspections.
It takes time to build true expertise and it's almost
impossible to get there part-time - the field is so
broad that even experienced inspectors are constantly
your qualifications? A
good home inspector will have years of inspection
experience, a few hundred hours of class room experience
and be able to tell you the last few continuing
education classes attended. He will also be a member of
one of the major certifying organizations. Paul,
for example, is a member of ASHI, NACHI and the ICC.
Do you have
a current license?
The State of
Washington requires home inspectors to licensed.
are also a variety of certifications available from the International Code Council
(Building Code specialists) to RESnet (Energy Raters) to
ASHI and NAHI. Your inspector should have all the
mandatory licenses and certifications in their
carry professional errors and omission insurance? May I
have a copy of the policy?
whether a home inspector candidate carries errors and
omissions insurance or is bonded. Even among the states
that require home inspectors to be licensed, only a few
mandate that they purchase insurance or post a bond. So,
in most states, errors and omissions coverage or bonding
is optional. Although not all good inspectors carry
insurance, inspectors who are unconcerned with
protecting their customers are less likely to be
insured. Consequently, insurance coverage is one
indication that an inspector intends to be in business
for the long haul and wants to satisfy every customer to
maintain a good reputation.
Will I be
able to attend the inspection?
The answer should be yes.
Expect to spend 3 hours at the inspection if you
do attend. A
home inspection is a valuable educational opportunity
for the buyer. An inspector's reluctance or refusal to
let the buyer attend should raise a red flag.
The best inspectors will encourage you to attend
and to ask questions.
provide any guarantees of your work?
It's best to
hire an inspection company that offers a formal, written
guarantee or warranty along with the inspection,
although not many do.
will it take to get my report?
You are operating under a time limit on
your inspection contingency so it is important to
get your report as quickly as practical.
Some inspectors use laptop computers to provide
the inspection report at the time of the inspection.
will it cost?
Fees are determined by the size, age,
value, location, and complexity of the home, and the
service level you request. Additional services such as
testing (e.g. radon) may be appropriate for some
properties, for an additional fee.
Fees in our area are typically between $275.00
How much is
a follow-up inspection?
will perform a re-inspection or follow-up service to
verify that repairs were completed.
This provides a visual confirmation that
the repairs have been completed and repaired items are
functioning correctly. This is a critical step in
maintaining quality control through the entire process.
It is important to determine this cost and add it
to your inspection cost for a true measure of your
you provide sample reports and Inspection Agreement that
I can review?
consider any inspection company that won't send you a
sample of an actual inspection report and the Agreement.
When you get the report, look at it in detail. The
inspection report is a tangible representation of the
level of detail and thoroughness of the inspection.
Same for the Agreement.