Finding the Best Home Inspector
Before this article gets too deep it must be stated that choosing a good inspector over a bad inspector is possible but selecting the best home inspector is impossible. This article is going to give you a few pointers on how to make an informed decision, but full transparency requires a statement akin to; finding the best home inspector is like finding a unicorn in the wild. With that disclaimer out of the way lets jump into it.
When picking the best home inspector, we really have to ask ourselves what does ‘the best’ mean to us. For some of us it might mean the inspector who has been doing inspections for 20 years and conversely it might mean a young up and coming inspector who is driven to innovate and implement new practices. Every metric used to determine the quality of a home inspector could be polarized to each end of a spectrum and used as a marker to prove or disprove a home inspectors’ aptitude.
For Example: One client may prefer punctuality and for them, a home inspector that is 15 minutes early is right on time. A differing client may always be late and doesn’t want to be judged by the person they are hiring, so 15 minutes late is preferred. To clear the water, lets list a few things that might matter to you as a person in need of a home inspection.
Do you want to schedule the inspection appointment, or do you want your realtor to schedule the inspection appointment? If you schedule the appointment you may want to talk on the phone with the inspection company to answer your questions, but if you are a realtor, you may want to make a few mouse clicks online and skip the whole telephone interaction all together because you have a busy schedule that doesn’t let up.
For some a helpful voice on the end of the phone is just what they need and for others an integrated scheduling system that is online and mobile friendly is everything they ever wanted.
Are you the type of person that has everything perfectly written into their day planner, and doesn’t miss an appointment or show up late to anything, or would you preferer automated texts and e-mails to remind you that in addition to picking up both kids sick from school you also have a home inspection appointment for later in the day?
When you talk to your home inspector you may want to ask them if they could send you a text prior to the inspection. Some inspectors will say yes, and others will say no. Some inspectors will try to remember to send you a text manually and others will have an automated system to send text messages, so they never let you down.
Day of Inspection:
An inspection can easily take from two to four hours to complete. Do you want to be at the house for the whole inspection and follow along as the inspector does their work, or would you rather show up at the end, or not show up at all? Is your realtor available for the inspection or do they have other commitments?
Depending on how much you want to be a part of the home inspection, ask the home inspector if they are ok doing the home inspection with or without you. If you want to be a part of the inspection, does the home inspector have an extra bump cap, flashlight or other pieces of equipment so you can safely participate? If you are not able to be present for the inspection does the inspector have the ability to video conference you?
Does the home inspector have the ability to show you a summary of the inspection while you are on site to allow you to ask questions and review the areas of concern with the inspector? Does the home inspector use ropes to allow the inspector to safely inspect roofs, or do they just use binoculars from the ground? Does the home inspector have a vacuum to clean up after themselves after coming out of a crawlspace or attic? Do these things matter to you as a client?
What do you plan to do with the inspection report once it is complete? Are you going to use it to learn about your house and fix every defect that is listed to make your house perfect? Are you only going to reference the inspection report to negotiate a better price for the house? Are you going to use the report to learn where the gas and water shutoffs are located? Are you only getting a home inspection because that was what you were told to do, and the report doesn’t really matter to you?
When most people look at a report, they want the layout to be clean, they want the information to be concise, they want everything to be organized, they want to keep the report for the life of the house.
Is the report digital or paper? Can it be printed, searched, organized, summarized and condensed? Does the report allow you to quickly and easily create a digital request to be used for contract negotiations that includes the home inspectors’ photographs, annotations, and comments? Does the report live in the cloud for life or just in your drawer? Does the report quickly identify safety concerns in such a way that they can’t be missed? Does the report include the ability to have video to show defects that can’t be caught in a single picture?
When you speak with a home inspector some of these features may be important while others may not. Always feel confident asking a potential inspector questions about the services they can offer you. This is a Sample Report from Two Moose Home Inspections.
It is very possible that you may have questions days or even weeks after your home inspection is complete. Is your home inspector willing to speak with you about your new home? Do they have the ability to pull up your report on their smartphone to refresh their memory? Are they reaching out to you to start the conversation?
Who is the best home inspector…? Well I don’t think anyone can answer that question but you. Hopefully the inspector you choose cares about you and cares about the experience that they offer you, because none of the stuff listed above matters if the home inspector doesn’t care.
At Two Moose Home Inspections we care, we try very hard, and we are always listening to your feedback to improve our systems, tools, and processes. Thank you for reading our article. If you have any questions about residential home inspections, please send us a message. If you would like Two Moose Home Inspections to inspector your property, feel free to schedule an inspection.