Gone are the times when flipping through the yellow pages was standard practice to find someone to remodel your kitchen, tackle that complicated plumbing project or assess your home’s value. Any one of these and more can be accomplished via some basic research and common sense.
When looking for someone to assess the value of your home, avoid asking off-the-bat how much an assessor charges. Many home buyers or seller will ask an assessor what they charge because economics are in the forefront of their minds, getting the best deal is imperative. However, when a buyer or seller is only concerned about the cost of the inspection, they miss out on understanding that not all home inspectors offer the same services and quality.
Having a clear understanding of what a thorough home inspection entails is key to making a fair comparison of assessors.
Find out how long the inspector has been in business and verify his or her licensure. Most state websites have a Division of Professional Licensure search tool.
Ask for client testimonials and not just recent ones. It can be very helpful and eye-opening speaking with a client from “the way back”. If the inspector’s work and process were exceptional then it will be easy for that client to recollect the experience. If they cannot remember, then that may say something as well. However, it’s a good idea to get in touch with several former clients to get a clear picture of the inspector’s work.
Watch out for clever wording on their website or contact sheet. Referring to their industry experience in years can be over-stated. Was it 10 years of home inspection work with specific clients or 10 years of industry related work?
Above all else, ask for a sample home inspection report that they wrote up. If they cannot provide one, then something is amiss. A home inspector should be forthcoming with this information and not reticent, the report is like their thesis in way.
Remember, a proper inspection can be the difference between your home being sold quickly or lingering on the market because it’s overpriced. Invest your time and money so that the rest of the process can be easy.