With the requirements to become a certified home inspector being relatively low, there are some good questions to ask home inspectors when you're searching for the right one. The phrase, "You get what you pay for" is directly reflected in the home inspection industry. Low end or low priced inspectors offer low end services.
I overheard another home inspector describe this topic well; Just because a 16 year old is qualified to drive a car, doesn't necessarily mean that they can get you to your destination safely.
Below are five questions to start with when searching for a quality home inspector.
1) What types and limits of insurance does the home inspector have?
The minimum insurance requirement for home inspectors in Florida is $300,000 in General Liability. This means that inspectors are NOT REQUIRED to have errors and omissions coverage. So, if your inspector were to have any significant misses, they are not liable. Generally, experienced and trusted inspectors will exceed the minimum requirements to provide protection for all parties involved.
2) What organizations, if any, does the inspector belong to?
There are many reputable home inspector organizations that provide valuable services to the industry. Inspectors receive continuing education, updates on latest tools and technologies, and support from other experienced home inspectors. Some of the more popular organizations are InterNACHI, ASHI, and FABI. Your inspector should belong to one of them.
3) Does the inspector have special tools that they are trained to use with their home inspections?
There are advanced tools that are available for inspectors to use. Three common tools that an experienced inspector will use are thermal infrared technology, drones for inspecting high or unsafe roofs, and a quality moisture meter. Ensure that your home inspector not only uses these, but is trained and licensed as well.
4) Does the inspector provide any sort of warranty or guarantee with their home inspections?
Buying a home is emotionally and financially stressing. In the off chance that something were to happen after the inspection, right as a family moves into their home, the family deserves to be covered. There are great warranties that inspectors can offer to their clients: 100-Day Guarantee, Appliance Recall Check, MoldSafe, Roof Leak Protection, and Buried Sewer Line Protection. An experience home inspector that is customer focused will provide these at no additional charge.
5) Is the home inspector experienced?
An experienced home inspector has been around for a while, has done thousands of inspections, and has achieved the industry's highest level of Certified Master Inspector®. Generally, their inspection reports will be 35-45 pages. Additionally, they will welcome homebuyers to attend the inspection to see and talk about any of the deficiencies found at the home.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL