Questions You Should Ask when Choosing a Home Inspector
The lack of some state licensing requirements, the multitude of “certifications” and the seemingly endless list of acronyms that indicate an inspector is qualified, can make it very confusing to choose a true professional in this industry. On this page, we’ll try to give you some insight into what questions you should ask when selecting a home inspector. Even if you don’t choose Eaton Inspections we’d like to help you make an educated decision.
1. How long have you been in the business of home inspections?
Many companies tout “decades” of experience when in fact, home inspection locally is a relatively young profession. In the tri-state, a verteran in the buisiness has at least 15 years of experience. Eaton Inspections has been in the residential and commercial inspection business since 1995.
2. Are you involved with or associated with any other business?
We strive to maintain complete transparency and avoid any potential perception of a conflict of interest. As such, in accordance with the ASHI® Code of Ethics, we do not participate in any fee based preferred provider list such as a Real Estate companies “Concierge list” or “Home Services” list. Paying a fee to receive referrals represents an obvious conflict of interest.
3. Will my inspector be ASHI Certified and why is that important?
There is not any licensing requirement in OH and in fact, most licensed inspectors in KY and IN obtained their license through a “grandfathering” clause. Regardless of these facts, membership in an organization that requires continuing education and promotes professionalism in the industry is paramount. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected professional home inspectors association in the US. Some companies may advertise that they are ASHI certified but may send an individual inspector that is not yet certified. This is a common practice and it is often how new inspectors receive training. Please be assured though that if you choose Eaton Inspections, your inspector will be ASHI Certified. Please refer to our ASHI page for a complete description of why ASHI stands above other home inspection associations.
4. Are defects documented with full color photos?
Not only do we document defects with full color photographs but we take close ups and use special graphics and detailed diagrams to provide you with the best information for negotiating with the seller. Remember the puzzle photos you used to like as a kid where you had to find the fork, the comb and the toothbrush in the picture? Well a photo without explanation and graphics to denote location are not any better than a puzzle that only has meaning to a home inspector.
5. Do you encourage the client to attend the inspection?
Although client attendance is preferred we understand that your time is important. If you cannot attend part or all of the inspection, please be assured that the detail in our reporting will put all of your concerns to rest. Our goal is to ensure complete understanding of the condition and maintenance of the home.
6. How long does an inspection typically last and when do I get my report?
Most inspections take between 3 and 4 hours on site. Barring unusual circumstances the report is emailed within 24 hours.
7. How soon can you typically schedule an inspection?
Most inspections can be scheduled within three business days; however, we recommend a 10 day contingency in your contract to ensure you can get the inspector or your choice.
8. How many whole house inspections has your inspector performed?
Alex has completed in excess of 7,000 whole house inspections and also thousands of termite/WDI and septic system inspections as well.
9. Are you experienced in new construction and in-process inspections?
We have specialized training in all phases of the construction process. At any given time we typically have several in-process/new construction projects going.
10. How many hours of annual continuing education does your inspector get?
Our inspectors obtain a minimum of 25 hours of continuing education per year to maintain state licenses and professional association memberships.
11. Do your inspectors have any specialized training in residential environmental concerns such as lead, asbestos or mold?
Our inspectors have specialized knowledge or have held licenses/certifications in asbestos inspection, management planning, lead inspection and risk assessment, mold inspection and carbon monoxide testing.
12. How much will the inspection cost?
Some companies in the area offer whole house inspections for as little as $200.00. As we said at the top of this page, our goal is to help you make an educated decision. Although the cost of a service always has to be taken into consideration, a home inspection is one of the few services that often times can put thousands of dollars back into your pocket. It is critical that your home inspector does not miss any potential major concerns and that the report is detailed enough to convince an unwilling seller to come to the negotiation table. Please keep in mind that a poor inspection can cost much more on the back end then you may save initially.
“The difference is in the details”