Ask Your Home Inspector

How do you determine if your home inspector is qualified to help you safeguard your investment?

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, you should ask your home inspector the following 10 questions. This will enable you to make an informed decision when hiring a licensed, certified home inspector.

1. What does your inspection cover?

Your home inspector should comply with a Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

Your Home Inspector should be able to provide his experience as an inspector and how many inspections he has performed.

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Although it can be helpful if a home inspector has related experience in construction or engineering, this is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection.

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some state regulations allow a home inspector to perform repairs on problems uncovered in the inspection. Florida Law prohibits the home inspector from performing repairs, or offering to perform repairs, on any home on which the inspector has prepared a home inspection report.

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average amount of time for a general home inspection on a single-family home is approximately 2-3 hours. A complete and thorough inspection generally cannot be performed in significantly less time.

6. How much will it cost?

The cost of your home inspection may vary,  depending on a variety of factors. These may include, the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500. When considered in terms of the investment being made, the value of the home inspection becomes evident.

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

You should be able to see a sample inspection report. This will enable you to determine whether or not you can understand the reporting style of your inspector. Your completed report should be available to you online or via email within 24-48 hours. A hard copy may take up to 5-7 days.

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

The eyes of an expert home inspector allow him to see things that you may not. An inspector that refuses to allow you to attend the home inspection that you are paying for, should raise red flags. Never pass up this opportunity to see your home, or prospective home, through the eyes of an expert.

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors, such as InterNachi. Many of these associations require their members to maintain a comprehensive Standards of Practice and a strict Code of Ethics. Request to see his membership ID.

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

Your inspector's commitment to continue his education is a good measure of his professionalism and service to you. This is extremely important when a state does not regulate the home inspection profession.