8 Questions you should ask your home inspector


8 Questions Every Home Buyer Should Ask their Home Inspector


When selecting a Home Inspector to inspect your prospective home, there are a few things you should know before making your choice. This can save you hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on repairs that you could become responsible for making once you are handed your keys.

  1. Are you a licensed Home Inspector? Many states do not require licensing. The State of WV requires Home Inspectors to be licensed, and requires minimal continuing education credits to continue in business. Doing your own Home Inspection, or having Uncle Joe, the builder, to perform your home inspection can open you, the buyer, to liability risks.
  2. How long have you been in business? No amount of book training can replace experience. The more home inspections your inspector has completed, or the more years he has been in the Home Inspection industry, the less likely something will be overlooked, or not brought to your attention.  Newer Home Inspectors may not have seen knob and tube wiring, un-bonded CSST piping, or know what to look for in an Electrical Service Panel. Certified Master Inspectors® have performed a minimum of 1000 home inspections. You can type your zip code in at www.certifiedmasterinspector.org  to find out more about Certified Master Home Inspectors.
  3. How many inspections do you perform per day? If your inspector does only one per day, he/she can concentrate on your questions and concerns, defects found, and will likely perform a thorough and complete Home Inspection.  Two per day may be acceptable. If he/she is performing 3 or more Home Inspections per day, it may be best to keep searching. Chances are they are racing against the clock, producing “boiler plate” reports, and are concentrating more on getting to their next inspection than the home’s defects or your unique concerns. This will elude us to #4.
  4. How long with the inspection take? A thorough home inspection should take at least 1.5 hours per 1000 square feet. A typical 2000 square feet home should take about 3 hours to do a good job. Sometimes the process can take a little longer, depending on the client’s concerns, attendance, or follow up questions. Hurried Home Inspections will come up short on finding defects, or rely on memory when producing your report.
  5. Am I allowed to attend the home inspection? Many home inspectors don’t want their client, the homeowner, real estate agent, or other parties at the home inspection. They either want to hurry and get through the inspection to make it to another one, or fear a question will be asked they don’t know how to answer, leaving their inexperience or lack of training exposed.  It’s YOUR home inspection, YOUR investment, and YOUR opportunity to learn about the home’s components. By all means you should attend when possible.
  6. Do you have any additional certifications? Home Inspectors should have advanced training in 4 major areas—Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and Cooling systems, and Building Construction. These are the areas that are of most concern, and can be the most expensive if defects are found. Failure to address problems or maintenance issues in these areas can lead to costly, time consuming repairs.
  7. When will I receive my Inspection Report? Many home inspectors will produce the report at the end of the Home Inspection. This indicates they know all there is to know, and don’t find it necessary to do any research to accurately describe any defects. Others may take longer, either at the end of the day that the inspection was conducted, or the following day. Longer than 2 days can delay the closing or be out of the time window allotted for addressing concerns the buyer wants the seller to repair or correct.
  8. Do you have Insurance? Home Inspectors should carry adequate insurance for their business. Minimally, the Home Inspector should have liability insurance in case of property damage accidentally caused by the home inspector to a home during the home inspection.

These are some of the minimum questions you should ask your inspector before hiring them to perform your home inspection.  Additionally, if you plan on attending the home inspection, you can jot down questions or concerns you may have about the home.  It’s your home, your investment, and your decision to make about whether you want a home inspection, who to hire, and how involved you’d like to be in the process. Some other commons points to consider—ask the home inspector the Biggest safety concern, maybe a guess of the monetary repairs, or top priority or concern with the home you’re considering.  Many home inspectors may not feel comfortable answering these questions, and are not usually required to, but the more information you can get the better off you’ll be. You cannot be too informed, or acquire too much information about your investment.

Inspection Connection is a West Virginia Home Inspection company, based in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas. We have been in business since 2010, and related businesses since 1988. Inspection Connection is a Certified Master Inspector®, a Licensed Electrician, and Mold/Indoor Air Quality Consultant. We can be contacted 24/7 via our website www.icwvhomes.com.