New Questions For Today's Home Inspector

Home Inspector with Selman Home Inspections, Inc. 10299

New Questions For Today's Home Inspector

Peace of mind is the top reasons that home buyers hire a professional home inspector. People want to know that the home they are buying is not a money pit. They want to know that the home they buy is safe and in the best condition possible for their family. And, if there are repair needs, buyers want to have an idea about what to do about the defects, what the repairs will cost and how soon they need to be done. Asking the right questions of a perspective home inspector is important.

There are many traditional things that are suggested qualities for a great home inspection. And, there are lots of questions that people have been told for years to ask a home inspector before they hire one. Some of these are questions like;

  • Broken FoundationWhat gets inspected?
  • How long have you been an inspector?
  • How many inspections have you done?
  • Can I attend the inspection?
  • How long will the home inspection take?
  • What will the inspection cost?
While these are valid questions, most home inspectors will answer these questions in much the same way. The main differences will be the cost of the inspection and how long they have been in the profession. In my opinion, a quality home inspection should provide a complete report, support, solutions and advice that will help a buyer purchase a home with confidence.
As a professional home inspector, I can certainly answer the questions above. However, my firm strives to deliver more value than other North Texas companies. It is our goal to set a new standard and to be the leader in the Texas Home Inspection industry by also providing support, solutions and advice.
Furthermore, while there are lots of people and websites that tell you what to ask the inspector, there are few who tell you what the answers should be. So, may I suggest a new set of questions and (my) answers for today's home inspector?
  • What is the purpose of your home inspection?
    • "To reduce the risks associated with buying a home by disclosing any difficiencies before you close and inherit any problems. Working for you and your family, I want to educate you on the condition of the property in relation to today's standards. Our home inspection is designed to educate and provide valuable information about the condition of real estate before you make what could be a life long family investment."
  • Are you licensed?
    • "Yes. All home inspectors in Texas are required to be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission."
  • How many inspections do you do?
    • "Normally, no more than two each day per inspector. A home inspector can not perform a thorough inspection doing any more than two per day."
  • How long have you been a home inspector?
    • "X number of years. Prior to home inspections, I was in the construction industry."
  • What are the standards or codes used for your home inspections?
    • "In Texas, home inspectors are required to inspect structures using the Texas Standards of Practice and local building codes."
  • What do you inspected?
    • "Everything between the foundation and the shingles including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, appliances, grading and drainage. (We want our clients to know what to expect)"
  • Can I attend the inspection?
    • "Yes. You are welcome to attend as much of the home inspection as you like. However, we will review all of the findings with you at the conclusion of the inspection."
  • How long will the home inspection take?
    • "It depends on the condition of the property, how large the property is and what other aminities are present. Normally 3-5 hours."
  • What is included with the home inspection report?
    • "The buyer home inspection we perform for you will be presented in a binder and will include a complete Texas Home Inspection Report with color photos and illustrations, a copy of the inspection agreement, a summary report, access to our Home Maintenance Guide, access to our Preferred Vendor List and, a 100 Day Coverage Certificate and a ten percent discount on your next Lowe's purchase."
  • When will I recieve the report?
    • "Our office is mobile. In most cases, your home inspection is printed onsite and reviewed with you at the time of the inspection."
  • What if I can't be there for the inspection?
    • " We can deliver your home inspection to you and your agent via email. We can also post your report to a secure location on our website for you to view and print from online. We are happy to review the report by phone or make a separate appointment to meet you at a more convenient time."
  • What will the inspection cost?
    • "The money spent for a home inspection is small when compared to the cost of real estate, your mortgage and any unseen defects. Our inspection services are competitively priced and unequaled in service, thoroughness, quality, support and value at just $xxx.xx."
  • How can I save money on a home inspection?
    • "We offer discounts for using our website or smart phone site to schedule your inspection services and, we offer discounts to law enforcement, teachers and medical professionals in association with "Homes For Heroes."
  • Do you inspect swimming pools and spas?
    • "Yes.  If a property has a pool or spa, it is inspected at no additional cost."
  • Do you inspect sprinkler systems?
    • "Yes. If a property has a sprinkler system, it is inspected at no additional cost."
  • Do you do termite inspections?
    • "Yes. We perform a complete termite inspection which includes a WDI report for $xx.xx."
  • Do you septic system inspections? 
    • "Yes. We perform a septic system inspections for $xx.xx."
  • Do you arrange for access to the property?
    • "Yes. Like agents, we are equiped with SUPRA keys and HUD keys. We will take care of all of the property access requirements for you through the Centralized Showing Service."
  • Are you insured?
    • "Yes. We carry Error & Ommissions, commercial vehicle and business liability insurance which exceeds the requirements set by the Texas Real Estate Commission."
  • How do you back up your inspections?
    • "Our inspection services are back with years of experience, ongoing training, our 100 Day Inspection Certificate and, we are available to take your calls and answer any questions you may have before, during and after your inspection."
Federal Pacific Electric PanelIn addition to these questions, you may also want to ask if the inspector has any referrences. Today, video referrences are preferred by many.
As you can see, the questions to ask a home inspector before you hire them have changed some over the last few years. Many inspectors provide answers to these questions on their websites but you are encouraged to call and ask some of these.
A Cheap Home Inspector May Cost You More
There are always "cheap" home inspections to be found. Most of these are new to the business or are not busy for one reason or another. If an inspection firm is not busy, there is a reason. A home is one of the largest expenses most families ever make. The home inspection is NOT the place to skimp. It is NOT the time to shop for the least expensive. "You get what you pay for" has never been more true than with the home inspection profession. Your losses could be huge!
When you need a home inspector, I encourage you to ask at least some of the questions above, visit their website and make a smart decision.
Posted by

David Selman
Certified Master Home Inspector
Lic.# 10299
WDI #660910
FHA/HUD # F537 
Septic Cert #113423
Phone: 469-371-3228 

"Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust"


Dallas Home Inspection



Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
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Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Thank you for the information.  This is a blog I would like to give my buyers.

Oct 17, 2011 10:31 AM #1
Mark Geis
Coldwell Banker, Mulleady, Inc. Realtors - Eagle River, WI

Hi David!

Thank you for this informative list.  I had to learn a few of these lessons the hard way!  


- Mark



Oct 17, 2011 10:48 AM #2
David Selman
Selman Home Inspections, Inc. - Dallas, TX
Certified Master Home Inspector

Thanks Mark & Team Honeycutt! Please feel free to use it and provide it to anyone you like.

Oct 17, 2011 01:12 PM #3
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

These are a great list of questions.  After reading your answer to Mark & Team Honeycutt, I am going to assume I can use them too.  THANK YOU!

Oct 17, 2011 02:07 PM #4
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

David -- This is a great list for buyers.  Many don't know what questions to ask. We can provide a few names of inspectors but the buyer chooses who s/he wants based on their interview.  Even though I can provide guidance on what to ask, it's the buyer who makes the call and makes the decision.  Thank you.

Oct 17, 2011 02:09 PM #5
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Pretty good list David. I am New New York but almost all of this translates to our area as well. 

Oct 17, 2011 02:23 PM #6
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


This is an excellent and comprehensive post. In Ontario, there is no regulation procedure.


Oct 17, 2011 02:33 PM #7
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Nice list and it is a great tool for buyers when intereviewing home inspectors.  Just wondering what you would recommend if the inspector is good but does not believe in purchasing errors and Omission.. though I like the inspector, I am hestitatant to recommend the inspector.  You thoughts?

Oct 17, 2011 04:10 PM #8
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Very comprehensive list and one that can be used regardless of where you live. The home inspection can be a very stressful step for both buyers and sellers, so providing information to my buyers is important as well as informing/educating sellers as to what to expect in the inspection is critical as well. Sometimes the inspection can be a deal breaker especially if the buyer has any all this information is very helpful.

Oct 18, 2011 12:26 AM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

This is a great post and should be given to every home buyer. I will share it with others.

Oct 18, 2011 01:03 AM #10
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

That is a great information about home inspector. This is a great post to educate buyers why and also lots of good FAQ for them.

Oct 18, 2011 01:37 AM #11
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Great information for buyers, to help them select a good inspector.  Will be passing this on, thanks.

Oct 18, 2011 02:19 AM #12
David Selman
Selman Home Inspections, Inc. - Dallas, TX
Certified Master Home Inspector

Thanks Everyone! I appreciate your feedback. Please, feel free to repost and reuse this blog post and provide it to your home buyers.

Oct 18, 2011 06:29 AM #13
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Hi David, congratulations on the post; I reblogged it as well.

Nov 01, 2011 04:54 PM #14
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David Selman

Certified Master Home Inspector
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