FAQ#6 - Can I Do My Own Inspection?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335

There is nothing in Colorado real estate law that would prohibit you from doing your own inspection. Your right to examine the property is almost completely unconstrained - you're allowed to undertake pretty much any and all types of inspections short of destruction testing to determine that the property you are considering buying meets your requirements. And you may use whomever you choose to conduct such inspections - Colorado does not require that inspectors be licensed.

However, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. And in the case of home inspections, doing your own would probably be a really bad idea.

You're about to buy something very expensive. It's in your best interest to know as much as you possibly can about its condition, and unless you have the appropriate training and expertise, you need to rely on a trained and competent inspector.

InspectorHere's a short list of your new home's features that will need a careful look:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Doors and windows

These are all complex systems with many components - and if something is wrong, and goes undiscovered, it could be very expensive to correct. A good inspector will be an expert in several of these systems, and where he isn't an expert, he will be trained to spot the need to call on one for an opinion. He will have a systematic approach and will document his findings, in detail and with photos. And he'll either give you comfort to proceed with your purchase or information about what's necessary to get you to that position. And while Colorado doesn't license property inspectors, the best ones are credentialed by reputable national associations and have current training certifications, as well as excellent references. Check out several and hire the best one you can find, or ask us - we'll give you some recommendations.

And by the way, while you should never consider doing your own, it's a great idea to accompany your inspector while he examines your soon-to-be new home. You'll learn a lot about maintenance and how the various systems work, and if there is a problem, you'll have first-hand knowledge of it.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Data Source: IRES MLS

Comments (14)

Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

"However, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. And in the case of home inspections, doing your own would probably be a really bad idea."

That pretty much captures it to me.  Unless you've got vast experience building homes and proficieny in almost every aspect of building, AND knowledge of codes, WHY would you do this?  Pay a professional and put the liability on them.

May 30, 2012 11:50 PM
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Totally agree nice post, I will reblog for more exposure.  Always best to hire a pro. 

May 30, 2012 11:51 PM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

The words Really Bad Idea have never been truer! 

May 31, 2012 12:17 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Hiring a good inspector is money well spent. When interviewing ones ask if they are thorough. Any one can cruz around a house but you want someone that really looks at it.

May 31, 2012 12:32 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I am happy that Illinois requires inspectors to be licensed.  A buyer, however, could still use whoever they want - but there is no recourse later if things go wrong after closing.

May 31, 2012 12:43 AM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

The phrase "He who represents himself has a fool for a client" comes to mind.  Great post, Dick!

May 31, 2012 02:46 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Sure you can, but you shouldn't  Dick, your response was spot on.   

May 31, 2012 03:25 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Hi Dick,  Sounds like a blog I wrote last week. Great minds think alike.  Not a "Do-it-yourself" kind of project.

May 31, 2012 04:14 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Ditto to Chris Hardy!  Truly folks can be hard headed and cheap. I suppose arrogant fits in there somewhere too sometimes.


Cathy Bureau

May 31, 2012 05:49 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I would echo really bad idea, no matter how much you know.  You just have to cede to the experts every so often, and I also think that when you fall in love with a property you may overlood the obvious problems and deem them "easy to fix".  When we bought our house in Brentwood/Los Angeles, we had an inspector, and then my father who was a civil engineer double checked the bones and procrlaimed it OK for us.  Great Pros are worth every penny.  A

May 31, 2012 06:23 AM
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist

And just a note, coming back the next day to look at all the points your inspector may have found is not the best plan either. 

Actually being there WITH the inspector will accomplish so much more and allow you to ask any questions and get responses.

May 31, 2012 10:03 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Buyers would be wise to heed the advice and recommendations from sagacious Mr. Greenberg.

May 31, 2012 10:50 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

When we go tour a home with a buyer, we can sometimes point out things that might be problematic.  But, this isn't an inspection.  Why a buyer would want to skimp on such an important option in their contract is beyond me.  Sure, you can do it, but when presenting self-findings, the sellers might be a little less agreeable, they may think the buyer is padding the repairs needed.

Jun 01, 2012 04:42 AM
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Why someone wants to do this or even have "Dad" uncle, brother, close friend do it for them is beyond me.  I have had a few clients over the years.  Of course we bought our first house (long ago) without an inspection.

Jun 06, 2012 03:23 AM