How do you pick your home inspector in Roanoke VA? Many people use the inspector that the REALTOR suggests. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it isn't. I have heard various different descriptions of home inspectors over the years but the one that sticks in my mind more than any is, "I use him all the time, don't worry....he never finds anything". This is what an agent said to me about the inspector who was doing the inspection on one of my listings!
You are the consumer, generally you are the one paying for the inspection. Usually this will be your last time to have anything to say about the condition of the house prior to moving in.
I would highly suggest that you call and interview the home inspector prior to picking one to do the job. I would NOT SUGGEST YOU PICK YOUR HOME INSPECTOR BASED ON PRICE! You would not pick your kids Doctor based on the fact that he or she was cheap so please, when you pick an inspector who is going to inspect your largest investment, do not pick based on price.
I would suggest that you ask the following questions of any inspector:
1) Do you type your report? Lets be honest for a second. In 2012, why would any professional do a complete home inspection and report and hand write it? It is too easy to miss information in a hand written report. Most competent professionals will have made the investment in their career to buy the software to provide you with a legible typed report that is easily emailed. Most of the better inspectors I have used will also provide you the report in a digital file in addition to the hard copy. Recently I recieved a home inspection from another agent. In the inspection it noted that everything was fine. Later, the agent sent me an email from the inspector stating that he had missed major structural issues, electrical problems, plumbing issues and termite damage.
2) Do you take digital pictures? OK, again we are in 2012! How do you or I know what an inspector is talking about when he refers to a cracked heat exchanger? (I do but I have seen a couple in my career ......in DIGITAL PHOTOS) Face it, most of you are not general contractors and many do not know what the technical phrases mean but you do understand a picture of something bent, broken, ripped or dripping. A home inspector should have the means to invest in a digital camera......heck 5 year old's have them now!
3) Buyer references! You do not want the agent in the opening paragraph giving their recommendation, you want to interview satisfied buyers! You want to know that this inspector does a thorough report.
4) Ask for the inspector to email you a sample of a report done in the last month. You are looking for thoroughness. A complete inspection is what you are paying for, a complete inspection is what you want.
In closing, feel comfortable with who you are picking. You are the one writing a check. The inspector will not tell you what is or is not covered by the contract. Many things the inspector points out will not be covered. What you want is a report card on the condition of the home. You want to know what you are buying and you want to know if there are any major issues that need to be addressed up front. The inspector will not make an estimate of value or make suggestions on negotiating, that is up to you and your REALTOR.
Happy House Hunting,