If you are brand new to the home buying process then chances are, you have no idea yet how much of a team sport buying a house in Silver Spring, MD and beyond really is. There are a number of players involved and, ideally, all know the rules and adhere to a professional standard - one of those team players is the home inspector. If you stumbled upon my post because you are indeed in the process of buying your first home (Congrats!) or are just in the beginning stages (Contact me!), then I have one important tip for you: choose your home inspector wisely. I just cannot emphasize this enough!
Although all home inspectors have to meet a certain educational level, keep up on industry news and trends, and participate in (and prove) continuing education & development, not all inspectors are created equal. No two home inspectors are alike - which is pretty much the case for every profession. However, your home inspector can make or break your deal!
I've met, talked to, booked, observed a number of home inspectors in Silver Spring, MD and beyond over the last 15 years. My list of the ones that impressed me (more than once), and that are knowledgeable and competent, thus referable, is very, very short.
In my professional and personal opinion, knowledge, experience, competence, ethical standards and interpersonal skills are all trademarks of a good home inspector, the kind you want to hire and recommend.
Ideally your home inspector should set expectations upfront and explain the process, objective and limitations upfront.
Ideally your home inspector should not make an elephant out of a mouse and should explain the difference between a major problem and small issue.
Ideally your home inspector should get all the facts straight and know building codes.
Ideally your home inspector should take the time to proofread his/her words before sending the report to you.
Ideally your home inspector does not overpromise just to underdeliver.
A good home inspector will take the time to explain, will make you aware of maintenance items that you should keep on your radar, will not be afraid to say I don't know but I will find out and get back to you, will not leave the appointment without making sure that you understood all, and will proofread his/her home inspection report before sending it to you.
During a transaction this year, my seller and I were presented with an inspection report (the report must accompany any repair request) that left us puzzled - and myself somewhat embarrassed even though I had nothing to do with choosing the inspector, conducting the inspection, writing the report/request.
I felt bad for the buyers, and for my seller because the lack of knowledge as well as carelessness that was displayed in the report could have resulted in the buyers losing their new home. The report contained quite a few mistakes and, sadly, the buyer's agent copied some in the repair request, neglecting to verify the facts.
Of course, agents are not trained inspectors but submitting a repair request for a bathroom that does not exist (just one example), is simply careless, and embarrassing. Thankfully my seller client took it with some humor. You can't count on that, however!
When buying a home in Silver Spring, MD and beyond, please choose your home inspector wisely! They can absolutely make or break a deal. They can add a dose of stress to an already stressful situation OR put you at ease, teach you a few things and contribute to a smooth transaction.
Please know that a good home inspector is not free. Please know that the most expensive home inspector is not necessarily the best one. Please don't ever waive your right to an inspection (unless you are a home inspector or contractor yourself that is).