Having to do a pre-purchase inspection, it does not happen often in the same life. Here’s how to find the best home inspectors, right the first time.
Ask your loved ones who have done a real estate transaction over the past few years if they have been satisfied with their inspector. Also make a call to all in a Facebook group or another of your networks.
If you are dealing with a real estate broker to find the property of your dreams, he is well placed to suggest competent inspectors. On the other hand, if you are not convinced that he places your interests before his own, do not take into account his suggestions. He may recommend complacent inspectors, who seek above all to please the brokers who recommend them. Be wary even more of the recommendations of the seller’s broker.
Choose the candidates
To establish the short list of candidates, remember the names that have been suggested to you by more than one source. Focus on recommendations that come from people you know well from those unknown on social networks.
Place at the top of the list the names of the inspectors of those who bought in the same area where you are about to acquire a property.
Do a little research on four or five inspectors. Type their names in Google, visit their website and make sure they have never been in trouble with a consumer rights program, for example.
Check if your candidates have errors and omissions insurance. Those who are members of professional associations (Association of Building Inspectors of Quebec or National Association of Building Inspectors and Experts) have. You can also hire a technologist, an architect or an engineer who is not part of an inspectors association. It will then be necessary to obtain proof that his professional insurances specifically cover the pre-purchase inspection
Choose three names, call them and submit them to the same questionnaire. Here are the questions to ask:
What is your field of study?
Most good inspectors have college or university training in a building-related field. Many are graduates specifically in building inspections. Be wary of answers like “I’ve been working in construction for a long time” or “I’m an entrepreneur too”. This field experience is very relevant, but does not always translate into a thorough and rigorous inspection method.
Where do you live?
Many inspectors agree to work 100 km around, which brings them to municipalities they do not know much about. Choose an inspector who lives near where you plan to buy. Radon, pyrite, unstable soils and structural problems are all problems that are very different from one region to another.
How many inspections do you do per week?
The best home inspectors practice their profession full time, without having to supplement other professional activities. They spend about a day working on each inspection. So they make three to six a week. Those who do more cut corners or risk burnout and errors of carelessness.
How long will you give the inspection report?
At the usual time, you will have at least four days after the inspection to declare you satisfied, withdraw from the transaction or renegotiate the offer to purchase.
The inspector proposes to deliver the report as soon as the inspection is completed, or the same day? No thanks! You’ll get a lot more for your money with an inspector who promises you the report in 48 hours, the time to view all his photos, do research if necessary and write a truly personalized report.
Can you give me an example of a report?
Bad inspectors make bad reports: problems are mentioned in a few words and drowned in a mass of copied and pasted content that applies to any property. You have the impression that you would have had to attend the inspection to understand the issues and their magnitude.
This short informative video will help you choosing the best home inspectors:
Good inspectors make complete sentences. They describe the problems, explain their consequences and propose corrections. They use words like “urgent”, “health risk” or “anticipate high costs” to emphasize the importance of each problem.
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