Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector (from HUD)

 There are a lot of questions you should ask the person you are about to hire to do a home inspection for you. Here is a list put out by HUD to help prospective buyers find a qualified home inspector. 


1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

“I belong to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and we have a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics we have to follow. Here is a link to these in both English and Spanish.”

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

“I have been doing home inspections sense March of 2006.”

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

“I have over 35 years of remodeling & new construction of both residential and light commercial properties”

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.

“ASHI strictly forbids us to do any repair work on properties we have inspected.”

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

“My average inspection is from 3 to 5 hours depending on size and condition of property.”

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.

“My fees range from $275 to $350. Add another $125 for a radon measurement”

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

“Here are a few examples of my report”

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

“I strongly recommend that you are present during the inspection. I will go over things that will not end up in an inspection report. And nothing beats you being there while I explain the issues. I like to show you where the shut-offs are. And to give suggestions on how to address issues I have personal experience with.”  

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

“ASHI certified member # 246412”

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

“ASHI requires it’s members to complete 20 hours of continuing ED every year.”

11. Do you have insurance? If so what kind? 

"I carry both Liability and E&O insurance" 

Submitted by AaronLore on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:29.

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