Your home inspection is to me the most critical part of buying a home. Why do I say this? Because your sales contract while the most important, is handled by your attorney. If we assume you’re using a great real estate attorney, this should be fine. Home inspections, on the other hand, can truly hurt you if not done right.
So how do we mess them up? By not paying attention to the basics:
- Web Reviews
- How You Behave (I know, you don’t like hearing this but it’s important)
Choosing A Home Inspector By Cost
Customers buying my listings have paid less than $400 and over $2,000 for their home inspection. I am not suggesting that either of these make sense because they don’t.
You are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house. A great inspector is referred to you. He charges $700. Going online you find someone for $500 and book the appointment.
You know the $700 guy is excellent but the $500 guy has a great website. Guess what – anyone can have a great website.
Location and Experience
If a home inspector does almost all of his inspections in NYC apartment buildings, what expertise does he have for a Bergen County Victorian home? Or the opposite. Southern NJ inspectors won’t be very experienced with Jersey City attached housing.
While an inspector might be licensed for all of NJ, local area hands on experience and a lot of it counts. Make sure your inspector has done a lot of work where you’re buying.
We all go online and look at reviews. Who writes those reviews? Can you verify them? Websites like Amazon have tons of reviews so it feels secure. This doesn’t apply to home inspectors however.
When I tell you XYZ is a great inspector, I’m putting my reputation on the line along with my ethics. That’s a whole lot better than some dubious web comments.
How You Behave At Your Home Inspection
Home inspections can be tedious. Waiting while the inspector writes his notes isn’t fun. You’re standing for 3 hours on average. Believe me, I understand. While this is true, resist the urge to turn this into a social situation.
Don’t talk to your agent about what’s going on in the world, sports, etc. Stick with your inspector the entire time. He will teach you a lot. Be there too.
I have been at home inspections on my listing where it’s become almost a party. This distracts an inspector. Additionally there were times when the buyer showed up over 1 hour late. Inspectors whiz through then. Good for my listing. Bad for the buyer. My buyers don’t make these mistakes.
A Home Inspection Disaster
A couple bought a Monmouth County home 18 months ago. Going online they found an inspector for $200 less than their agent’s recommendation. Since they had bought and sold 2 homes before, they thought they knew what they were doing.
They moved in and over the next year, the wife became increasingly ill. A blood test revealed massive amounts of mold spores in her lungs. Consequently a licensed mold contractor was called in who easily found the cause. Improper window and roof installations allowed rain water into the walls. The solution? $200,000 worth of work on a low 400’s house.
While these folks were experienced at buying and selling a house, they were not licensed inspectors nor professional Realtors. Questions? Call me at 201-741-8490