Choosing someone to inspect your potential future home can be almost as important as choosing the home itself. Why? Because the right home inspector can give you the knowledge and know-how to make the right decision on one of the biggest potential purchases of your life. So, before you start searching for the right home, search for a trusted partner to help you vet it, leaving no nook or cranny unnoticed! Luckily, we’re here to help with this list of 5 tips to help you choose the right home inspector here in West Michigan:
Tip 1: Choose an inspector with proven experience.
The same way you’ve probably already chosen a trusted Grand Rapids realtor based on their level of experience and expertise, choose your home inspector likewise. After all, an inspector who’s been checking out homes for years and years (with a proven track record and trusted sampling of client reviews to prove it!) is less likely to miss some of those seemingly insignificant details that can quickly turn into a homebuyer’s nightmare in homes of all ages. Be sure to get a good grasp on their overall experience level (their background and education, licensing, and total number of inspections performed), not just number of years in the business.
Tip 2: Rely on referrals from your real estate agent.
If you’re already working with a trusted West Michigan real estate agent, be sure to ask for recommendations. Chances are, your real estate agent has worked with many different home inspectors and will likely have a shortlist of those that have been easiest to work with and well-liked by past clients. Don’t have an agent just yet? We’d love to connect you with one of our talented, trusted RE/MAX of Grand Rapids agents!
Tip 2: Ask to see samples of their work.
Are you a first time homebuyer, or simply not sure what to expect during inspections? Give yourself some peace of mind about the process while also getting a feel for your potential inspector’s level of professionalism by asking to see a sample of the report they’ll provide following inspections. Many home inspectors are happy to share a small sample of their work to demonstrate what you’ll be getting for your inspection investment (and to help you understand the level of detail you’ll be provided with in order to make an educated decision about whether or not to continue with your purchase of the home).
Tip 3: Choose an inspector with credentials who is certified and insured.
Looking to take your home inspector search one step further to find the right fit? It’s smart to choose an inspector who has professional affiliations and certifications through recognized organizations like NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors), ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), and more. And, while you’re at it, be sure to verify your inspector’s license and check if they carry errors and omissions insurance, in the event of a minor (or major!) mistake when your inspection is performed!
Tip 4: Understand your inspector’s timeline.
Before you go much further, be sure to know how far out your potential home inspector is booked, and how flexible they’ll be in squeezing you in on short notice if necessary to perform an inspection. Even more importantly, get a grasp on how long it typically takes your inspector to deliver their completed report, so you know whether you’ll have enough time to review before your inspections period closes.
Tip 5: Price shop, but be sure to look for add-ons and extras.
While it’s important to get a fair price for your home inspection, choosing a professional to evaluate your potential major purchase isn’t somewhere you should skimp. And while you can compare baseline rates, be sure to understand what add-ons and extras those prices do and don’t include. For instance, make sure you know if extras like radon testing and termite inspection are rolled up into your inspector’s overall fee, or if those services incur additional charges.