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#361140 - 12/19/10 02:40 PM How do you choose your Home Inspector
Sindan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 1
Loc: Hamilton/Burlington/Ancaster O...
Hi there,
I have moved to a new marketplace and I need to find some good home inspectors to refer.
I was wondering...

1. How did you choose the inspectors you refer?
2. How many do you refer to?
3. What do those inspectors do that you like?
4. What questions should I ask?

Thanks for any and all input!
Sindan

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#361260 - 12/20/10 01:39 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Inspectorjeff Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
From an inspectors perspective...

First off, you should ask for referrals from within your office. You should also make sure the inspector (inspection company) carries E&O insurance and GL coverage.

I would certainly ask how long they have been inspecting, and how many inspections they have performed.

Find an inspector who belongs to one of the national inspection-associations and/or your state's inspection-association.

Personally, I think you are better served by an inspector who is a full-time home inspector, not just someone doing it on weekends or after hours working around their "day job."

Be cautious of the "General Contractor" who also performs home inspections - if they offer to repair a home after an inspection, this is an "ethical" violation for most associations and they may be violating state law.
_________________________
If your inspector is not using thermal imaging, you're not getting the whole picture. �

Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
http://www.MyInspector.net

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#361298 - 12/20/10 04:36 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Inspectorjeff]
EagleEye Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Raleigh,NC
Ontario does not have national or state licensing. There are several US based home inspector associations that are credible including NAHI and ASHI. They require members to take a proctored test and perform a min. number of inspections. NACHI members take an internet test that is not protored and can be taken as many times as needed to pass. NACHI offers a certification to members but basically it means they paid a fee. Belonging to NACHI does not mean they are bad inspectors, but membership in NACHI does not imply any real basic level of knowledge.

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#361300 - 12/20/10 05:13 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: EagleEye]
MHT Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 322
Loc: Ontario, Canada
While there is no mandatory licencing yet (likely coming soon), there certainly are associations that you can look for accreditation from such as OAHI for Ontario (or CAHPI for the Canadian Association). That being said, personally I couldn't care less what association any of them belong to so long as they can do the job and protect the interest of the buyer. Speak with other agents in your area to see who they use and also ask why. Many agents will give a name of an inspector simply because they find that the inspector does not kill deals. I want someone who is competent and who will find the issues that are there and won't blow small issues out of proportion.

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#363819 - 01/17/11 11:10 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: MHT]
beckyw Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 31
Loc: New Orleans, LA
I haven't needed to look for a new inspector in a few years, however when looking a new one I made sure they came with a great reference.

The three inspectors I usually work with are of course knowledgeable of codes and laws but the trait that defines them apart from other inspectors I've encountered is their detailed personalities. I searched for the detailed trait when checking references.

All three of these guys will ramble on for hours whether discussing a leaky faucet or foundation troubles. They are extremely detailed and stress the small stuff in their reports as much as the large which makes for long reports but they rarely if ever miss anything.

The way I figured the last 2 were keepers is just from a phone conversation. Took 30 mins to get them off the phone when simply asking about their methods of inspecting a home.

Other than that I would follow Inspectorjeff's advice.

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#392680 - 10/22/11 04:29 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: beckyw]
superagent Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 126
Loc: CA
Are home inspectors required to carry insurance? Seems like a good idea, but I talked to one today who said there is no such requirement!

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#392744 - 10/23/11 11:37 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: superagent]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7720
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
Originally Posted By: superagent
Are home inspectors required to carry insurance? Seems like a good idea, but I talked to one today who said there is no such requirement!

Are they even required to be Licensed in California ?

Here in Vermont, they are not, and operate without any supervision by the State. We require that Tattooists and Body Piercers and Crystal Ball Readers be Licensed . . . . but not Home Inspectors who are sometimes involved in helping you make the biggest financial decision of your life.

I always ask that the Inspector verify that he has his own Workers Compensation Policy or at least sign a Release protecting me and the Owner if he injures himself on the Job. If they're within earshot, that whole discussion is quite an eye-opener for the Buyers.

Around here, most Inspectors have no WC or E&O, and they will have the Buyers sign a limitation of liability that cuts their exposure and limits the Buyers' recoverable damages to the cost of the Inspection.

Check with your Secretary of State to ascertain whether Inspectors are required to be Licensed in California, and if so, if they then also need to be Insured.
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#392817 - 10/24/11 09:25 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Vermont]
Inspectorjeff Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Home inspectors in CA are not regulated. There is no requirement for insurance and no licensing.

If you hire an inspector that does not carry E&O, you have very little recourse if a major error is discovered. Buyer beware - check references, look for an inspector that belongs to one of the National associations and/or CREIA, and don't hire an inspector that is not does not carry E&O insurance.

Originally Posted By: Vermont
I always ask that the Inspector verify that he has his own Workers Compensation Policy or at least sign a Release protecting me and the Owner if he injures himself on the Job. If they're within earshot, that whole discussion is quite an eye-opener for the Buyers.

This is a common misconception. Worker Compensation insurance covers employees. It is not available for sole proprietors as individual inspectors. Even if I wanted WC, I can not obtain it for myself as the owner/operator.
_________________________
If your inspector is not using thermal imaging, you're not getting the whole picture. �

Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
http://www.MyInspector.net

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#393021 - 10/25/11 03:04 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
barb43 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 1156
Loc: SW Okla
I provide a broad list of home inspectors in the area . . . and suggest the buyers call them & check services and prices.

If the buyer asks who I'd recommend, I do recommend one in particular - he's knowledgeable,thorough, reasonably priced, pleasant, a "good ol' boy" (and I generally like "good ol' boys" tho' I admit they drive some folks nutty). People usually get a chuckle out of that and more often than not, they pick him.
_________________________
Remodeling houses & helping tenants get ahead in life since 1983. Licensed Realtor since 2005.


LIMITATIONS: Until You Spread Your Wings, You'll Have No Idea How Far You Can Walk. - despair.com

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#395100 - 11/18/11 03:38 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Landon Treber Offline
Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 33
Loc: CO
I personally would look for other recommendations from agents in your office, or that you know. Then you can contact people on the list to see if they are properly insured, or what experience they have. I find that buyers love inspectors who explain things in detail to them.
_________________________
Altitude Homes
Colorado short sale Realtors
and your resource for
Denver CO real estate

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#395891 - 11/30/11 02:39 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Shannon22 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Kansas
I've always used local, trusted inspectors that have usually always been referred to me by another realtor.

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#395912 - 11/30/11 04:49 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7720
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
I give Buyers a list I maintain of every Building or Home Inspector I know of in this area. This is a much more comprehensive list than just pointing them at the Yellow Pages, as many Inspectors are not even present in the Yellow Pages.

My List is constantly changing; and I keep it in simple alphabetical order. To avoid favoritism, I also eliminate all 800 or toll free numbers, so that people aren't influenced by the "free" phone call . . . . too often that call is free; but the Inspection Fee winds up coming in at close to $1000 to make up for it. (Everyone has a regular number shown, so it's true that a close-by Inspector will still have a slight advantage.)

I let my Buyers interview the Inspectors and discuss qualifications, timing, refunds, type of report, whether a water test or mold sampling is to be included, whether fees are a set "standard" or variable based on the Age or GLA of the Subject, whether outbuildings and appliances are included, or if everything is done ala carte.

I just tell them that price alone is NOT a criteria . . . . and to make sure you have a rapport with the person. I recommend that they interview at least three (3) but I do believe that most only talk to one or two, and then decide. At any rate, that's their decision, and I've never been accused of "steering".
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#396079 - 12/02/11 07:33 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Vermont]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
I give them the ASHI website: http://www.ashi.org/ .

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#396121 - 12/03/11 06:28 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: VABroker]
Retsof Yor Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 694
Loc: South Central Kansas
Originally Posted By: VABroker
I give them the ASHI website: http://www.ashi.org/ .


So do I with signed acknowledgment as part of the purchase contract by Buyer. It still does not mean any inspector, ASHI certified or not, has common sense because stupid is as sstupid does.

I had two (2) state licensed, bonded, insured and ASHI certified Home Inspectors, chosen independently by the both buyers on two (2) unrelated and seperate transactions turn the water on at the REOs I had listed.

One (1) was told personally not to do so due to plumbing issues but he did it regardless and ended up causing $10k worth of damage to a semi repaired REO.
_________________________
Roy J Foster, KS Lic #BR0039462
R J Foster & Assoc., LLC
Cert. A*REO Agent
Cert. FHA Inspector ID G551
Cert. FHA 203K Consultant ID D0631
Cert. FHA LBP Maintenance Supvr ID 7534
Cert. Vendor Resource Management REO Specialist
316-258-2670
http://www.investment-properties.org

"I am only as strong as the coffee I drink and the hairspray I use."

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#396127 - 12/03/11 08:01 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Retsof Yor]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
I, too, had that happen recently. The Property Condition Report already stated the water line was not holding proper pressure and right there on the water heater was a big sign that said DO NOT TURN ON WATER! Not to mention you could see some water stains on the ceiling drywall (you just didn't know if it had been from a recent or a previous leak).

Bozos turned the water on and then called me complaining about the leaks. HUD said too bad, too late - it was already disclosed prior to contract. That should have been on the buyer's agent for not disclosing to the inspector that the lines weren't holding proper pressure; but, after several years of REOs, you'd think home inspectors (who surely have seen more leaks than we have) would ASK the buyer's agent about any known leaks OR ask for the listing agent's contact info and call the listing agent first.

Regardless of where my buyer gets their home inspector, I do follow along on the inspection. Having been through numerous ones, I have a better idea of what's what than the buyer(s), but I don't jump in and rule it. Just a casual, "well, what about..." question to the inspector because sometimes they do seem to skip over or very vaguely explain something, and, I mention several times during the inspection to the buyers that if you don't understand something or you have questions, just ask YOUR inspector, that's what he's here for. I say that with the inspector right in front of us. Most buyers are on the shy side about it so we have to coach them along for their benefit - just another aspect of hand-holding - a service alot of us provide.

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#396153 - 12/04/11 10:20 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Inspectorjeff Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Sending your clients to the ASHI site (or any other association site for that matter) is a disservice IMHO. You may as well send them to Craigslist or the Yellow Pages.

As experienced agents, you should have a list, and only be referring the most experienced, thorough and accurate inspector(s) in your area, regardless of their affiliation.

Of course the "fear" is that the agent will be drawn into a lawsuit for negligent referral in the event that the inspector is sued by the client for an error and/or omission. But the fact is, qualified inspectors carry insurance that (in most cases) provides agent indemnification. In other words, we take responsibility for our own mistakes.

I find it strange that some agents will gladly refer specific lenders, escrow companies, contractors, appraisers, etc., etc., but when it comes to perhaps the most crucial aspect of the transaction, they will leave their inexperienced client(s) to choose their own home inspector.

Agents who refer me know they don't need to "hold hands" with the client through the inspection - that's my job. No matter how "bad" the house may be, the client won't be afraid, they will be informed.
_________________________
If your inspector is not using thermal imaging, you're not getting the whole picture. �

Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
http://www.MyInspector.net

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#408295 - 06/08/12 10:10 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
tripropertymgr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 3
Loc: US
Referrals from those you know will help you, from those they previously provided service to. This shows their reputation.

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#413584 - 09/28/12 12:08 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Musa Opondo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 210
Loc: USA


I would advice you to find out if the inspector is covered by errors and omissions insurance and general liability insurance?

It is to your advantage that your inspector has this coverage. Do not be afraid to ask for a copy of the policies.

Also ensure the inspector is affiliated with an organizations?

There are many local, state, and national organizations that an inspector can join as well as many franchises that an inspector can purchase. However, membership in any organization does not guarantee a quality inspector. In the end, the individual inspector's experience and knowledge will determine the quality of the inspection.

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#416042 - 11/24/12 10:04 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
cartert Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/12
Posts: 157
Loc: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canad...
I look for someone who gives a thorough detailed report, but not someone who's going to blow regular "wear and tear" out of the water and turn it into a giant issue, especially if they're inspecting an older home.

Inspectors and clients both need to know that every house is man made and no house is going to be absolutely perfect. Not even a brand new one. As long as they look for major issues and are honest and upfront about those issues, that's what's important to me.

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#416138 - 11/27/12 11:57 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Jim Boad Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Seattle/San Diego
A good inspector is very important and can really help out or can really hurt a deal. I believe they are very important and some just need to learn how to present the facts and not so much opinion.

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#421293 - 03/08/13 09:15 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Financialfergy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Toronto
A quality home inspection can literally be the difference between success and total financial failure. Those are some really good questions.

1. How did you choose the inspectors you refer? All my referrals are based on a working relationship or word of mouth from trusted associates. I will not refer someone who I or a close affiliate has not directly worked with.

2. How many do you refer to? I usually use 1 or 2 inspectors for my properties.

3. What do those inspectors do that you like? They need to be up-to-date on the current technology (infrared, etc.) as well as building codes, etc. They need to ask questions and provide a detailed report when done. I also expect my inspectors to be reachable afterwards if myself or my clients have any questions.

4. What questions should I ask? How long have you been doing this? What did you do prior? What have you done recently to improve your knowledge? Most importantly, you need to see references from clients.

If you would like to find out more about home inspectors and become introduced to a few I have worked with please go to:

http://www.fergusonfinancial.ca/home-inspector/

Devon

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#432597 - 02/03/14 06:47 PM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Sindan]
Agent 002 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/30/13
Posts: 34
Loc: BC
I get home inspectors from an in office referral. I ask around and get personal experiences from other Realtor's.
_________________________
Langley Real Estate Listings

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#432682 - 02/05/14 11:47 AM Re: How do you choose your Home Inspector [Re: Agent 002]
InspectorMatt Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/14
Posts: 10
Loc: ohio
Its my opinion that how an inspector communicates with the buyers is extremely important. As an inspector, how I describe what I find is one of the most important aspects of my job. I can turn a minor issue into a full blown problem. All homes have normal maintenance issues and its imperative to communicate that to my clients. I'm certified, insured and experienced but all that means nothing if I cant help my clients understand whats really going on with the home.

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