Home inspections are valuable tools, but to get the most out of the service, you will want to remember these five important tips.
- Be There
While it may not be necessary to attend the entire home inspection, I tell clients to consider attending the last hour or so. This is a good time for the inspector to review the findings one-on-one and point out any defects or problems in person.
- Ask Questions
If something isn’t clear or doesn’t make sense, ask. Sometimes home inspectors fall into industry talk making explanations confusing. While a good home inspector is a teacher, patiently breaking down issues into understandable components, “shop-talk” can happen to the best of us. So, if something is confusing, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Use Someone Who’s Actually Done the Work
The requirements to be a licensed home inspector in Virginia are extensive, but nothing replaces the knowledge of someone who has done the work. Knowing how things fit together, how they should work, and how normal wear and tear should look, is something that comes with years of experience. If possible, hire a home inspector who has a background in home construction and remodeling.
- A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Make sure your home inspector uses pictures! A home inspection report with pictures is very valuable not only for the client but for everyone in a real estate transaction. The pictures clearly illuminate what deficiencies need attention and remove the ambiguity of a solely written report.
- Make Sure the House is Ready
Nothing is worse than paying for a home inspection on a house that isn’t ready. To get the most of out a home inspection, make sure the owners have the electricity and water turned on. Make sure outlets, windows, panel boxes, and crawl spaces are accessible. And finally, make sure the home inspector can access the inside of the property with an access code or key.
- Randy Hansen, owner and president, is a Virginia licensed home inspector and has been a licensed contractor for over 15 years. Owning Cornerstone Construction of Augusta since 2005, Randy has countless hours of experience in supervising and managing home remodeling, building, and estimating. He’s worked closely with homeowners, realtors, and investors throughout his career.