Selecting A Home Inspector

Your Due Diligence

One of the best ways to find a good home inspector is by checking reviews on the
internet: Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, Google, Yelp, Facebook, your
Lender, your Attorney, your Real Estate Agent, Friends and Family – IF the
inspection was over a year ago).

Not all Home Inspectors offer the same Experience, Background, Credentials and Services. Don’t save $50 – $100 on an inspection that may cost you $10,000, $20,000 or more when you discover problems that would have been discovered by a more competent Home Inspector. When interviewing Home Inspectors, ask these questions
to help you make your best choice:

  • How long have you been a full time Home Inspector?
    • At least 10 years is a good amount of time to work out the bugs. The longer an inspector has been around, the more satisfied customers they have.
      • Exception – having been trained by someone with 10+ years of experience.
  • How many Home Inspections have you done?
    • 10 years x 50 weeks x 10 inspections per week = 5,000 inspections.
  • What did you do prior to inspecting homes?
    • Having a construction background means hands on knowledge of how a house goes together.
  • What credentials do you have other than Licensed Home Inspector?
    • Certified Master Inspector® is one of the best credentials a home inspector can have. All Home Inspectors in Wisconsin have to be certified by the State. A new Home Inspector may have just passed the State exam, but have no practical experience. Be sure the inspector you select is a Member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors). If s/he is just a candidate or not a member at all, they probably will not have enough experience to protect you to your comfort level. A State of WI Certified UDC Building Inspector credential is another plus. Though a home inspection is not about the codes, knowing code violations can help you understand which issues are defects vs. maintenance concerns. Someone who is an Expert Witness will know many of the reasons home buyers were unhappy with their last inspector.
  • Do you have Liability and Errors & Omissions Insurance?
    • Liability Insurance alone will not protect you if your Home Inspector misses a major defect. Errors and Omissions insurance is not cheap. A professional will have it to protect you as well as him/ her.
  • Are you a “Full Time” Home Inspector?
    • A full time Home Inspector will generally have more experience than someone who works part time.
  • How long does the inspection typically last?
    • A good Home Inspection should typically last about 3 hours+ depending on the size of the house, whether or not it is occupied, the experience of the Home Inspector and how many questions the home buyer asks during the inspection. There are some inspectors that guarantee they will be done in an hour or less. You will get what you pay for.
  • Do you get on top of the roof?
    • The State Standards of Practice do not require a Home Inspector to climb on the roof. If a roof is covered with snow, ice or is just too steep, it is not wise to climb on top of it. A good inspector will at least take some photos of the roof covering to show the condition. A Home Inspector that makes a practice of inspecting roofs from the ground is likely to miss some critical issues.
  • Do you take photos of the defects?
    • It’s a good idea to have a visual record of the defects in case there is a disagreement as to what exactly the condition is. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  • How much do you charge?
    • Don’t choose your inspector by the lowest price. The lowest price is often the lowest quality. Remember you get what you pay for. Saving $50.00 – $100.00 on the inspection may cost you thousands when missed problems are discovered after you move in.
    • Our pricing depends on the size of the house/ property, whether or not there is a basement and/ or crawl space, number of furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, garages, etc. Give us a call so we can get a good idea of the property and we will give you a no
      pressure quote.