A realistic approach to purchasing your home and selecting your home inspector.
The purchase of a home is typically the largest purchase made in a lifetime. Owning your own home, instead of renting, is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make, as long as you go into it with both eyes open and be sure you are not overpaying for what you are getting. You are surely shopping around for the best interest rate, insurance policy and real estate agent. Why not do your homework on a home inspector you can trust also?
Take the stress out of home buying!
You need an advocate on your side to look over your home carefully and make you fully aware of any potential problems. As a certified inspector, with years of experience, there are things that I know to look for that you would not see. I work for your benefit, not the home seller. Let’s go over some ways to make the process easy for you.
Step 1 – Get Organized
With the assistance of your Realtor, make a list of the things you need to do in order to close on your new home. Be sure you are working with your own professional buyer’s agent, who understands the industry and the laws in your area, and who is on your side to help you through this process.
It doesn’t cost you extra to have your own buyer’s agent working on your behalf and looking out for your best interests, since they are paid out of the seller’s commission. Nonetheless, they work for you and have a “fiduciary duty” to you, and not to any other party to this transaction. Your buyer’s agent can help you find the right home, the right lender, and the right home inspector for your needs.
Step 2 – Interview Prospective Inspectors
Hiring a qualified home inspector to inspect your home before closing can save you hundreds if not thousands off your purchase price if defects in your new home could lead to unexpected repair bills down the road.
- Check with your buyer’s agent when selecting an inspector – they may be familiar with several inspectors and have a few to recommend. Know that you do not necessarily have to use the inspector that your realtor recommends, however it is a starting point.
- Be sure to interview that inspector over the telephone before you contract with him or her to do your home inspection.
- Ask your prospective home inspector about their qualifications and credentials, and of course, ask for references and a sample of their work.
- Don’t make the mistake of selecting your inspector solely based on cost. Since buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, this is not the time to skimp on a cheap inspection. Since the cost of a home inspection is so small relative to the cost of the home you are purchasing, and the extra money you spend for a quality inspection could add up to hundreds or even thousands in savings for you in the long run.
Remember that your home inspection is often a final bargaining tool in the real estate closing process – buyers sometimes negotiate repairs by the seller or money off the final price to compensate for repair issues such as leaks, foundation repair, plumbing repair and more.
Do yourself a favor and pick a qualified home inspector, even if it means paying a little more for the professional home inspection you expect and deserve.
Step 3 – Select Your Inspector
Review your home buyer’s “to do” list and your notes on the home inspectors that you interviewed to inspect your new home. Now, select the best, most qualified inspector, give them a call, and check that off your list. One less thing to worry about as you move forward with your home purchase.