Choosing the right Home Inspector (Part 2)
As an attachment to the previous article posted about the added benefits of hiring an InterNachi certified home inspector; I would like to add a little more information that is more specific to our local DFW area.
First of all...Every home inspector in the state of Texas is required to be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. To make sure that the home inspector you are planning to hire is in fact licensed; you can type his/her name into the TREC license holder search.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there that will try to inspect your home even though they have an expired license or even worse....they have never been licensed.
The Texas Real Estate Commission takes it a step further and even allows the general public to search for any disciplinary actions taken against a home inspector. I would encourage every home buyer to complete this search as well which can be found here.
So....now that you have done your due diligence to make sure that your home inspector is licensed and morally sound....there are still a few more things that you need to consider.
The most common and obvious question that I always receive is "How much do you charge?" Home inspectors in Texas can charge whatever they would like for a home inspection; there is no set fee put forth by the Texas Real Estate Commission. My advise would be to find an inspector that is somewhere in the middle as far as pricing is concerned. A home inspection is not something that you want to try and save money on because the cheapest inspection is very likely to be the least through. Home inspectors that charge way less than there competitors are either very new to the business or they rely on quantity over quality.
A home inspector that only charges $200 for a home inspection is probably trying to fit in 4-6 inspections in a day. Obviously, this means that he/she cannot spend very much time inspecting your soon to be home or spend very much time explaining any issues with the home.
On the other hand, other inspectors tend to "over-value" their experience and prefer to charge an arm and a leg for their inspections. Now, if the inspector truly has years of experience and additional certifications on top of the basic TREC inspectors license, then he or she might be justified in charging a higher fee for their expertise. I would just advise you to verify that experience as well as the other additional certifications and/or qualifications the inspector claims to have.
Another good questions to ask the home inspector or home inspection company is "how many inspections do you or your inspectors do in a day?" As I stated above, there are plenty of inspectors that practice the quantity over quality approach and that is not necessarily the best policy for the home buyer. A through inspection of a 2000-3000 square foot home could take anywhere from 2 - 4 hours or more depending on any ancillary inspections. So, a good rule of thumb is not to hire an inspector that is doing more than 2-3 inspections in a day.
Now, obviously reviews are a good source of feedback for the quality of work that a home inspector does, but it does not give you any source of direct feedback. So, I would encourage you to pick up the phone and call the inspector and/or inspection company. Actually talking to someone on the phone can give you immediate and direct feedback on attitude, professionalism, knowledge base, etc...Most people will be able to decide if they would prefer or not prefer to do business with someone after a minute or two on the phone.
1). Make sure the home inspector is licensed in the state of Texas though TREC.
2). Make sure that the home inspector has not been disciplined for moral or ethics violations.
3). Probably not a good idea to hire the cheapest home inspector that you can find.
4). Make sure that your home inspector is not doing more than two or three inspections per day.
5). Call around. Talk to different companies and go with the best fit for you.