Home Inspection Series - Part 8: Questions to ask prospective inspectors

Now that you have bought a home and are in need of an inspection, how do you decide on who you are going to hire?  Here is a list of questions that should be asked before you decide on your home inspector.  You want to do everything you can to ensure you hire the best person for the job.  A person that you are confident will be able to identify all of the deficiencies in the home so you have a clear picture of the condition of your home. 

How long have you been conducting home inspections?

-          Someone may tell you they have been in the business for 10 years, but how many inspections were conducted in those 10 years.

What qualifications do you have?

-          As home inspection is still unregulated in Canada, consumers should ensure they are hiring an inspector who know what they are doing.  CMHC now recommends that you hire a "Registered Home Inspector" or RHI who is a member in good standing with a Provincial Association.

Can you supply me with a sample report? And will I receive a written report?

-          Verbal reports offer no recourse for the home buyer.  Always insist on a written report.  If one isn’t going to be provided, find another inspector.  A good report should contain comments specific to the subject property and should offer both observations and recommendations.  The inspector should also be able to provide you with estimates as to what expenses will be incurred when the deficiencies will be addressed.

How much time will it take?

-          A home 1800-2500 sq. ft in size should take about 2-3 hours.  If the inspection takes less than 2 hours, you should be concerned.

Can I attend the inspection?

-          If the answer is NO, you should look for another inspector.  Not only is the inspection used to identify deficiencies in the home, it is an education on the home.  You will learn about your home as you walk through the property (e.g. shut offs, furnace operation, etc.)

Do you use state of the art tools to inspect the home?

-          Are state of the art home inspection tools such as moisture meters, gas detectors, laser thermometers, thermal imaging camera, & telephoto lenses used to reduce the risk of an error.

What will be inspected?

-          The inspection should include the Roof, Exterior, Structure, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation and Interior. The goal is to identify any existing major problems that would affect a typical purchasers buying decision.

How much will the service cost?

-          A typical home inspection should cost $400.  Cost of the inspection should not be a factor in deciding which inspector you choose.  This is one of the most important parts of the process, so you should base your decision on who will do the best job. 

Can I see a list of references or people to call who you have previously done inspections for?

-          If they can’t or won’t provide you with a list of past clients, walk away.

Do you carry errors and omissions and general liability insurance?

-          Inspectors are human and humans make mistakes.  If the inspector misses something significant, you want to be assured you are covered.

For more information on hiring a home inspector, click this link "How to Hire a Home Inspector"

For more information on buying or selling real estate in Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, or Toronto Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit the Sean Kavanagh Real Estate Resource Centre at www.seansells.ca, or at www.seankavanagh.ca   I'd be happy to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs.  Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK!  You can also contact me at 905-220-9198 or at www.realestatechat.ca as I am now a moderator on the Ontario Real Estate chat forum as well as the Burlington, Ontario sub-forum.

Sean Kavanagh

Building Lasting Relationships and Exceeding Expectations


Source: AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service and Your First Home Buyers Guide  

Sean Kavanagh

Sean Kavanagh

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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