Posted by: Roby Robertson | August 16, 2008

Lake Norman Real Estate, How a Bad Home Inspector May Jeopardize Your Sale

Lake Norman Buyers and Sellers, Check your Home Inspector Credentials

Like with most professions, you will find qualified and unqualified individuals calling themselves a professional. Home inspectors are no different. In some ways, it’s even more difficult to differentiate the good home inspectors from the bad home inspectors.

Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from hiring an unqualified inspector:

Review a Sample Home Inspection Report

Your experienced Lake Norman Agent should be able to recommend up to 3 choices of inspectors that they have confidence.  Often times the agent has had good experiences with an inspector and will stick with them.  However it is our job to recommend good inspectors not select them for you.

A home inspector should be able to e-mail you a copy of a sample report or have it available for review on the web.  If it’s three or four pages long, don’t hire that person. While lengths of reports may vary, comprehensive reports average between 20 and 50 pages and contain color photographs highlighting defects or problems.

Make Sure the Inspector carries liability insurance!

Don’t Hire Inspectors Who Recommend Contractors or Perform Repairs

Home inspectors are in the business of inspecting homes. If a home inspector offers to direct you to a contractor to perform work, that inspector could be creating a conflict of interest. Your qualified Lake Norman agent should be able to assist you with finding the right contractor.  Even if they don’t know any personally, they work with agents that do.  Make sure they do the homework for you if you don’t have trusted contractors yourself.

Inquire About the Length of Your Home Inspection

To do an adequate job, most home inspections take at least three hours, sometimes longer.

 Ask if the Inspector Charges for a Reinspection

The question isn’t if the inspector will find something wrong. All homes have defects. There is no such thing as a perfect house. Even new homes have imperfections.

However, if an inspector notes a problem, and the seller agrees to repair it, in many states, it’s considered a courtesy for the inspector to verify the repair without charging for a return visit. My experience has been that inspectors will return for a nominal fee. Ask upfront about fee policy.Tip: If you elect to accept the seller’s word that the problem has been repaired, you may find yourself in Small Claim’s Court after the transaction closes.

 Attend the Home Inspection

If your schedule is such that you can’t be present during the entire home inspection, you owe it yourself to be there for the last 30 minutes. Let the inspector walk you through the home to point out defects. Use this opportunity to ask questions about which noted “action items” are minor and which are major.

Sometimes a home inspector will suggest further inspections. Find out whether the inspector suspects a problem or if the inspector routinely suggests buyers obtain inspections for items the inspector does not generally cover.

Note:  Unless it is an impossiblilty, I suggust that my clients be present for the entire inspection.

Most experienced agents will tell you that the inspection process can be the most frustrating part of the buying and selling experience.  It is very important that your agent carefully explain the offer to purchase and contract regarding the inspection process.  It is also very important that you hire an experienced home inspector.

For this and all other Lake Norman area real estate questions needs, please feel free to contact your Lake Norman agent at 704 451 7051 or by email.

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