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Top 5 Myths about Home Inspectors

According to Forbes Home, 40% of homeowners of a OnePoll survey reported skipping the inspection process because of pressure to obtain a lower home buying price. In addition, housing shortages and a sellers’ market means buyers are trying to find ways to stay competitive. With this arises myths about home inspections. Is it a necessary cost? Will it kill the deal? Who do they actually work for? Addressing common myths about home inspections will help your clients make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing a property.


Myth 1: Home inspections are deal killers

A comprehensive home inspection provides buyers with the necessary information to have an informed discussion with their agent before making a final decision. Without sound information in a format they understand, clients cannot be expected to make a well informed decision.

Every agent wants their client to make a decision that is their best interest. A well executed home inspection and report should aid that process.

Myth 2: They work with/for Agents

Unlike appraisers who are paid by the customer but work for the banks, home inspectors work exclusively for the home buyer in most cases, at times (rarely) they may be hired by the seller. The agents' roles are to ensure that the home is ready for inspection before the inspector arrives. Some inspectors may prefer to have the client with them as they inspect, others prefer to have the client attend close to the end. This is a discussion the client should have when choosing an inspector. At times that agent may shadow the inspector as the observations are being made in order to get a clear understanding. In many states, to avoid a conflict of interest, agents are required to provide at least 3 names if asked for an inspector recommendation.

Myth 3: They miss stuff

In order for a home inspection to be conducted successfully and completely, the first rule of thumb is that the home must be fully accessible. In an ideal situation, every home inspection should be conducted in an empty home absent any furniture with all systems (electric, gas, water, etc.) on. Oftentimes this is not the case and therefore it is the sellers and agents responsibility if a home is occupied, to prepare the home to make it as accessible as possible.

Inspections are best understood if the client is present. Being present during the inspection the client can see first hand any challenges the inspector experiences. When searching for an inspector, encourage your client to ask questions such as: Does the inspector have the ability to check the roof or if they will do so from the ground? Is the inspector physically capable of accessing attics and crawl spaces? The more your client understands the scope of work an inspector does, the better.

It is important for the client to understand that the inspector can only report on things that occur during the inspection. The inspector cannot report on what may happen in the future. It is without a doubt that something in the house is going to fail at some point in time as the system's age. The question is, did that system failure occur during the inspection? This is where customer complaints typically come from. Because something failed after the inspection and because of the lack of understanding of the inspector's responsibility (or the inspector failed to explain what they cannot do), that failure is often called out as something the inspector missed when in fact they did not.

Myth 4. Home Inspectors are usually former contractors

In some cases, a general contractor can be used to perform a home inspection, especially in states that do not require licensure. While general contractors may have considerable building knowledge, many home inspectors are not contractors and a significant number of states do not require any construction or related experience to obtain an inspectors license.

Keep in mind that inspectors are hired to discover errors made by builders, and contractors. If the inspector the client is considering has recently entered the industry, it's a good idea to do extra research on their background.

Myth 5. Home inspectors are required to be licensed

Not all home inspectors are required to be licensed. This is determined on a state by state basis. Currently, fourteen states do not require licenses and have no formal regulation system. Instead, they simply recommend training. However, just because a state does regulate or require a license, trade organizations such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) offer training, online testing, certification, business development, and marketing support to its members. Membership can be confirmed with a quick search on their website.

Pro Spex is a Licensed, insured company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. Contact us with any questions by visiting our website or giving us a call at 844-675-8851.

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