Why Price Isn’t the Only Factor When Selecting a Home Inspector

Average Home Inspection Cost

You’ve just gone under contract. Congrats!

You’ve possibly already written an earnest money check. You’re thinking about how you’re still going to eat after your down payment.

Now you’re faced with the decision of choosing a home inspector. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive. How do you know what you’re getting for the money? What else matters?

Here are the 4 areas you should be thinking about besides how much the home inspection costs:

Reviews

We all rely on customer reviews to gain confidence in our choices. Customer reviews are the best way to know if an inspector is patient, knowledgable and helpful.

It also tells you if an inspector cares enough to follow up with clients. Reviews hold professionals accountable. You want an inspector that is accountable.

Check Google, Yelp and other profiles for helpful reviews.

Website

While a modern website isn’t always a predictor of a professional, quality business, there is usually a high correlation. Check out each home inspectors website and check for the following aspects:

  • Is it modern looking and updated?
  • Do they have a sample report?
  • Do they give any helpful information or guidance on the website?
  • Do they talk about their experience in the industry or related industries?
  • Do they let you book an inspection online?

These are usually good indicators of high-quality, professional home inspection companies. You don’t want to take a chance when it comes to the professional that’s giving you guidance on your home.

Sample Report

The home inspection report is part of what you’re paying for. It’s what you will go through with your agent, and what he/she will use to negotiate inspection objection items.

Many homebuyers don’t know what to expect from a home inspection report, so they assume they are all the same.

A quality home inspection report should have the following elements:

  • A clear summary that tells you safety concerns & attention items
  • A clean, visual layout
  • Mobile friendly
  • HTML and PDF layout
  • Actionable next steps or recommendations
  • Easy to navigate via a table of contents or filters
  • Additional links for reference & further research

The home inspection report should be a document that you reference and learn from as you tackle items in the future.

Guidance

Not all inspectors will feel comfortable giving you guidance or estimates on how much a fix will cost. Some worry about liability (some a little too much).

A great home inspector will give you some guidance based on their experience if a fix is $20 at Home Depot, or a $2,000 bill from a contractor.

Of course, home inspectors are not specialized contractors and you cannot hold them liable.

Always get a quote from a qualified contractor.

Follow Up Questions

Most inspectors will tell you to let them know if you have any follow up questions. Not all really mean it.

This is a question you should ask when if and when you call home inspectors. Get a feeling if the response is genuine and energetic.

The report should be robust with images, explanations, & links for more info. But the inspector should still be accessible for items that require a follow up conversation.

Looking for a Home Inspector Near You?

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Kevin

Co-founder at Spectora
Kevin is co-founder of Spectora. He spends his days chatting with home inspectors, helping with their SEO & online marketing, and generally obsessing over how to create value for them.
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