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