Getting an inspection from someone connected with the real estate industry is a bit like using the mechanic recommended by a used car dealer to inspect a potential car purchase. Most will probably advise you of glaring problems, but their income depends on not making people in the industry too unhappy, and some will even be unscrupulous. Their primary function is to give you a sense of reassurance. The scope of the inspection and the time spent on the inspection will be limited, and the report will be full of disclaimers.
Seek good advice and information, but rely on your own efforts. Demand the time you need to make an evaluation consistent with the amount of money you will spend to buy the home.
He (the inspector) was informed that the roof was not part of the inspection because it was covered by the HOA and NOT the homeowner. When we arrived at the property, the inspctor was on the roof, taking pictures. When I asked him to come down, he insisted on completing the roof inspction. When I informed him that the roof was not part of the owners resposiblity, he still put it into the inspection report along with pictures.
It's important to have documentation (emails) to instruct these inspectors, which I did. Needless to say I recommended to my clients not to use this company.
First they should have the credentials. They should be ASHI and CREIA certified. They should be accountable, bonded and insured and detailed.
The other thing that I think makes for great inspectors is being available to talk with my clients during and after the inspections. They should respond to phone calls from both my clients and myself. Just because they have already been paid doesn't mean the job is finished.
Coldwell Banker http://www.DavidTapper.com
As Realtors, we already have a list of professionals we recommend for different services, including inspections.
In San Francisco, the good reputable inspectors are such is high demand that sometimes is hard to hire your first choice when you have a short inspection contingency period, so we have several on our list to call when a buyer gets in contract.
When we recommend an inspector, the chances are that we have already worked with him/her and our previous clients were happy with the results. We know how the reports will look like, what topics will be covered and we'll tell you what to expect.
The inspectors may or may not be rated on Yelp, but you can be sure than no Realtor in his right mind will invite somebody who had a low performance with a buyer or seller to do another inspection. Reputation is key.
Most inspectors have an inspection agreement that requires signatures before performing the work. The agreement outlines their responsibilities and duties and also, the scope of the inspection.
What a general inspection usually covers:
-Single Family Home/Multi Unit: foundation, roof, interior of the house, appliances, electrical, plumbing( at least visual), windows, any visible signs of mold or water intrusion. A thermal imaging instrument could be used, but not always.
-Condo: the interior of the unit only; the common areas are the HOA responsibility and other than a general observation of the surroundings and common area, an inspector will not detail on the common area. It is not the subject of a condo inspection report.
Please note that for anything out of ordinary, the general inspector will refer you to a specialist: structural engineer for foundation, mold specialist for water intrusion, roofing company for the roof, pest inspector for dry rot, etc..
Ideally, every buyer should be present during the inspection, ask as many questions possible and pay attention during the process.
I hope this helps.
Alina Aeby-Broker Associate
Pacific Union International/Christie's
Do they do thermal imaging? Most do not, and leave that for a mold inspector.
Do they check each electrical outlet, all breakers to make sure they are gfci, including breakers for spas/pools? Many do not check to see if spa/pool breakers are gfci.
Make sure they get on the roof to inspect it. Some inspectors do not go up on roofs.
Make sure that they provide a written report with color photos. Make sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured.
Realtor, CHS HAFA Certified
Coldwell Banker Residential
2. They must be internet savvy.
3. They must use photos in their report.
4. They must use an infrared imaging tool
5. They must be available for questions after the inspection
I expect the best of the best from my inspectors. I want everything called out even if it means loosing a deal. Much rather have it fall apart up front then have the client call me up after the close upset because an Inspector missed something.
Length of time having done inspections, how detailed are their reports,
are the inspectors professional, and can answer client questions and are they
ASHI and CREIA certified.