Ok, so listen: I’m not here to talk bad about other home inspectors. It’s petty, unprofessional, and honestly just really messy.
That being said, I’m also a realist. And I know that people have had bad experiences with home inspectors. And I won’t pretend that there aren’t some out there that are more concerned with making a commission on a home sale than accurately reporting on a house.
So here are some pointers on how to avoid the…let’s call them self-motivated…home inspectors. You can carry these tips with you whether or not you work with Titan – obviously, I think you should work with us because we’re pretty cool, but I am biased.
How to Find a Good Home Inspector
- Scope Out Inspectors BEFORE You Need OneWhether you’re buying or selling, it’s a great idea to look up some inspectors before you actually need one. That way, you check out their reviews, expertise, or even give them a call with plenty of time to spare. Otherwise, you might find yourself calling whoever shows up first in Google and answers the phone when you’re in a rush. Or find yourself pushed toward choosing a specific inspector the owners or realtor suggests. The inspector could still be legit! But you didn’t get the chance to check them out before, in case they’re not the right fit.
- They Have Broad Knowledge, Not SpecificYour plumber cousin might be willing to check out that new house for you – and I’m sure they’re a great person – but can they tell you if the electrical system is iffy? When you’re looking at inspectors, you want one who has a wide range of home knowledge, vs someone who is really, really, good at just one area.An inspection is like a check-up at your doctor’s: maybe you’ll need a specialist later, but right now you just need to see where everything’s at.
- Look for Someone NeutralMany home inspectors (me included!) have relationships with realtors. This is completely normal and isn’t a cause for concern. However, you might want to dig a bit further or look elsewhere if your inspector ONLY works with one realtor or real estate agency. Your inspector should be neutral. A good inspector will have a relationship with realtors, but they will not work exclusively with one party.
- Know What Questions to AskOk, so you’ve found someone that looks good. Before you book that inspection, I recommend asking them a few basic questions. Their answers will help you decide if they’re the right one.
Questions to ask:
- How many houses have you inspected? – Ask this instead of “how many years have you been in the business.” They could have worked on and off and so “20 years” might actually just be “well, really 5 years total.” Number of houses inspected is a better insight into their experience.
- Do you charge by size of house/square foot? – If the answer is “yes” – look elsewhere. Many inspectors will not charge you more just cause your house is bigger.
- Will you sell/give out my personal info? – Most people I know aren’t a huge fan of getting a bunch of emails from realtors. Ask your inspector if they give out your email or phone number to anyone else.
- What do your reports look like/what format? – You probably don’t want an inspection on a piece of scrap paper. It’s also nice to know what’s going to be included. You can also ask if they have electronic versions of the report – these are easier to shoot off to your realtor, insurance, relatives, etc.
When booking the appointment, you can also ask them how many homes LIKE yours they’ve inspected – age, size, location ,etc. That’s a good idea for finding someone who knows about the house you’re looking at.
Picking the right home inspector isn’t an easy task. But you can avoid some of the suspicious ones by following these tips.
I’m just sayin’
Titan Home Inspections
If you’re looking for a fun and efficient home inspection with inspectors who care about your specific needs, give us a call. We know that every house has a story and when your inspector can identify the clues to the story through experience and a healthy curiosity, you can help the owners/buyers make better decisions with their home.
If you or anyone you know needs a fun and experienced home inspector that can do sewer scopes as well, give us a call. We offer $350 Flat Rate inspections and to date have earner over 1,400 5 STAR ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews.
Give us a call at 206-451-1120 or feel free to schedule directly on our website.
If you can’t find a spot that works for you, give us a call and we’ll try to find a way to fit you in. 😉
Brian Dodds is licensed home inspector & owner of Titan Inspection Services with over 20 years’ experience in construction trade building and house renovation. Titan Inspection services is based in Washington state and serves Seattle, Olympia, North Bend, Kitsnap County and everything in between.
Every house has a story. What’s your home’s story?