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Selecting a Home Inspector

Open up a phone book or not because that is so 1980’s… instead complete Google search for “austin texas home inspectors” and you’ll find hundreds of inspectors to choose from. How do you begin to narrowing down the list or do you even know the difference between a rockstar inspector, a mediocre one and an inspector you should not pay one penny for.

We recommend to every client to consider inspectors that many of our past clients have utilized especially ones that has demonstrated they are a professional, are able to communicate well with others and deliver a report in an easy to read format with easy to understand lingo. Your realtor should have a list of a few home inspectors they’ve worked with in the past and usually who have worked with several of their past clients. If you would like to choose your own inspector, instead of closing your eyes and choosing blindly consider getting a referral from a friend, family or colleague whom you can trust their recommendation and only accept a referral from someone who has recently (within the past three to six months) purchased a home or listed a home for sale.

Regardless of how you find your inspector, they should do the following at the minimum:

  • Access the roof by getting on top of it, unless it is a safety hazard due to it being too steep or due to weather conditions (ice/snow).
  • They should have completed hundreds of other inspections within the city your house is located in.
  • They should be capable of entering attic areas that are accessible.
  • They should display stellar customer service skills and the ability to explain their industry lingo whether it be on the day of the inspector or by taking your call to review at a later time.
  • They should be up to date on current building codes.
  • They should provide reports with photos the same day as the inspection or within 24 hours of the inspection and be available for client or realtor questions.
  • They should be highly recommended either by an agent or someone who has purchased a home within three to six months.
  • Most importantly, your inspector should either take notes verbally via a recorder as he/she is inspecting the home or by hand writing notes as they go through the home.

An inspector should never do the following:

  • An inspector should never attempt to inspect a home in a city where they have not performed hundreds of inspections. Soil conditions and building codes, are different cities in Texas and are very different in other states.
  • Regardless, if in a previous life they were a plumber, roofer, builder, electrician or worked for a foundation company – they should leave the expert work to someone who is currently licensed in that particular profession.
  • Attempt to assess the condition of the roof by standing in the yard and looking at it with binoculars, unless the weather conditions or safety hazard is present.

When buying a home your inspectors ability to catch flaws in the home, helps your agent negotiate necessary repairs that are often not caught without their additional knowledge or attention. Or when preparing your home for sale, it is best to hire an inspector to catch anything a buyer would discover to be problematic and correct it before putting it on the market. Both instances call for a rockstar home inspector and you will for sure want one if it means the seller pays for any repairs prior to occupying or it means more money in your pocket because there are no problems for a buyer to speak of.