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What Should I Look For When Choosing A Home Inspector?

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Home Inspector?

When selecting a home inspector you're not just hiring someone to walk around the house and say the roof is fine and the foundation of fine. A qualified and licensed home inspector will have your best interests at heart and provide a complete picture of both the structural quality and cosmetic damages when evaluating a home. The home inspector you hire is working for you and must provide a thorough evaluation to protect your interests and that of the mortgage lender underwriting the home purchase.

During a home transaction there is a home seller and a home buyer and each party has their own real estate agent. This is because the real estate agent for both the buyer and seller has a fiduciary responsibility to represent their client and protect them from fraud. Normally, a real estate agent has a list of inspectors and subcontractors they work with which can be provided to their clients. However, that doesn't preclude the buyer or seller from going online or looking in the phone book to select their own home inspector.

More often than not however neither the home buyer or seller nor the corresponding real estate agents will be providing the home inspector. It is common practice nowadays for the mortgage lender underwriting the loan to provide a list of certified and licensed home inspectors that can be selected which will conduct the home inspection. This is specifically because the mortgage lender is the responsible party providing the funds for the transaction.

A home seller may not care whether or not a home inspection is done because after the sale they will be able to wipe their hands clean and move on. The home buyer, unless they are paying cash, also really doesn't have an interest because they can stop making payments and defaults on the loan. While this may hurt their credit they won't be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore the mortgage lender assumes most of the risk for the purchase of a home so it is in their best interest to verify through a home inspector they trust that the structure is sound and ready for occupancy.

Due to the mortgage lender making the selection of the home inspector it actually protects all parties because now there can be no favoritism by either the buyer or seller or the real estate agents to skew a home inspection to their advantage. Just eliminating the possibility of fraudulent home inspection ensures all parties are adequately protected which can eliminate significant cost and legal expense in the future. If you do have the opportunity to select their own home inspector make sure they are certified and licensed, check all referrals and ask lots of questions about how they conduct inspections and what they cover. Research will be your best friend when hiring a home inspector because you won't be able to tell if they are doing a thorough job unless you know exactly what they're supposed to be evaluating.

With the advent of the Internet it is easy enough to go online to various blogs and forums to get a clear picture on what should be evaluated during a home inspection. It may also be possible to get downloadable checklists for home inspection so you can see whether or not a home inspector is being thorough and ask questions about what they will look for during the home inspection. Ignorance normally is not bliss so the more informed you are the more capable you can be at protecting yourself from fraud and misrepresentation. Ask lots of questions and take lots of notes both before and during the home inspection just in case you get an uneasy feeling or want to verify that the home inspector is doing a complete job.

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