The average homeowner in Northern Va will likely only own 3 to 4 homes in a lifetime, making the home buying process a rare event. This is why it’s very common for my clients to ask for recommendations for a good home inspector. I have my go to inspector whom I trust to do a great inspection, you can find him here, Meet The Team. However, from time to time my home buyers may have an inspector in mind or want to search for one themselves. With this in mind here are some pointers for choosing a home inspector in Northern VA.
If you are searching for an inspector, congratulations the offer on a home was accepted! Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Hopefully you and your agent made the contract contingent on a home inspection.
This contingency allows you to negotiate repairs, or maybe even the price. The standard Northern VA contract will allow the home buyer to even void the contract after the inspection. Your agent, hopefully me, can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
How to Choose an Inspector
I have a very short list of inspectors that I have worked with in the past that I can recommend to you. Your agent should also have some go to agents as well. Here are 5 areas to consider when choosing the right home inspector for you:
Qualifications – Virginia requires a home inspector license, you can look up here- DPOR. Also, find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past Northern VA clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided. ASHI, is one of the more prominent associations.
Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.
Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!
It is exciting to purchase a home, but do not be overwhelmed with excitement and forgo your home inspection. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible to make the most educated decision about your purchase.
Call Joey, an exceptional real estate agent and REALTOR with RE/MAX Preferred Properties, for selling or buying a home in Northern VA. Your Home My Passion.
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Find my original article on keeping current matters: Home Inspection: What to Expect.