Before you make an offer on the home you’ve found, no matter how perfect it looks, you need to hire a trustworthy home inspector. He will help discover the things that need repaired and the cost. His analysis will help you to make an informed offer for the house which may include adjustments to the price or an agreement with the sellers to repair the area in question. Do you hire your own inspector or use the one your agent recommends?
Often, you can stipulate in your agreement with the sellers that they will repair the areas in question for you. But the main focus of this article is not that, but another question, do you hire your own inspector or use the one your agent recommends?
Do You Trust Your Agent?
When you hired your agent, you should have made a careful choice based on the skill of the individual and his reputation. If you do trust them, then you can generally trust the inspector they recommend to you. Agents need buyers. And buyers bring referrals – and subsequently, bad deals leave the agent with a bad reputation. And his reputation is too valuable for him to chance.
Good agents will use inspectors that are trustworthy, are careful not to miss items, and can deliver the information on the inspection in a thoughtful way that doesn’t go to such negative extremes that it incites panic with the buyer. For the negative or the positive, agents want the information delivered in such a way that it isn’t a “deal breaker”.
Suspect They May Cheat to Protect their Commission
Ok, you really don’t trust them, and at the size of most of today commissions, you may have a point. When an agent is too demanding about the choice of inspector being the one that they choose for you, then you are right. You should be circumspect. Ask your agent about finding your own inspector. If he becomes edgy or evasive, if he claims you cannot use an inspector not on his list, then, yes, you do need your own inspector – and a new agent!
Do I Have to Use the Agent’s Inspector?
No! This is your choice. If your agent claims that you must use their inspector, you should contact your attorney. You should feel good about the inspector and the job he’s doing for you. Knowing what to look for will give you an opportunity to make your own list of questions to ask the inspector when he completes the job and turns in his report and a way to test his skill.
What Should the Inspection Cover?
Here are some things that will help expatiate the process:
- Do your own inspection before the building inspector completes the job.
- Check the foundation for cracks and check the floors. Cracks may be a sign that the house is settling unevenly. On rare occasions, a house that settles too much on one side and then on the other can literally crack a home in half.
- Borrow a ladder and check the roof, check the ceilings, check the attic. Look for signs of leaks, stains, mold and mildew.
- Check the windows and doors for breaks, gaps, and mildew.
- Check porches, patios, and yards. Do it after a good rain and check the drainage.
- Don’t forget to check paint, trim, gutters, shutters, and siding. And, make certain out building and garages hold no secrets.
The following tips allow you to inspect your inspector. Do a preliminary inspection before your scheduled inspection and compare notes. This will allow you to detect problem areas in the home that much faster and easier.