A professional home inspector is not only familiar with all the components of a home, but is able to evaluate the condition of the home and all of its systems. Professional Home Inspectors in Pleasant Grove Roseville, CA will point out the components that are not working properly as well as those that are unsafe. They will address areas where repairs may be needed or where problems may arise in the future.
How to Choose the Best Home Inspector in Pleasant Grove Roseville, CA?
The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. So, it only makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repairs, maintenance and the associated costs that come with a new–or old–home. One of the best ways to understand a home’s condition is to hire a professional home inspector.
It is easy to get a List of Roseville Home Inspectors by searching online. A simple search with the keyword, “Home Inspectors in Pleasant Grove Roseville, CA” will produce multiple results giving you a list of Home Inspection companies, Realtors, and Real Estate Agents.
A professional home inspector is also able to make an unbiased and accurate report of the property’s true condition as an expert in home inspection. This knowledge will make it much easier to assess an accurate value of home property.
Even the most knowledgeable homeowner lacks the training and depth of knowledge that only a professional Roseville home inspector provides. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced home inspector to perform the inspection on a home’s property. When selecting a home inspector, be sure to choose one that will give you the quality of service you deserve and that you feel comfortable with. Consider the following questions when selecting a professional home inspector:
What are the home inspector’s qualifications?
Home inspection is a trade that requires special training, knowledge, and skills. The more experienced a true professional home inspector is, the more likely they will be able to uncover any problems. Look for professional home inspectors that have sufficient practical experience, a general understanding of all components in a home, and a background in related trades. Reputable home inspectors are also more likely to be certified with a well-known association, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) that requires them to adhere to a strict code of ethics and specific standards of practice. Always ask about their membership in various associations. You also have the right to see proof of their membership.
Can the home inspector provide quality references?
A highly regarded professional home inspector should be able to provide you with references upon your request. Be sure to take the next step and contact the people named as references Ask them if they were satisfied with the inspector’s complete service and their overall experience with them.
Will the home inspector allow you to participate?
A professional home inspector in Pleasant Grove Roseville, CA should feel comfortable allowing you to participate throughout the inspection. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and ask questions along the way. A home inspectors purpose is to educate you on your home and all of it’s components–learn all you can. A good suggestion is to do a little research on your home beforehand and come prepared with a list of questions for the inspector.
What is the scope of inspection?
A standard home inspection report summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the home’s interior and exterior components. Exteriors components include roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces and the foundation, including the grading around it. Interior components include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and wall finishes, windows and doors, basements, and any visible structures of the home. Upon completion of the inspection, the certified home inspector should provide a clear, easy to read report detailing every major home system and component within 24 hours. A good home inspector in Pleasant Grove Roseville, CA will also provide you with pictures of various elements to help you see and understand the true condition.
What Does A Good Home Inspector Do For The Buyer?
You've heard the saying "There are no stupid questions." Well, that's as true for real estate agents as it is for anyone else. Agents should consider asking the simple but important questions listed below before referring inspectors (either home inspectors or home inspection companies) to their clients.
Referrals reflect the agent's own professional judgment and may affect the most important pipeline of potential future business. Moreover, agents are fiduciaries: they must put the client's interests above everything else, make the best possible recommendations, and avoid making an expedient or convenient choice when a better alternative may exist and should be evaluated for their clients. Referring your client to an inspector just because an office mate or friend says, "Oh, I've used them for years" is not necessarily the best strategy.
Consider the following simple questions each and every time you refer an inspector:
1. Know Your Inspector's Background, Experience, and Credentials
All agents should take into account an inspector's experience, including how many inspections they have performed, how long they have been in the business, and what certifications, licenses, and memberships they hold. Why? Because all inspectors are not created equal. Most inspectors are contractors, but many of the best are not. I've found that extensive training in the art of inspection or other code knowledge by far outweighs a contractor's license. A well-rounded inspector will be properly trained and well versed in all aspects of residential construction.
Although some states now require licensing for home inspectors, California doesn't. See California Business & Professions Code 7195 et seq. There are, however, professional organizations which require experience and training for membership. The two primary associations in California are the California Real Estate Inspection Association and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Consider referring an inspector who is affiliated with one of these organizations.
Don't overlook the inspector's relationship to his or her company. Is the inspector the owner or an employee? In my experience, owners of home-inspection businesses care deeply about their work and the reports they produce because they are concerned about potential liability and ongoing business. In some cases, an employee may not perform as well as an owner-operator because employees have less at stake.
2. Does Your Inspector Have Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance?
E&O insurance is an important consideration, as it may help resolve claims against the inspector for items they may have missed during the inspection after close of escrow. Inspectors are not required to carry E&O insurance, so there is currently no reliable data on the percentage of inspectors who actually are insured. I have heard that it is in the 50% range; i.e., one out of two inspectors is insured. Consider asking prospective inspectors for a current declarations page of their E&O policy. The declarations page will reveal whether the inspector has a "claims made" or per-occurrence policy and what the coverage limits and policy periods are.
Some agents even ask that the inspector include the agent's and broker's names as "additional insureds" on the policy. This added layer of protection for the agent and/or broker will also sometimes help resolve and settle potential claims which arise out of the referral. For instance, an agent may not have to pay his or her own carrier's deductible if a claim arises and both the inspector and agent are asked to participate in resolution of the claim.
An inspector without E&O may have a broad range of reasons for not carrying insurance. Whatever the reason, consider referring an inspector who has E&O to provide greater protection and value for your client.
3. Does Your Inspector Use An Inspection Agreement?
Today, most inspectors have their customers (your clients) sign inspection agreements prior to the inspection. These agreements detail the ground rules, the inspector's scope of work, and items outside that scope. I myself have reviewed hundreds of these agreements, and most of them are fair. However, some have clauses that attempt to circumvent statutory and current case law. Consider getting your clients a copy of the agreement well in advance of the inspection so that they have a chance to read, consider, and digest the terms before signing. If you or your client have questions about the terms, don't sign until you get the answers you need.
It's common for some inspectors to try and limit their monetary risk by stating that their total liability for negligence, errors, or omissions is limited to the cost of the inspection report. This maneuver is expressly prohibited by statute, but inspectors sometimes cleverly navigate around that fact by limiting their liability to two or three times the cost of the inspection. See California Business & Professions Code § 7196. Although there are as yet no appellate court decisions testing these type of clauses which tiptoe around the statutory limitation, it is imperative that agents know what the inspection agreements say so they can allow their clients plenty of time to digest this information and make a well-informed decision.
Another common tactic inspectors use to reduce their liability is a reduction in the statute of limitations to bring an action against an inspector. California Business & Professions Code § 7197 states that an action may not be brought against a home inspector four years after the date of the inspection; however, some inspectors' agreements attempt to reduce this time period to one or two years. This tactic was addressed in the California appellate court case of Moreno v. Sanchez (2000) 140 Cal.App.4th 1315, which held that notwithstanding a contractual device to reduce the time period allowed in 7197, the delayed-discovery rule prevents an inspector from contractually reducing the four-year statute of limitations if the defect, error, or omission by the inspector was found or identified and the claim brought within four years of the date of the inspection.
4. How Does Your Inspector Handle Callbacks?
Callbacks are a fact of life. The first call or email you receive from your client stating that the inspector you referred "missed something" will probably be a frightening moment in your career. It can be a lot less disconcerning if you know the inspector is a stand-up business person, has a procedure to deal with these situations, and has E&O insurance. Make sure you know the procedure that your inspector has in place to deal with this situation. A smooth and simple callback procedure can calm nerves and get any necessary repairs underway before tempers rise and attorneys are called in.
In an ideal world, your clients would never have any difficulties with the inspector you refer them to, but, as an agent, you know that a trouble-free transaction is a rarity. If you want to demonstrate and improve your professionalism, add significant value to the services you already provide your clients, and significantly reduce potential risks for your clients, yourself, and your broker, keep these issues in mind and get answers to these key questions before you recommend an inspector. Doing your homework in this regard will give you a certain peace of mind, as you can be confident that you are recommending a high-quality inspector based on due diligence and professionalism.
What Happens During A Home Inspection?
25 years ago, a home inspection was a rare thing, and professional home inspectors were few and far between. Now, nearly every buyer knows that they should get an inspection, and there is a seemingly endless supply of inspectors, all claiming some 'certification' or credentials that sound impressive. But how do you know which is the right inspector for you?
Well, here are a few simple thoughts from someone inside the business (some of which, many inspectors will be upset with me for revealing, and will hope you won't read them). Interview them personally. Don't just take someone's advice that "this guy is good." Talk to them.
Ask them about what they do (and don't do - many don't walk roofs, some don't give repair cost estimates). Ask them about their reports (simple checklist, or descriptive narrative?) Do they provide repair cost estimates? Are they licensed (if necessary in your sate)? How long have they been in business? What is their background and/or training? Are they members of the BBB or Angie's List or other consumer oriented groups? Most importantly, do they treat you with respect and listen to what your needs are?
You will quickly find that there is a world of difference in Inspectors and how they view YOU, the client, as part of the inspection. Some see you as a necessary evil, or an interruption of "their" inspection. You will know you have hired one of these inspectors if they hand you a measuring tape to keep you busy measuring rooms while they inspect.
Often on inspector chat boards they talk about "controlling" their inspection, as if the client is a bother. Never forget: The inspection is (and SHOULD be) all about YOUR education, and making YOU comfortable with your new home.
E & O Insurance.
Ask your inspector if they are insured. Many inspectors treat this question as if you have just asked them for their Debit Card and PIN, but it is a legitimate and VERY intelligent question for clients to ask. You wouldn't let an uninsured plumber work on your pipes, would you? So why allow an uninsured inspector advise you on the entire home and all of its systems and components? E&O (Errors and Omissions) Insurance is your protection that if the inspector misses something significant, that you won't be left paying for that mistake.
My dad always said: "There is no substitute in life for experience." (He also said, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.") This is also true when it comes to inspectors. While some may have read it in the best books available, you simply have to learn some things by doing them. (Like, for example, never test the door to a room by closing it from the inside of the room. The reason why will be instantly clear when the knob falls off in your hand and you are stuck on the interior.)
You will know just by talking to an inspector and asking them the questions listed above whether you are talking to a raw "newbie" or a seasoned pro. Some pride themselves on "writing up" lots of defects, but often, many of these items are actually quite common and relatively minor (the kinds of things most sellers won't address or compensate for). Some inspectors also pride themselves on being disliked by Realtors. This simply mystifies me since most Realtors I know honestly care about putting their client in a good home, and respect the opinion of the inspector. Most times, this indicates to me an inspector who is a little full of himself, and may be out to prove how much he knows, or wants to make a major deal out of a minor issue.
Certifications are a dime a dozen in the inspection industry. Every day, my email inbox is jammed with people selling more quick and easy "certifications" of this and that. In fact, one place will certify you (yes, you) as a "master" inspector if you take several free online courses and send them a check for $375 - without ever performing a single inspection! As you can see, certifications are highly suspect. Professionally, the ones that are truly significant are offered by the International Code Council (ICC) and certify that the inspector has a detailed understanding of current building code (particularly helpful if you are purchasing new construction).
In general, I would recommend an inspector who has performed at least 1,000 inspections, and has at least 3 years experience - but even among these, you must ask the other questions to get the best fit for your needs.
Does the inspector offer choices to accommodate you? All buyers are not the same. All homes are not the same. So why do most inspectors offer the same inspection to all clients? Ask if they offer choices in prices, level of detail, and services offered. An investor seeking an opinion on the basic components (structure, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC) of a home they intend to renovate may not need the meticulous detail required by a nervous First Time Buyer. Don't be afraid to ask for what you really need, even if it seems to be more (or less) than what the inspector typically offers. If the inspector you speak to can't offer the service you need, keep searching, you will find one that does.
Which brings us to the last point, and the first question most people ask: "How much does an inspection cost?" The answer is - it depends (mostly on your area of the country, and the size of your home). Most inspectors base the price on square feet (the larger the home, the longer it takes to inspect). Be cautious of those who use price or zip code as a determining factor (buying a more expensive home in a more affluent neighborhood can dramatically increase your price with these inspectors who believe you must have more money to spend). Shop prices around. You CAN and WILL find a reasonably priced inspector who is every bit as good or better than the highest priced inspectors.
A good clue is: If someone doesn't post their prices on their website, they are higher than is typical. Again, many inspectors will react rudely with some variation of "you get what you pay for." Ask that inspector if they buy Premium Unleaded at the most expensive gas station in town, and then look through the grocery store circulars to find the highest priced items available - after all, they must be the best if they are the most expensive!