Home Inspector Insurance Johnson Ranch Roseville, CA
Posted in Qualified Home Inspectors in California on July 11, 2017
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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 Johnson Ranch 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 Johnson Ranch 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 Johnson Ranch 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 Johnson Ranch 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 Johnson Ranch Roseville, CA will also provide you with pictures of various elements to help you see and understand the true condition.
Questions For Home Inspector to Answer?
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 At A Home Inspection?
Chapter 1: Getting Started and Taking Control
Before you can even begin to contact and compare home inspection companies, your first goal is to secure a list of likely home inspector candidates from a reliable and trusted source. A good first choice to consider for obtaining a list of names are the nationally recognized associations that many home inspectors belong to. To help you get started, I highly recommend 'The American Society of Home Inspectors' (ASHI) and 'The National Association of Home Inspectors' (NAHI) not only because both ASHI (founded in 1976) and NAHI (founded later in 1987 by an ASHI member) were the first of their kind but also because they still remain the two most prominent and sought after associations in the home inspection profession today.
The next step is to contact the Association you have chosen to obtain a list of its members within a fifty mile radius of the area where you're planning to buy a home. For those with online capability, the best way to proceed is to visit the Association's website to see what they have to offer. If you prefer or have to use the phone, most Associations provide a toll free number you can call in order to speak with someone who can answer your questions and provide you with the information you need. In either case, keep the following points in mind as you begin to build and refine your name list: 1) try to end up with at least six to ten names, 2) always ask for and jot down each inspector's rank or membership status within the Association including how long they've been a member, 3) in some cases you may need to contact more than one Association, and 4) take note that a home inspector may belong to more than one Association.
Referrals From Trusted Sources
Another good source of names to consider are referrals from trusted family members, friends and co-workers you have grown to respect over time, not to mention your attorney. In fact, real estate attorneys are usually very discriminating when it comes to recommending a home inspector who will serve their clients' best interests, and not the Realtor's, during the real estate transaction process.
Sources To Exclude
Unless a realtor happens to be in the family or a very close friend with your best interests at heart, all other realtor referrals should be considered suspect and disregarded making sure that none have since found their way onto your list. As for relying upon the phone directory, this is paramount to rolling dice or looking for a needle in a hay stack and is definitely not the way to go about finding a good home inspector!
Candidates And Newbies
As you continue building your name list, you want to be sure to exclude newbie home inspectors. To do this, you have to learn a little bit about an Association's membership. For example, ASHI has what they refer to as Candidates and Members. By definition, an ASHI Candidate is one who has yet to attain full membership status by satisfying certain criteria as set forth by ASHI. This is significant since Candidates are often newbies to the profession, meaning they are just learning the ropes, and typically have little experience inspecting homes. Given this information, exclude all ASHI Candidates from your list unless you're willing to hire and pay a home inspector to learn at your expense. In no disrespect to newbies, while all have to start somewhere, there's no substitute for experience!
Also note I have purposely used ASHI to explain this procedure as I am not familiar with how the other association memberships are structured. Therefore, if any of the names on your list happen to belong to an association other than ASHI, you would be will advised to learn what you can about their membership as well.
Some states require licensing of home inspectors while others do not. If the state in which you're looking to purchase a home does require licensing, then you need to verify that the inspector is licensed in that state and that their license has not expired so you don't end up with a worthless home inspection. This information can normally be obtained online as well as over the phone by contacting your local state agency that handles licensing of home inspectors. To find out if your state requires licensing refer to 'Links' under table of contents. Incidentally and for what it's worth, never hire a home inspector based upon licensing alone or you could be in for a rude awakening! More on this later.
General Liability And E&O Insurance
Insurance is somewhat similar to licensing in that the states that require home inspectors to be licensed may/may not also require the home inspector to carry general liability and/or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. If the state you're planning to buy a home in requires inspectors to be insured, you should be able to easily verify this along with their license since the state will not ordinarily issue a license to a home inspector who has failed to meet this requirement. It's also a good idea to ask the inspector to produce a copy of their certificate of insurance before/on the day of the inspection for further verification. Similar to licensing, for states that don't require home inspectors to carry E&O insurance, never base your final decision to hire a home inspector on insurance alone! More on this later on.
Secure a list of inspection candidates from a well known and trusted source.
Sources include Professional Associations like ASHI and NAHI, and referrals from trusted family members, friends, co-workers, and your attorney.
Refrain from using Realtor referrals and the phone directory
Exclude ASHI Candidates and all newbie inspectors from your list.
Verify that the home inspector is licensed and insured in your state if so required.