How to know if your home inspector is qualified?

Are you ready to make an offer on the “perfect” Florida home? A good home inspector can potentially be a lifesaver. By pointing out major flaws that might need to be fixed, your inspector can help you avoid making an expensive mistake or give you a legitimate reason to negotiate a lower price. But not all home inspectors provide a useful service. In fact, some inspectors miss important flaws or disrupt deals unnecessarily by exaggerating minor issues. 

Failed home inspections are one of the top reasons pending home sales fail. Most of the time, there’s a reasonable explanation for terminating the deal. But some home inspectors kill deals by incompetence, fraudulent intent, or over-reaching their authority. For instance, they might: 

  • Over-estimate the seriousness, urgency, or expense of easy fixes
  • Criticize aesthetics, like colors, clutter, floor plan, etc
  • Predict the life expectancy of components and appliances
  • Judge the “suitability” of a property for a family
  • Estimate the market value of the property compared to the asking price

Here’s some of what home inspectors are ACTUALLY qualified to comment on: 

  • Current or future water/moisture/leak issues
  • Roof, flashing, chimney, and skylight condition
  • The soundness of structure, including squareness of door frames and slopes of floors
  • Sealing of windows and doors, and adequacy of insulation
  • Operation of plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling systems 

To make sure you get someone who’s inspecting the correct things correctly, do a little research. Check to see if home inspectors in your area need to be certified and licensed. If so, make sure your inspector is a member in good standing of the professional association. Check the Better Business Bureau and online rating sites to uncover any known issues. Ask friends and neighbors which inspector they’d recommend. Get quotes and proposals from 2 or 3 inspectors and see who sounds the most thorough and professional.

Looking for a referral or have a question about buying a home? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our local Florida lending specialists.

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