Buying a property is one of the biggest investments in most people’s lives. To ensure that you are aware of the exact condition of the property to avoid surprises later, it is important to get the property inspected. These days, sellers may also have their homes thoroughly inspected by a professional home inspector to speed up the sale. This eliminates any potential problems that might crop up before both parties commit to the sale.

What should you look for while hiring a home inspector?

Decades ago, buyers just trusted their own impression of the property when they went to look at it. Today, the buyer has the right to get a professional home inspection before they buy the property. Here is a list of what to look for to help you find a trust-worthy, trained and qualified home inspector.

• Qualifications: The home inspector must be trained in construction and building maintenance standards with a track record in the inspection business. Based on the property’s location and age, he should be able to identify asbestos, lead based paint and other hazardous material on the premises.

• References: Ask the inspector for the contact names and telephone numbers of clients who have hired him. Spend some time phoning these people to get an idea of how satisfied they were with the inspector’s reports and services. Make sure these clients have owned their homes for at least a few months since any unidentified problems can take some time to show up.

• Affiliations: Is the inspector a member of any relevant national or Provincial association for home inspectors? This is not really mandatory, but it certainly helps. These memberships mandate the requisite training and certification and keep the inspectors up to date with what is happening in the industry. In BC you will want to ask if the inspector is a member of the BC Institute of Property Inspectors.

• Reports: Ask to see the inspector’s sample report or the inspection checklist that will be used. Does it include just check off boxes or will there be descriptions? Is the report comprehensive and easy to understand? Does it include a section highlighting safety hazards?

Don’t forget to ask about the inspector’s policy about any situations that are overlooked and whether they are covered by insurance for this. Finding a qualified home inspector and hiring one can appear daunting. If you are planning to hire a home inspector and need a little help, contact me anytime, I would love to help!

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