12 Questions Buyers Should Ask the Home Inspector

Disputes over property condition and repairs can kill a deal in a hurry. Take the time to schedule inspections and nail down the condition of the property as early as possible to allow adequate time for resolving any issues that arise.

Before the inspection begins, ask:

  1. Are you a member in good standing of a professional inspectors organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors?
  2. Are you licensed? (Required only in some states)
  3. What systems—plumbing, heating, electrical—will the inspection include?
  4. How long will the inspection take?
  5. How much will the inspection cost?
  6. Can we accompany you on the inspection?
  7. Do you have references?
  8. Do you carry errors and omissions insurance?
  9. What is your specialty and what sort of continuing education have you completed?

    • Note: If the inspector is a plumber by training and has no expertise in home construction, the inspection might not be comprehensive.
    • Also, if your customers have particular concerns about one area of the home—the foundation, for instance—suggest that they hire a second inspector who specializes in that component.
  10. Do you provide a written report at no extra charge?
  11. Does the report include estimates of repair costs?
  12. Does your company also do repairs when you find problems? If the answer is yes, it may indicate a conflict of interest.
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