Choose Your Real Estate Inspector Carefully
April 7, 2011
Tips & Trends
From Rory S. Coakley on some of the latest real estate news and happenings.
Q: I’m getting ready to move again and I want to know what I should be expecting from a home inspector. Should my realtor hire the inspector or should I?
A: Your realtor may set up the appointment, but he cannot choose the inspector. Your client-to-business relationship with the home inspector leaves the realtor and all others out.
In most cases, you will be asked to sign an agreement with the home inspector, and this agreement should outline the scope of his work. The report that you will get from him is for your eyes only and can be given to the realtor or the home’s seller only with your permission. A real estate company often will have a list of home inspectors from which you may choose. This does not mean that you cannot find someone on your own.
If you choose an inspection company based on price alone, you might be disappointed in the near future. It pays to do research, because home inspectors have differing levels of expertise, and a part-time or less-experienced home inspector can charge much less than a full-time professional.
What should you expect from a professional home inspector? Experience, professionalism and ethics. You should expect that the inspector would walk on the roof to get a better look at the covering, and that he should enter the darkest recess of the crawl space and attic. The furnace and electrical panel covers should be removed to inspect inside.
All accessible outlets and switches should be checked; windows and doors should be opened and closed; insides of closets and the undersides of stairs should be examined; walls, ceilings and floors should be checked for defects; plumbing fixtures need to be operated for long periods of time to ensure proper drainage and ample water flow; toilets need to be flushed and the bowls checked for proper support; and chimneys and flues must be inspected to make sure they are in proper working condition and have been properly installed.
The inspector should never assume that just because an appliance or fixture was installed by a licensed professional that everything is OK.
The exterior of the home should be checked for signs of weather damage, decay and settlement. For the untrained eye, it is easy to pass up a settlement problem that may end up costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair.
The inspector needs to be familiar with the soil and flooding problems in the area where you are buying.
Inspectors who report on small defects, such as broken light fixtures or small cracks in the concrete, are only giving you fluff to fill up a report and make it look as if they are thorough.
If an inspector takes only 45 minutes to inspect the home, you need to hire another inspector. If the inspector takes three to four hours to inspect an average-sized home, you need to hire another inspector.
The national average for an inspection of an average-size, 2,000-square-foot home is two to three hours. If your inspector has to explain that it took longer because of all the problems he found, look for another home.
There are two major organizations that certify and train home inspectors: The National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), found online at www.nahi.org, and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), found at www.ashi.org online.
If you would like to suggest a topic for comment in one of our future emailers, please let me know. You can always reach me at email@example.com or by phone 301-637-0966. I look forward to hearing from you!
Rory S. Coakley
Coakley Realty, Inc.
20 Courthouse Square, Suite 107
Rockville, MD 20850
FIND THE PROPERTY YOU NEED.PROPERTY SEARCH
CONTACT US TODAY
Featured Real Estate Listings
Commercial 841 SLIGO AVE,
SILVER SPRING, MD 20910
Rare opportunity to buy and develop in the downtown Silver Spring area. This two story building is currently for sale or for lease. The property consists of a 13,650 SF office building situated on 25,500 SF lot. Currently zoned CR this property offers commercial and residential development opportunities.VIEW LISTING
Residential 9636 BEMAN WOODS WAY,
POTOMAC, MD 20854
SPECTACULAR light filled PARDOE BUILT end unit town home with amazing views and elevator! This 4 level home features gourmet kitchen, butler's pantry, formal dining room, family room, large master suite & 4th floor guest suite/entertaining room complete with roof top deck overlooking manicured lawn. The spacious family room with sunken study opens to private patio and walkway.VIEW LISTING
Residential 8421 CRIMSON LEAF COURT,
POTOMAC, MD 20854
Set on a stunning lot in the beautiful Avenel neighborhood, this three-story house is the perfect place to call home. Want to learn more about our featured listing in Potomac? Call 301-637-0966 to speak with an expert at Coakley Realty or take a virtual tour and see it for yourself!VIEW LISTING