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This is Todd Whiting from Metro Boston Property Inspections, and today I want to talk to you about the 10 questions to ask a home inspector before you hire them.
The first questions you want to ask is are the inspectors licensed?
Even though Massachusetts has required licensing since 2001, there are still a few people that go out and do unlicensed home inspections. They’re uninsured and you want to be careful not to hire somebody that doesn’t have a proper Massachusetts home inspector’s license.
You want to ask if in addition to their license, do they belong to any certifying associations?
Associations like ASHI and InterNACHI actually have stricter continuing education requirements than the state of Massachusetts, so it’s better when the inspectors belong to either ASHI or InterNACHI.
You want to find out if they’re insured and what type of insurance they have.
Massachusetts requires a minimum of $250,000 of Errors and Omissions insurance, and that’s okay but it is just a minimum. And you want to hire somebody that not only has professional liability but general liability. You want to make sure that the inspectors are protected under worker’s compensation insurance. And so, it’s important to ask this question when you’re interviewing your home inspector.
You want to know what their availability is and how much lead time it takes to schedule an inspection.
You don’t want to select a company that just can’t accommodate your needs so that when you put an offer on a house, you just can’t fit that inspection in a timely fashion.
You want to find out what will they be inspecting?
All our Massachusetts’s home inspectors operate under a minimum standard of practice. But, you want to make sure that they’re at least going to enter the attic, enter the crawlspaces, and operate the kitchen appliances even though these are outside the scope of the standard of practice in Massachusetts.
You want to know what tools they’ll be using. Will they be using moisture meters?
Will they be using electrical testers? Will they be looking for relative humidity in the basement? Will they be testing walls under windows for leaks? These are important in the course of a home inspection, but not all home inspectors use them.
Will you be allowed to follow the inspector and ask questions during the inspection?
It’s important that you get your questions asked and answered the day of the inspection, and an inspector that doesn’t allow you to follow really isn’t providing you with the information you need.
You want to know what type of report you’ll receive and when you’ll receive it.
And there are checklist reports still out there and they’ll deliver them right at the time of the inspection, and they have a place in the home inspection world, but today the general consensus is to provide a digital computer-generated report with pictures so that it’s easier for you, the client, to understand the conditions that the home inspector finds.
And, you want to know if the inspectors are certified to do radon testing, mold testing or wood-destroying insect inspections.
It’s a lot easier to hire one person to do all of those than it is to have to bring in three separate contractors to do those in addition to your home inspection.
And finally, what is the price and do they have any package deals?
Many home inspections companies will offer you a package deal when you’ll order additional testing on top of the home inspection. So, go ahead and ask. All they can say is no.
Thank you for watching and happy house hunting. Be sure to watch our other videos. Thank you for joining us on MBPI Real Estate News.