Choosing an Inspector

When the time comes to find a Property Inspector, where can you find a list of qualified companies from which to choose? Buying a home or commercial property will likely be the largest investment you will ever make, and consequently, it is very important to choose wisely when selecting your Property Inspector.

You might want to ask your Realtor, Banker, or Attorney for a list of names. This is a good place to start, since these folks will have lots of contact with Property Inspectors and will usually be able to recommend those with the best reputations. Otherwise you can ask friends or co-workers, search the internet, or check out the directories of top national organizations such as InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) for a listing of Inspectors local to you. Aston Property Inspection are fully certified InterNACHI Inspectors, qualified to perform residential and commercial property inspections.

Below are several simple steps you should follow to help ensure that you make the right choice when selecting who should inspect your property.

1. Choose an Inspector with Recognized Qualifications

Is the Inspector a member of InterNACHI? If so, the Inspector will have completed a rigorous process of study, proctored examinations, mentored training and continuing education, including writing many practice Inspection Reports before they are ever allowed anywhere near a real Property Inspection. InterNACHI has the most involved qualification process of all the professional property inspection associations within the United States. All InterNACHI certified inspectors perform inspections according to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. There are slightly different standards of Practice for Residential and Commercial properties.

Other professional associations include The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA), The National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

2. Experience and Quality

There is no equivalent to experience. You will want to consider only Inspectors who operate full-time inspection businesses – these Inspectors will visit hundreds of properties ever year, and will have seen it all. Do you really want someone checking out your new home that is doing their part-time job? A very good indication of an Inspector’s quality is the length of time they will spend on an inspection. Most buildings cannot be thoroughly inspected in less than two hours.

3. Be Sure to Obtain a Written Report

Make sure that your Inspector provides a detailed written report, and not either a hand written checklist of standard stock responses. A checklist can be difficult to interpret, and may be exclude many of the important details and advice that all buyers should be aware of. A full, written report will offer a combination of detail, advice, interpretation, digital photographs and specific comments regarding areas of concern and safety issues.

4. Price

Price is the last item on the list. It is important to ask yourself whether you want to select the Inspector best qualified to examine your property, or whether you want to bargain hunting for the cheapest deal. While one must always remain budget conscious, when hiring a Property Inspector, you should always search for the most qualified and most experienced person you can find. The recommendation of your Realtor, Banker or Attorney is also a very good place to start. Remember - the difference in price between inspection quotes will always be a tiny fraction of your potential exposure if your "low budget" Inspector overlooks an expensive defect. On balance, hiring the best doesn’t cost – it pays!


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