- The guy (or gal) isn't some handy(wo)man moonlighting as an inspector. It's their full time job.
- To ask for a sample report. There should be TONS of clear photos peppered thru out the report! I'm shocked in this digital age some inspectors' reports just are narrative reports (aka no pix). It's lazy. It's from the last century. And you need pix in case you need to prove something in litigation down the line. Words can be mis-interpreted. A photo is worth a 1000 words...especially in court!
- They have some professional credentials. General contractors license? Member of ASHI?
Did you know that home inspections are not regulated by the state? It's kinda scary to know any Joe Schmo could call themselves a home inspector and advice you on the biggest purchase of your life. (Even I could claim I'm a home inspector...I can't hammer a nail to save my life! Gotta protect my Lee Press-Ons). To ensure you get a qualified inspector, make sure:
Let's say you are in the middle of buying a house, but find out mid-way that the place needs a new $50,000 foundation? You are under contract and might lose your deposit money! How do you avoid this mess? Be sure your purchase agreement has an inspection contingency period for you to do your due diligence. Without that clause, the seller might keep your deposit for damages if you try to back out. It can get nasty quick!
I blogged last September about my friend Adam's company ClearHouse which offers un-biased pre-inspections. I'm a huge advocate of knowing the condition of a property upfront. It can save a deal from painful surprises & tense negotiations mid-transaction!
In 5 months, ClearHouse was not only written up on AGbeat.com ("ClearHouse adds transparency to home inspections, improves process"), but made their top 60 Genius Brands to Watch in 2012. And now they have just given a clean crisp make-over to their website with new videos and FAQ! Check it out. Kudos!
I recently videoblogged for LogoTV about the importance of sellers getting a pre-inspection. This caught the eye of Adam Lowe, founder of Clear House, who reached out to me. During his own home buying experience, he asked, "Why should the condition of the house be a mystery to both the seller and the buyer until both parties have signed a contract?" What a great question! This lead him to create a site that "ensures that all parties can trust the information and avoid the stress, expense and time wasted with a traditional buyer’s inspection."
In real estate meccas like San Francisco, pre-inspections are practically a prerequisite for any listing. Buyers have the luxury of knowing the general condition of the property before making an offer. Wouldn't knowing if a house had $50,000 worth of foundation work make a difference in a buyer's price? This shouldn't be a luxury; it should be a basic requirement. In many parts of the country, buyers do not even get the seller's disclosures until after they get into contract, much less any inspections! Tsk, tsk!
Hopefully Clear House is part of a larger trend in the real estate industry, where both buyers & sellers are apprised of a property's condition from the get-go. Pre-inspections can save everyone a lot of heartache & painful negotiations mid-escrow. They allow the seller to repair (or at the least disclose) defects and they put the buyers on notice of what to expect in their purchase.
Check out how it works below! Thanks for the heads up Adam! Good luck!
QUESTION: Can you sue a termite inspector if you later find they missed some termite damage?
ANSWER: Not if the termite inspector put you on notice your house needed further inspection.
Judge Milian of the People's Court (guilty pleasure here!) breaks it down for this home buyer who is suing his termite inspector. Basically, the inspector warned the home buyer that the house needed more evaluation and that he could not give it a pest clearance. The buyer at least was smart enough to get the home inspected, but what is the good of doing an inspection if you don't follow their advice?!
It's like if you go see a doctor & he tells you to get further tests done because you might have diabetes. You do no tests, and soon after you get diagnosed with diabetes. You ain't gonna sue the doc?! Nuh-uhhhh!
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I like the plaintiff's lavender tie. But, umm, his hair. I have no words.
Another fabulous LogoTV viewer pops Hermanity a question. I love hearing from you guys!
Question: I'm selling my house soon. Should I do a pre-inspection?
Answer: Yes! It's like getting tested at the clinic. No one likes surprises! Trust me, it'll save you a lot of heartache & pain down the line. A pre-inspection gives a seller a chance to correctify any outstanding repairs, gives the buyer a more clear picture of the house's condition and helps mitigates negotiations in escrow.
Has a pre-inspection ever saved your deal? I wanna hear!
LogoTV viewer writes to Hermanity:
QUESTION: The house we're buying has chimney damage. My agent says we should focus on our loan instead? Is that right?
ANSWER: Yikes, your agent just wants to sweep the chimney under the rug & focus on his commission! Watch my video for the 3 steps you need to take ASAP!
Remember guys, you are the client. Your agent is supposed to always have your back & protect your best interests. A great realtors does what is right for you, not for their wallet!
Have you come across any agents who were looking out for themselves more than you? Vent here!
This is a commonly asked question I get from buyers, and I am sooooo glad I got a chance to answer this for LOGO's viewers.
VIEWER QUESTION: We're buying a new construction house. Do we still need to do an inspection?
HERMANITY ANSWER: I don't get this. People are willing to spend 1/2 a million bucks for a house, but can't bear to spend couple hundred dollars for an inspection. It's small price to pay for peace of mind folks....
Want to learn how an inspection can get you more from the builder/developer? Watch til the end of my clip for my hot tip!
Have you ever waived an inspection and lived to regret it? Post your comments here or on LOGO's site here.