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Choosing the Right Home Inspector

One of the most important things to remember when selecting a home inspector to inspect your house is that inspectors provide a professional service, such as a contractor, engineer, doctor, or lawyer. Professional services differ based on knowledge and experience. In other words, not all home inspectors are created equal, and their services and how they do inspections will vary from one inspector to the other. One inspector might have a strong background in electrical installation and design. In contrast, another inspector might have a lot of experience in plumbing, so their focus will be different when it comes to house inspection. More than those areas, some inspectors may focus more on the more significant components of the home. In contrast, other inspectors may focus more on cosmetic defects or the age of appliances. However, different home inspectors are distinct from one another. They all have to follow the Oregon standards of practice for home inspectors. Some home inspectors report with lots of pictures, while some inspectors use minimal images in their reports. I tried to use an equal amount of photographs and text in my home inspection reports. I also find that detailing locations is very helpful to buyers doing repairs or to their contractors. When making a comment in my reports, I stay away from the hypotheticals and keep to a detailed description of the defect and the location of the defect.

Essentially, the inspection report is the tangible product you receive at the end, and it's what you'll have to refer back to and your decision to purchase the home. For this reason, I would recommend looking at examples of the reports for the home inspectors you were considering. Often, they have an example report on their website. This can tell you a lot about the way. The inspector writes the reports on how detailed they are and what their focus is when inspecting the home; one of my biggest pet peeves is home inspection reports that are filled with a lot of disclaimers and fluff. Some inspectors perceive that the longer their inspection report is, the more value they provide to their clients. I am quite the opposite; I would rather have a concise and precise inspection report that makes it easy for the reader to extrapolate the most critical information.

Who's best interest does your inspector have in mind? Remember, Home inspectors work hand-in-hand with real estate agents and get a lot of referrals throughout the year. You want to know that your inspector is working for you and not his next referral. So, when choosing a home inspector, it's important to know that they work for you and have your best interests in mind. Ensure your inspector doesn't let future endeavors affect the home as he writes your report. At the end of the day, if something goes wrong, I'm responsible, so I always do my best for my clients. The most thorough inspection is possible. I've always considered that happy homebuyers make for happy real estate agents, which equals more referrals. It's a win-win situation that works out for everybody involved, and I know I can sleep well at night because I acted ethically.

But no matter how each inspector's professional service varies from another, they all must follow the Oregon Standards of Practice OAR 812 for home inspections. Read more about that in another one of my blog posts, What is a Home Inspection.

Example Report
Download PDF • 10.55MB

Oregon's Inspection Standards OAR 812
Download PDF • 41KB

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