RISMEDIA, September 9, 2009—HouseMaster, one of the first and largest home inspection organizations in North America, urges first-time home buyers to be proactive in finding a qualified home inspector in order to meet the November 30, 2009 deadline for the $8,000 federal government tax credit. Identifying a qualified home inspector in advance helps to expedite the buying process since first-time home buyers must close on the home prior to the deadline. HouseMaster is pleased to offer buyers some guidance in evaluating and selecting the most qualified home inspection company.
“Buyers, especially first-time home buyers should never forgo a home inspection,” said Kathleen Kuhn, President of HouseMaster. “Looking for the right home inspection company while you look for the right home will not only save time but can help ensure that first-time buyers meet the deadline to receive the $8,000 federal tax credit and are confident in their decision. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of “must have” credentials to help consumers evaluate and select the most qualified home inspection service.”
According to the company, HouseMaster offers buyers a list of credentials to look for and corresponding questions to ask when selecting a home inspection service. While licensing requirements and trade association memberships are a good start when selecting a home inspector, they are not the only qualifications to look for. Below are four things that should serve as the cornerstone to the level of service expected from a home inspector.
1. Inspection Guarantee: A home inspection company should stand by their service and provide a written guarantee to document how post-inspection issues will be addressed should they arise, demonstrating the company’s confidence in the quality and thoroughness of their inspections. Question to ask:
-Does the company stand behind their inspection reports in writing?
-Does the company include a complimentary limited guarantee with each inspection report?
-Can I get a copy of the guarantee’s terms and conditions?
2. Formally Trained or Certified Inspectors: Regardless of previous technical experience, all home inspectors should be required to be trained and tested in the field of home inspections and have access to on-going technical support. Questions to ask:
-What kind of formal training has the inspector received?
-What is the extent of his/her on-going training?
-Is the inspector tested annually?
One of the most important credentials to look for when selecting a home inspection company is whether or not they carry Professional Liability Insurance, also known as E&O Insurance. Inspectors who don’t make the investment in insurance are rolling the dice at their client’s expense. Additionally, if the inspector does not carry insurance it could be a sign that they are new to the business or have a poor track record. Questions to ask:
-How many inspections has the company performed?
-Are your inspectors covered by E&O Insurance?
-Does the company carry General Liability Insurance?
4. Report Quality and Access: The home inspection company should provide a written report on all the findings of the inspections and give the approximate ages of all the major elements of the home, as well as an estimated life span of those elements. The report should also include detailed information and images of the major systems inspected and conditions found. Questions to ask:
-Can I accompany the inspector on the inspection and ask questions?
-Will the report reflect estimated ages of all the major elements?
-Can I get a sample of a report?
For more information, visit www.housemaster.com.