As a homebuyer, no one understands what you want in your new home more than you do. You know the issues with your current home. You also know the aspirations you hold in your heart. This is why when buying a home, your real estate agent only presents you with the best options, but you make the decisions.
However, after you find a home you like and reach an agreement with its owner, how do you choose a home inspector for the property? Should you rely on the estate agent to recommend the home inspector? This is an important question because of the critical role of the home inspection in ensuring you buy the best available home.
Why buyers need home inspections
Buyers need to hire home inspectors because:
- Even though they are in the best position to know the kind of home they want, they do not have the expertise to determine the actual condition of that home.
- Buyers are prone to evaluate a home from a point of view of its aesthetics, but a home inspector looks at the home with professional eyes to assess its functionality.
- By uncovering the physical state of the home’s structures, systems, and appliances, home inspectors help buyers make an informed decision about the actual value of a home
In short, a home inspection is the buyer’s way of verifying that the home they want to buy is everything the seller says it is.
But the home inspection is only as good as the home inspector who conducts it. If the inspector is unqualified or does a poor job, you will pay for their incompetence by overpaying for the home and doing expensive repairs in the future, warns The Listing Real Estate Management.
This is why the process for choosing your home inspector is vital. Once again, should you use your real estate agent’s recommended home inspector? To answer the question, you should know why estate agents feel like they need to recommend a home inspector for you.
Why estate agents recommend home inspectors
Your agent may recommend a home inspector because:
- They deal with home inspections on a regular basis, but you only deal with them occasionally. This means the agent knows more about home inspections than you do.
- Since the agent deals with home inspections often, they meet a lot of home inspectors. In that process, they come to know how each home inspector operates.
- The agent’s responsibility is to help you find the best home. Ensuring you have complete information about the condition of that home is part of the agent’s job.
- The agent chooses a home inspector based on the persons’ thoroughness, communication skills, or the readability of their report. These are things that may not come to your mind, as a buyer.
Basically, the estate agent recommends a home inspector for your protection.
But given that estate agents have an incentive to see that a sale is completed, isn’t there a possibility that they will recommend an inspector who will find nothing wrong with the home even if the property is not in the best condition?
Should you trust the estate agent’s recommendations?
Buyers ask this question a lot. But if you have this challenge, it reveals a much deeper issue.
If you do not trust an estate agent, you should not be working with them. Your real estate agent and home inspectors should be your partners in home buying.
Moreover, as vast as the housing market is, the environment that individual estate agents operate from is very small and local; word gets around very quickly. Most agents rely on word-of-mouth referrals and they will not want to mess that up.
The right way to choose a home inspector
Does this mean you should blindly follow your estate agent’s choice of home inspectors?
Not really. You are the one paying for the home and it is you who will eventually live in it. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to take responsibility and ensure that your interest is fully protected in this matter. Also, note that independent home inspectors do not benefit from the sale of the home, they work to safeguard their client to ensure you know everything about a home before it is purchased.How do you do that?
We outline the process you can follow below.
- Draw up your criteria for choosing a home inspector.
What do you want in a home inspector? A sample of what to look for in a competent home inspector include:
- The inspector’s licenses and professional qualifications
- Their membership of reputable professional bodies
- Their years of experience and how long they have worked in the area
- Their reviews and ratings on various platforms
- The quality of equipment they use and if they do ancillary inspections
- The readability of their sample home inspection report
- Let the agent recommend his or her preferred home inspectors.
- Ask questions to understand why the agent is recommending that particular inspector.
- Check that the recommended home inspector meets the criteria you have listed.
- If they do, hire them. If they don’t, explain why you can’t hire them to your estate agent.
- Repeat the process until you find the right home inspector or research home inspectors from peer reviews found online like Google Maps.
In conclusion; your real estate agent and home inspector are your partners, but you make the decision on which home inspector!