Finding a great inspector requires looking beyond their credentials, don’t wait until you have an accepted offer to look for one. You want to allow time to select the right candidate to hire an experienced professional with the right fit for your requirements.
After all, a pre-purchase house inspection is your one opportunity to get a clear view about the condition of your proposed investment, for many, will be the most expensive purchase of their lifetime. Follow our advice on how to find a truly great house inspector.
Beware of the Real Estate agent's referrals.
Your real estate agent might offer to give you some home inspectors’ names. They may be perfectly well-meaning—or not—but the references present a conflict of interest.
A real estate agent wants to close the deal, and that incentive may be at odds with that of the inspector, who gets paid for his report. If the report raises too many issues, or serious ones, it can be used to negotiate a lower price or even scuttle the deal. An inspector who has been referred by your agent may feel obligated to go easy on the inspection.
“Unless you really trust your agent, find your own inspector,” says Dean Norrie, Director of Savvy Houz Inspections, Christchurch 2020.
Hiring someone who’s certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable. Certification from MBIE, LBP builder for instance, a Government regulated New Zealand Organization or Self regulated professional bodies like the NZIBI and NZCB is a good start to look.
Compare; Sample Inspection Reports.
The best way to determine how thorough an inspector will be and how well he will communicate the problems he finds is to ask for a sample report of an inspection he has done on a home like the one you’re considering buying, Dean says. “The sample report will show how much work they’re going to do,” he says. After comparing reports from a few inspectors, you’ll begin to see which ones are detailed in their observations and which are just filling their reports with generic information such as the importance of sealing a wood deck or caulking around windows to improve energy efficiency.
Training and Experience.
In addition to professional certifications, look for someone who is a qualified builder and has been in the field of inspecting house for several years. He’s more likely to have seen a variety of home types and a broad range of the type of house issues identified regularily.
Ask? What do you get for your money.
Inspectors typically charge around $500 to $1,000, depending on the home’s location and size, the inspector’s experience, and the scope of the inspection itself. Check what you get included and what extra cost may be required? It would usually cost extra to check the floor levels, moisture screening and thermal imaging if required.
Savvy Houz Inspection - 021 143 2995 - www.savvyhouz.co.nz
Dean Norrie, Director/Building Inspector - LBP Qualified Builder, with 20+ years residential building experience, three generations of builder in the family.