What Questions Should You Ask Your Home Inspector?
Purchasing a house is a huge step for anyone. Whether it is to be your family home, rented out as an investment property or for any other purpose, it involves handing over a large sum of money.
Now that you have made the big decision to purchase, it is important that before you hand over your money, you get an independent home inspection. This will protect you from any hidden costs down the track due to existing defects.
What Does A Home inspector Do?
When you hire a home inspector, they should be an experienced and qualified building professional. They will visit and thoroughly check your property for any defects regarding structural faults, or you can choose to have a more detailed premium inspection for a slightly higher rate.
Why Ask Questions?
It can be very daunting to be left with the home inspection report, especially if you have little understanding of the building ‘jargon’ being used, or you are not sure where to turn to for an estimated cost to fix any of the defects. A professional and quality building inspector will present information in basic terms, will be happy to explain things to you and discuss any questions that you may have. You can also ask to see a sample of their reports which should include photos which bring about an accuracy and depth of reporting that otherwise cannot be achieved.
We suggest you ask the following questions when choosing an inspection company to ensure you get your money’s worth and feel confident and fully informed at the completion of the inspection:
Choosing The Right inspection Company
WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
There is no governing body that regulates the building inspection industry in WA. Anyone with little or no experience in the building industry can start trading as a home inspector without any qualifications.
When employing someone to complete your home inspection, it is important that you use a licenced registered building professional, who is suitably qualified. You are in your rights to ask to see their qualifications.
Remember often the cheapest inspectors are the ones without any qualifications. Is it really worth risking thousands of dollars in repair costs missed during the inspection by an unqualified cheaper inspector?
WHAT WILL THE HOME INSPECTION INVOLVE?
Using non-invasive methods, the home inspector will examine your potential property. The Australian Standard for pre-purchase home inspection reports is AS 4349.1—2007 and the report provided to you must meet this standard. They should thoroughly check for any defects regarding structural faults within the building, that have lost their intended structural integrity. This includes the building interior, exterior, sub floor space, roof space and roof exterior. For a slightly higher rate, you can also have a more detailed premium inspection. This will include electrical fittings, plumbing, appliances, safety switches and alarms, cabinets, fencing, driveways, drainage etc. It is important that you establish exactly what they will be assessing prior to the beginning of the inspection as this can differ between companies.
WHAT ARE YOUR PAYMENT TERMS?
Don’t pay for a report you haven’t received. Ask for a minimum of 7-day payment terms from issue of the report. This will give you sufficient time to have a detailed discussion with the inspector about the defects noted in the report. If you have already paid the invoice before receiving the report the inspector may not be as obligated to answer your calls regarding any questions you may have.
CAN I ATTEND THE INSPECION?
Any good home inspector should be more than happy to have you follow them during the inspection, and readily answer any of your questions along the way. It is not a good sign if they ask you not to attend!
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE REPORT?
Prior to beginning the inspection, clarify with your home inspector how they will be delivering your report, and establish a clear time frame. You should not have to wait any longer then 48 hours to receive your report.
DO YOU HAVE A CURRENT PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE?
Every good home inspector will have professional indemnity insurance, so if their work is found to be negligent you won’t be left out of pocket on the repair costs. Insist on seeing their professional indemnity insurance certificate of currency.