WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Ever wonder why every home inspector follows the standards of practice of the
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) but yet, most are not a Certified Full Member?
requires the passing of the National Home Inspector Examinanation
administered only at a proctored testing facility requiring identification from the person taking the exam and proof of over two hundred and fifty fee paid
inspections. These inspection reports are turned over to an independent third party accrediting organization to ensure that they are in compliance with ASHI standards.
Every day, more and more inspection companies pop up with inspectors that look like they just started shaving. If you want to make sure that you're hiring a qualified person to inspect your home, make sure that they, personally, are a Certified Full Member of ASHI and have taken and passed the National Home Inspector's Exam by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors. This is the national exam accepted by states that usher in a statewide licensing law. Ask to see a copy of the exam results. If they can't produce it, they never took it!
There is a relatively new organization out there that claims to be the "Largest" (call me to find out why). This organization does not require the passing of the National Home Inspector's Exam nor ANY previous fee paid inspections performed to be granted full membership (in other words, take their simple online test from home (or have someone take it for you)........finish it.....pay your membership fee and THAT VERY SAME DAY, they list you as their next Certified Master Home Inspector and post your name on their website and submit your company's name to the search engines.
If you want experience, look for the ASHI Logo. To be a member of ASHI, you have to earn it through time and experience. You cannot just go to their website and buy instant ACI certification by taking a simple online test!
A NOTE OF CAUTION WHEN IT COMES TO USING A HOME INSPECTION FRANCHISE
Home inspection franchises such as Brickkicker, Housemaster, HomePro, AmeriSpect, Pillar to Post, Inspectit 1st, National Property Inspections (NPI), Home Team, ProSight, etc, may state on their brochures that they've been serving homeowners for umteen to thirty-something years. This may be true, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the inspector who bought into that franchise two or three years ago has been inspecting anywhere near that length of time. Franchises also put limitations on what cities or areas the inspector is allowed to service. Always look beyond a brochure and interview the inspector to be. Ask for a sample report AND a recent ACTUAL report so you can see what you're paying for! Compare reports. Which inspector appears most thorough? Is the report easy to read and understand? Lots of pictures or just a few? If the inspector you call will not share a recent ACTUAL report with you, keep looking.
SHOULD I CHOOSE A HOME INSPECTOR THAT INCLUDES A SEPTIC TANK INSPECTION?
Home inspectors that claim to perform septic tank inspections typically just flush some dye (tablets or liquid) down the toilet and then actually have you believe it will raise awareness to a drainfield problem.
Detailed Home Inspections DOES NOT perform septic tank inspections, but we do strongly encourage hiring a professional, certified septic installer to inspect the system thoroughly BEFORE closing.
A strong word of caution, be sure the inspector you chose will pump and clean the tank. This allows for interior inspection and checking the screen filter. NOT ALL SEPTIC INSPECTORS PUMP THE TANK!!! Also the pumping and cleaning is customarily paid by the seller with the actual septic inspection paid by the buyer.
WHAT ABOUT THE HOME INSPECTORS WHO OFFER A "FREE TERMITE INSPECTION"?
Detailed Home Inspections offers a FREE termite Inspection through a state licensed pest control company. There is NO CATCH! Some pest control companies charge as much as $125 for the same inspection! The company that Detailed Home Inspections is contracted with is a state licensed pest control operator registered with the Georgia Dept of Agriculture. In some cases the termite inspector will arrive at the property around the same time as the home inspector or a day before or after with their own Supra access key.
WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
We follow the stringent guidelines and Inspection standards of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors (GAHI). The inspector typically spends 2 to 3 hours performing a thorough, visual, functional and operational inspection of the many mechanical and structural components of the home.
The Detailed inspection includes an evaluation of such important elements as: Grounds, Foundation, Structural, Crawlspace, Attics, Roofs, Plumbing, Electrical, Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, Appliances, Windows, Doors, Ceilings, Floors and Interiors. Additional services include items such as Pools, Sprinklers, Mold, Docks etc.
When you have contracted with me to inspect a property so that you can learn as much about the property as possible before purchasing it, creating a proper report that is thorough and complete takes time and resources. A useful and proper report just can not be created on site! On site report generation places all homes in the "Cookie Cutter" inspection mentality. The truth is that no two different property's issues are the same, and for an Inspector to assume this leads to trouble for their client. When your inspection and review is finished, the field notes and photographs are taken back to my office for a complete review and report generation. It is my goal to ensure your report leaves no questions for you to ask. As a result your report will be thorough and detailed. If questions arise you are more than welcome to call and discuss these with me. A detailed report in simple language you can understand that includes digital photos, will be furnished, in most cases (depending how late in the day property was inspected) the same day of the inspection. We feel that a verbal consultation is a part of the inspection process, and we are also available for additional consultation.
CAN A HOUSE FAIL IT'S INSPECTION?
No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of major repair or replacement immediately or near future.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
We feel our primary purpose is to educate our clients so they can make informed decisions. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ATTEND THE HOME INSPECTION. By attending, you will learn first hand about how the various components and systems of the house work together to create a safe and secure shelter for your family and where possible repairs may be done to make it even better.
IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, WAS THE COST OF THE INSPECTION JUSTIFIED?
Absolutely. Now you can go forward with the purchase of your home confidently and with peace of mind. You will have a better understanding of your home and how best to schedule and budget any future repairs or renovations. The inspector's report will prove invaluable in planning and working with contractors and vendors.
WHEN DO I CALL IN THE HOME INSPECTOR?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the purchase contract, specifying that your purchase obligation is contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated with respect to the findings of the inspection.
CAN'T I DO IT MYSELF?
Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. The inspector understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
"DEAL KILLERS" The Best Kept Secret in Real Estate!
The best kept secret in today's Real Estate industry is that of the "Deal Killer". The deal killer essentially refers to a home inspector who is widely known in his or her area as being extremely thorough and critical with their home inspections. The deal killers are the home inspectors that find and actually report on as many issues with a home that they can find. You will very rarely find a deal killer on your Real Estate agents "list of preferred home inspectors" that they hand to you after you sign a purchase agreement. To many in this industry, the deal killer is a foe, just another bump in the road, another obstacle to overcome on the way to the closing table. Many agents will try to dismiss the actual true meaning behind the deal killer epitaph and sugarcoat it with another description. The most common description you will hear is that a deal killer is a home inspector who "makes mountains out of molehills". If you think about it, home inspectors have absolutely no vested interest in the home you are purchasing, however your Real Estate agent does. So why on earth would any home inspector make mountains out of molehills? The answer is simple...they don't. If a home inspector is calling it a mountain, you can rest assured it is.
So why do the good home inspectors get tagged as deal killers for identifying the home's issues? We don't just make up issues found during the home inspection process, after all we are specifically trained to find these issues. This is what our clients are paying us for in the first place. As home inspectors, we get paid to identify and document the actual and true condition of the home we are inspecting. Any way you look at it that is our job. Some in this industry claim that the deal killer is too critical. I ask, how is it possible to be too critical when you are a home inspector? The very nature of this profession is to identify what is right and what is wrong with a home.
The vast majority of home inspections reveal that most homes are in relatively good condition, however some homes do have several issues that are never disclosed until inspection day. Moisture issues, structural issues, rot, mold and termite infestations are often very hard issues to deal with during the negotiation process and unfortunately some deals die an agonizing death. It truly amazes me that homes with these and other issues don't get the blame for killing their own deal. I suppose it is just easier to blame the home inspector rather than the home itself or better yet, the seller who has neglected the home in the first place.
I have often chided that some agents seem to prefer the one eyed, one legged home inspector that can't see everything and can't get to everything. Their clients on the other hand really do want to know everything about the property that they are buying and they want their home inspector to be as critical as possible. Some agents will hand you a list of three home inspectors who have been carefully screened not to be deal killers. The reason the list contains at least three inspectors is so that it is long enough to protect the agent from any referral liability should the client want to blame the agent for any mistakes made by the inspector during the home inspection. This gives the agent the perfect combination of: 1) no liability for the referral; 2) the buyer ultimately "chooses" an inspector; and 3) the buyer's choice is still confined to a dependent home inspector who will not hurt or kill a sale. It truly is a vicious cycle that has been going on in this industry since Moses was a kid and unfortunately will continue until legislation is put in place to stop it.
It may sound like I am condemning all Real Estate agents and that is not my intention whatsoever. There are many agents who refer deal killers by name and are completely sold on open disclosure and thorough inspection reporting. These are agents who have built their businesses on good work ethics, morals and the philosophy that if there is going to be an issue to deal with, then it is much better to deal with it before closing rather than after the deal closes and their clients move into their home. The problem is, how do you as a home buyer know whether or not you are working with one of these agents? The answer is, you really don't.
It has been my experience as well as many others in this industry that prospective home buyers want a deal killer to inspect their new home. So how do you find the deal killers when choosing a home inspector? Most home inspectors do not advertise the fact that they are a deal killer because they fear that it may hurt their business. The answer, you need to practice due diligence and choose your home inspector wisely.
First and foremost, throw the "preferred list of home inspectors" in the trash. Ask friends, family and co-workers about their home inspection experiences. Anyone who has had a positive experience with a home inspector will be quick to tell you about it and it is a great place to start.
Second, go online. 87% of home buyers use the Internet when in need of a product or service. Another well kept secret is that the deal killers always have a website. Since many agents do not and will not refer the deal killers to their clients, the deal killer has to get his or her business from somewhere. In most cases, the deal killers website is their main source of work.
Third, call around and talk to home inspectors in your area. You can usually tell the good inspectors from the bad just by talking to them. Last but not least, come right out and ask them if they are a deal killer. The real ones will tell you straight up. If a home inspector actually admits to you that they are a deal killer, book your home inspection right then and there, and then relax, you will be in good hands.
Author- Mike Chamberlain
How do I prepare for the inspection?
It's the seller's responsibility to get the house ready for the inspection. The seller should:
Have all utilities turned on (water, gas, electric).
Have all gas appliances ready to run with pilot lights turned on.
Clear access to areas like attics, crawl spaces, electric panels and furnaces.
Unlock areas such as storage closets, fence gates, electric panels and crawl space hatches.
Remove pets from the property, or secure them so they are not free to roam
For more information on the report system, or to order an inspection call us at Toll Free at 1-877-388-3508 or 770-572-3869
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