Home inspections are a standard part of real estate transactions. Almost all Realtors (99%) recommend that buyers get a home inspection, and surveys show that the majority of buyers (77%) actually do so prior to purchasing. These inspections may run between $200 and $500 — depending on the home inspector, the type of home, its age and its size — but a full 97% of home buyers say their inspection was a good value.

home inspection

So the question is not whether you should get an inspection prior to buying a home, but rather which inspector you should hire. There are a number of questions you can ask to determine which inspector will be the best for you — and the fee should actually be the last question on the list. Here are five much more important things to ask about:

 

    1. What Does the Inspection Cover?Make sure you’ll be getting a thorough inspection. Ask specifically about appliances, if they’re being sold with the house, and make sure all attics, crawl spaces or foundation areas are included.

 

    1. What Kind of Report Will I Receive?You should get a detailed report that includes photographs of any reported damage. This will be an important tool as you negotiate your purchase and plan for repairs.

 

    1. Can I Attend the Inspection?It can be extremely educational to tag along on a home inspection. Although an inspector might be able to give you a legitimate reason why this isn’t allowed, in most cases a refusal is a big red flag.

 

    1. Are You Bonded and Insured?You don’t want yourself or the current owners of the home to be liable if your inspector slips off the roof or falls through a rotting floor.

 

  1. How Long Have You Been in This Business?Inspections are trickier than they might seem at first, and experience can help an inspector predict where there’s most likely to be damage. Considering that uncovering problems could save you thousands of dollars down the line, experience is therefore an asset worth paying a little extra for.

A Note on Finding an Oahu Home Inspector

If you’re looking for an Oahu home inspection service, keep in mind that there are a few concerns specific to Hawaii that you’ll want to factor into your decision. Hawaii in general and Oahu in particular are home to a wide range of architectural styles that aren’t commonly found on the mainland, so you’ll want to make sure you’re working with an inspector who has been working in the islands for a while.

Are you looking to buy a home in the near future? Share your questions or concerns about a home inspection in the comments.