CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (BBB) — When you’re about to buy a home, having that home inspected is a critical step in the purchase process. Only a thorough, professional inspection of the home’s physical structure and mechanical condition, from the roof to foundation, can uncover the issues you’ll need to watch for as a homeowner and potentially discuss with the seller. Better Business Bureau advises you to do your homework and choose carefully when looking for someone to evaluate your would-be home.
BBB received 465 complaints on home inspection services in 2018. Common complaints included inaccurate or incomplete inspections and billing issues.
A Granite City, Illinois man told the BBB in September 2018 that his home inspector failed to check the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the house, claiming that the outside air temperature the day of the inspection was not conducive to a good test. He said the home inspector did claim to have turned on the furnace before the inspection ended. The man said that after closing on the house, he discovered that the HVAC systems were inoperable.
“Now we have to come up with $4,000 minimum to get this fixed when we could’ve had the seller fix this if they would’ve tried it during the inspection,” the man wrote to BBB.
BBB advises the following when choosing a home inspector:
· Check out any business at the Better Business Bureau before agreeing to pay it money. BBB has thousands of BBB Business Profiles on home inspection services. These profiles include the business’ history of complaints and how they were handled, customer reviews and a letter rating from A+ to F.
· Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
· Look for someone who is familiar with the type of home to be inspected. Does the inspector specialize in residential or commercial property?
· Ask prospective inspectors questions about their professional training, relevant experience and/or length of time in business. Find out if the inspector belongs to a professional association. Look up structural engineers’ licensing through the Missouri Division of Professional Registration or Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Registration.
· Look for home inspectors who are committed to avoiding conflicts of interest, who refuse to be involved in any real estate transaction or to deliberately obtain work in another field that could benefit them financially as a result of their inspection work, and who hold the safety, health and welfare of the public paramount in the performance of their professional inspection duties.
· Be present during the inspection. The majority of inspectors will allow you to tour the home with them and ask questions during or after the inspection. The inspection can last anywhere from two to five hours, depending on the size of the house.
· Ask how soon after the inspection you will receive a copy of the home inspection final, written report. Carefully read your home inspection report and make a list of items that need correction; this will help you to determine your future expenditures for repairs and maintenance. The report will contain useful information that serves as a reference for you in the future. A home cannot fail an inspection; understand that the home inspection report records the condition of the home, both positives and negatives.