Page 3 of 4

Why You Can’t Rely on Your Real Estate Agent for Inspections

People tend to rely on the real estate agent only while buying a house. This is not advisable. After all, an agent, while working to satisfy clients, is also focused on making a deal in order to make his commission. But you need to buy a house in order to live in. So you need to get it inspected thoroughly. You should think about consulting a professional. Here are things you need to know and what you can expect from your professional.

Doing building and pest inspection before a purchase
It is very important to get a house inspected properly before buying it. After all, there is no point in buying a house and then realizing soon after that it requires major structural repairs or renovation, which means spending a large amount of money. An estate agent is generally not very keen to get a building and pest inspection done. This is because this kind of inspection will require a lot of time. The estate agent will not have so much time to spend on each deal. Hence they would try to dissuade the buyer from getting any kind of building inspection done.

Know all about building inspection
While doing building inspection, one will come across minor as well as major repair issues. It is important to remember here that no house is perfect. Some amount of repairs will always be necessary. The buyer needs to decide how much of repair work they would be able to handle. Besides, there will always be routine repair and maintenance issues. The buyer should not expect the seller to deal with each of these issues.

What a buyer needs to focus upon is the major structural issues that may affect the resale value of the house. Also, the house should not be in such a condition that it may harm the occupants of the house. In fact, while having the initial talks with the estate agent, it is important to discuss out all these things. Basically, the estate agent needs to be on the same page as the buyer. This way he will not be wasting time in showing that property to the buyer which does not meet all his requirements.

Getting building and pest inspection done properly
It is important to inform the estate agent that building inspection will be done before buying the house. In case there are major structural repair issues requiring big expense, the cost of the house has to come down accordingly. While finalizing the deal, the estate agent will be in a rush to close the deal. At this time, he would ask the buyer to raise the price in order to close the deal. He may even say that there are other buyers and the house may go away. At that time, proper negotiation is required rather than getting pushed by the estate agent. It is vital to get a properly qualified inspector to get the building and pest inspection done. This inspection has to be done from the foundation to the rooftop. There are so many details to be considered. In case the house is old, the time taken will be much more.

READ NEXT: Radon Testing

Using Online Listings to Prepare for Home Inspections

Home inspectors work long, hard days. In addition to inspecting several spaces in a day, most return to their offices to write the necessary reports and distribute to waiting clients. The less time you spend on a single home, the more efficient you can be. One strategy to help you save time is to review the online real estate listings for the property the night before an appointment. By pre-documenting this information, you can have access to key information, which you can then verify or disclaim once on the job sight. Here are a few things to keep in mind while previewing the home.


Remember the Details

Online listings are an excellent tool for collecting basic information to include in your report. Use the photographs and public assessor’s records to determine details about the house you’ve been hired to inspect. Include these details in your report the night before so you can devote less time to information-gathering on the day of the job.


Keep an Eye Out

Online listings can help you determine essential details, like missing devices, water supply information, and building materials. Keep an eye out for roof covering materials, exterior cladding, vegetation touching the exterior, foundation type, heat method and fuel source, the cooling method, and if a fireplace is present. These observations will be necessary for your report and compiling them in advance will save a lot of time.


Internal Factors

The listing page is an excellent place to collect information regarding the home’s age, the number of stories, whether the house is on a sloped or flat lot, and what comprises the driveway’s materials. You should also be able to determine if the range is gas or electric, whether the home is vacant or occupied, and what type of permanently installed kitchen appliances are available.


Trust but Verify

While you can use the listing page as an excellent source for your report, it is essential to check for the existence of every detail you record. You can’t fully rely on the listing agent’s sales pitch or the details therein; you must verify those elements in order to include them as facts in your report. If you can’t verify a listing detail, consider attributing a comment in the report.

READ NEXT: Why You Can’t Rely on Your Real Estate Agent for Inspections

How Smart Home Tech is Changing the Industry—And What You Need to Know

Smart home technology is becoming increasingly popular—so popular that many new builds are incorporating such systems into their structures. If you’re a home inspector, you will need to know how these technological advances change the nature of your work. Like any new technology, problems are bound to arise. Luckily, you can anticipate several common issues and familiarize yourself with the technology to help frustrated clients. Here are the top most-common problems with smart home technology—and how to troubleshoot them.


The Smart Home Devise Drains its Batteries too Quickly

Wireless smart home products are fantastic until you recognize they require maintenance. If a homeowner is leaving behind these pieces of their smart home build, you’ll need to troubleshoot battery-saving techniques for the new homeowner. Door sensors and other low-energy products will typically only need fresh batteries every year or two, but cameras and motion sensors can burn through batteries very quickly.


Troubleshooting this issue is fairly simple. Check the device’s settings to ensure you’re in range of a good Wi-Fi signal. These devices will run their batteries dry faster if they’re consistently looking for a signal. Digging into the devices themselves will also reveal a wealth of battery-saving options. Toggle off all option features to increase efficiency.


The Smart Home Device is Difficult to Control

This is often the most common complaint for those with smart home systems—especially those moving into a new space with pre-installed devices. While it can be a great convenience to control the temperature or lights from anywhere in the world, it can be a chore to figure out how to make simple adjustments to the living space.


To troubleshoot, make sure the smart devices have easy-to-access physical controls, and inspect that area thoroughly. Consider telling your client to invest in a few smart switches. In fact, the best smart devices—thermostats, door locks, and the like—have traditional controls that work in conjunction with their companion apps.


READ NEXT: Using Online Listings to Prepare for Home Inspections

Construction Industry Boom to Create Further Crimp for Home Inspectors

Have you heard the news? The construction industry is booming. One of the inevitable side effects of this industry boom is an increased demand, and thus a higher price for, certain kinds of services including home inspection. Especially in markets where there’s already a shortage of home inspectors.



It’s both a short-term and a long-term problem. In addition to making it harder to find and more expensive to hire home inspectors, an industry boom may pull more people with construction industry experience out of the home inspection market. Indeed, while accountants, decorators and people with all sorts of professional backgrounds may enter and succeed in the home inspection industry, it’s also true that a lot of time, the construction and real estate industry needs these cross-trained professionals to manage the workload of home inspection requests—again, at least during peak times.


It’s easy to think that a booming construction industry makes it easy to start your own business in pretty much anything related to real estate, including home inspections. On balance, of course, it is better to start during good times with strong demand, but it’s far from a can’t-fail situation, and even booming times can present their own obstacles.


The Big Takeaway for Homebuyers

When reading home-buying guides and online tutorials, it’s commonplace to discuss the potential shortage and scheduling delays associated with the home appraisal. And this is a fair point, but don’t assume that scheduling the home inspection is going to go off without a hitch just because it’s supposed to be the easier one to get done.


What about after closing? Wondering what sort of home inspection steps you should take in the future? Why not start with creating a DIY Home Inspection Checklist?


READ NEXT: How Smart Home Tech is Changing the Industry—And What You Need to Know


How Much Should YOUR Home Inspection Cost?

There are a couple different ways to answer this question. In the broadest sense, a home inspection might cost anywhere from $150-$750. The vast majority of home inspections fall somewhere between $200-$500, and a simple average is probably somewhere between $300-$325.


One of the most common ways that people find and choose their home inspector is through their realtor, but this path isn’t always available. If you’re just trying to get a ballpark number, we can help you create a reasonable expectation with just a few minutes of research. If you’re looking to save every last dollar you can, there’s really no substitute for getting estimates from multiple home inspectors.


The good news is that there’s not always a strong correlation between the cost and quality of the inspection. Even some of the most experienced and knowledgeable home inspectors out there charge very reasonable prices, and just because a home inspection is relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean it won’t be thorough.


Location and Market

As with pretty much anything, where you live has an impact on how much things cost. The average cost of a home inspection in Manhattan, New York is considerably more than the average cost in Manhattan, Kansas. The relative temperature of the local housing market—and the sales volume in particular—may also have an impact on cost and availability, especially if it’s not met by a surge in the number of inspectors operating in that area.


For these local market factors in particular, a realtor can typically help you understand what to expect. Often times, the realtor may put a premium on making sure their clients’ can get on the home inspector’s schedule, rather than price, but the realtor may also explain this fact and encourage you to look for your own home inspector if you so choose.


Size and Age of the Home

Even within the same housing market, there can be considerable differences in the cost of a home inspection based on the size and age of the home. It makes sense, right? The bigger the home the longer the inspection is liable to take. And while it’s still important to have newer homes inspected for their own set of vulnerabilities—most notably, inadequate ventilation from over-sealing the home—it is true that these inspections usually go more quickly per square foot. At the same time, there is no standard fee schedule or pricing policies for home inspectors—some of whom may charge a flat fee up to a certain size, or they may charge by room, or by square feet.


Outside Resources for Estimating the Cost of a Home Inspection


What the Industry Says

If you’re looking for official guidance from, say, the American Society of Home Inspectors, you’ll get referred to the Department of Housing and Urban Development who will quote you the $300-$500 figures.


What the Market Says

The consumer-driven websites that track the actual costs their customers are paying for home inspections suggests this range might skew a little toward the high side, and that the actual average cost of a home inspection nationwide is likely somewhere around the $324 mark cited by HomeAdvisor (the last time we checked). Thumbtack is another great way to look for average home inspection costs in your area.


Math and Demographics

It’s nearly impossible to find a quality home inspector for less than $200. A small, newer condo inspection from an inspector who’s familiar with that condo community and can go through one of the units in 90 minutes might be an exception that proves the rule.  It’s also true that a relatively small number of expensive homes could inflate the simple average cost. A several million-dollar home built decades ago on the edge of a seaside cliff will likely experience a series of various home inspections whenever the property is put on the market and sold.


For those of you who speak statistics, the median average for a home inspection is almost surely lower than the mean average because the distribution curve is skewed toward the more expensive end. This, too, helps explain why some sources suggest the average cost of a home inspection is between $300-$500, while others suggest it’s more like $250-$400 for most typical homeowners.


READ NEXT: Construction Industry Boom to Create Further Crimp for Home Inspectors