5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Home Inspector

You’re so close to officially being a homeowner! Now it’s time for the home inspection.

It might be tempting to go with the cheapest option or the first person you can find (or skip it all together). But your home inspection can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road. So make sure you ask your potential inspector these questions so you can hire the best person for the job.

Do you have “Errors and Omissions” coverage?

Depending on where you’re buying, your home inspector might not be required to have a certain level of insurance (or any at all).

So if they miss something during the inspection, you’re the one who’s on the hook for it. But if your inspector has “Errors and Omissions” coverage, you’ll have some protection if they make a mistake.

What parts of the property will you inspect?

Most home inspectors aren’t obligated to inspect anything other than the interior and exterior of the house.

That means your outbuildings, furnace, septic tanks, pipes, and well aren’t being inspected. If your property is a lot more than the physical house, shop around for someone who has experience and is willing to look at the property as a whole.

Do you work with my real estate agent?

Who’s buying this home? You or your real estate agent?

If your home inspector is working with your real estate agent, they might be tempted to ignore or overlook problems to make sure the sale goes through at a high price.

And when you have problems years down the road, you’re the one stuck dealing with it, not them.

Are you certified?

Not all states require home inspectors to have a license. But a good home inspector will have some sort of professional certification.

What do you specialize in?

Not all inspectors are going to have experience or be certified to check for things like termites, mold, asbestos, or lead paint.

Those might be especially important if you’re buying an older home or if you live in an area with a termite problem—like the South. Your homeowners insurance might not cover the removal or damages, so knowing about it up front can save you a lot of money.

When it comes to buying a house, working with the right people can make a huge difference, so take the time to find someone you trust. After all, you're going to have some very important questions for your home inspector.