You decide who you want Choosing your inspector Navigation
Why is this important? The following oppinion is not always smiled upon by certain parties …. but I do tend to be painfully honest at times. So, I will attempt at “softening” this advice - but I will not “surgar coat” it. Choosing your own home inspector is, (1) your right, (2) your responsibility. Following suggestions / recommendations from family and friends - absolutely.  But still do your homework. My wife is a Realtor, I will NOT do any home inspection for her clients and or where her name appears on documents related to a Real Estate transaction.  Why? Because is can be considered a conflict of interest due to financial gain.  Getting the idea yet? Do Realtors recommend me? Yes, absolutely.  But sometimes the prospective client decides to go with someone else. Though I loose business, I am still ok with it as it is their decision. Many times it is because of a scheduling conflict, sometimes it’s price. If you are being “steered” to use a specific home inspector, this can be a red flag.  Do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember, this is “your purchase”. Do NOT accept an inspection report that was done prior to you looking at the home - that report (1) belongs to another previous interested buyer or (2) it’s a pre-listing report for the seller.  You really don’t know what has happened between the time that was acquired and the time you looked at the home. Is it “ok” to ask your Realtor who you should use --- yes, by all means. But still do your homework. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of asking questions - I strongly advocate consumer awareness by the buyer. Choosing the right home inspector can be a little daunting at times, especially for first time home buyer’s and for those that think it’s just a sale of “snake oil” because of a personal bad experience or knowing of a bad experiences through others. As a Home Inspector that whoever my client is, being buyer or seller, that they  have a very clear understanding of the inspection, report, findings, etc. I take my business very serious as a home inspector, it is my skills, thoroughness, ability to communicate verbally and in writing, to perform a home inspection with diligence, honesty and integrity because there is a family possibly going to be living in that home.  I don’t ever want to see on the news about a family injured to any degree in a home that I inspected and had failed to report on something that I should have reported on. If you wish to go it alone and find a home inspector on your own - Then start here at the Louisiana State Board fo Home Inspectors. Here you have options of searching - it is also where you find if the inspectors license is current or expired. Other places to check is the Better Business Bureau, check reviews. But also talk with the prospective home inspector - ask questions. When asking questions -  Do they sound like they have “your” best interest or theirs in mind?  Are they talking at you or with you? There is a difference.  Are you getting a lot of tech jargon or simple explanations that you understand? Sample questions: 1)  How long have you been doing this? 2)  How many do you do in a day? 3)  How long does it take before I get a report? 4)  What similar experience do you have (if any)? 5)  What do you look for? 6)  What do you report on? 7)  What do you actually check, i.e. all windows, outlets, doors etc. or a representative number? 8)  How long does it take to do the inspection? 9)  Can I be there with you? 10)  Do you mind me asking questions? 11)  Do you like what you do? 12)  Do you actually go under a home? (Pier & Beam if it applies) 13)  What do you document and what is your methods of documentation? 14)  What type of advice do you provide? 15)  Do you check the roof and how do you check it? 16)  What are you looking for when checking the roof? 17)  Do you check the structural aspects of the roof and how? 18)  Do you provide information with regards to the AC, water heater and heating systems? 19)  What is your reporting method? (Paper or Digital) 20)  Do you take color photos and include them in the report or is that an extra process and fee? 21)  Are you Licensed, Insured? 22)  Do you have continued education (CE) in this field and if so, how many hours a year? The above questions are just a few examples. You may have other concerns that you may need to ask.  If this your first home inspection and if you are nervous, you should be, it’s ok … this may help keep you on your “toes”.  If this is not your fist home inspection this might be a good time to do a little comparison shopping. Keep in mind, the inspector you call, may be with another client and may not be able to speak with you at length. If that is the case, set a time that is convenient and call back or have them call you back. If they don’t call back – well that’s easy. Make a list to call at least three inspectors, four or five is better. Price is always a factor, but don’t let that make the decision for you. Get details, like looking at the sticker on a vehicle.  Both look the same, same make, model, year … now look at those details. To help with the conversation that you may have with an inspector, it may help to know the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that the inspector is supposed to be following at the very “minimum”. That document can be found at the Sate website (www.lsbhi.state.la.gov) This is for the State of Louisiana.  
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