|Here are some questions you may want to ask a
home inspector before hiring might include:
1. What will be inspected?
What parts of the structure will be inspected, what will be included in
the inspection report, and when will I receive it?
2. How long have you been an inspector; how many inspections have you
performed? The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and
perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many
work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the
3. What licensing, certification, and continuing education do you have?
Ask to see licensing, certification, and continuing education credentials.
4. How long will the inspection take?
Be skeptical of any inspector taking less than 3 to 4 hours on a typical single family home.
(For large buildings, a real estate inspection service may use a team of inspectors to
thoroughly evaluate the structure.)
5. What can I expect for home inspection cost?
Costs vary greatly from one locality to another. Extended services such as radon or well
testing can add significantly to the cost. A typical cost range might be from $400 to $700 for a
standard, one family home inspection.
6. Do you offer repair or correction services for problems found during the
Many certification associations and state governments strictly prohibit this practice as a
conflict of interest.
7. Are you experienced in residential inspection, commercial inspection, or both?
Each type is unique and has different requirements as to standard points of inspection of the
structure and building systems.
8. Will I be able to observe the inspection?
Be wary of any inspector not allowing you to observe and ask questions. This is a valuable
educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never
pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.
9. What does your inspection cover?
The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable
requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of
practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items
ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make
sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.
10. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?
Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training
and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a
commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.
11. How long will the inspection take?
The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical
single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough
inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.
12. How much will it cost?
Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of
services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the
home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect
quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.
13. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to
receive the report?
Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's
reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full
report within 24 hours of the inspection.
14. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?
There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their
membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.
■ Peace of mind — Puts the buyer’s mind at ease that the home is in good shape.
■ Renegotiate – If problems do arise, the buyer can negotiate a lower price or ask the seller to
■ Opt-out — If the problems are too big or unsettling, the buyer can opt-out of buying the
■ Future needs — Buyers can learn about potential maintenance and upkeep.
■ Smooth sale – Sellers can deal with any issues early that could impede the sale of their
■ Make repairs — Sellers can repair problems before putting the house on the market.
■ Help set/increase price — By making repairs, it will help set the price of the home and could
even enhance the value.
■ Transparency — Having a pre-inspection report available for buyers tells them that the
seller has nothing to hide.