Top 6 Questions you Should Ask Home Inspectors Before Hiring Them
Updated: Feb 5
1. What is your license number?
Once you have the license number, search online to make sure their status is “active”. To do that, visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations and search your inspector license number. Sometimes, big inspection firms have employees working under one main licensed inspector. In that case, not all employees are required to be licensed. They are only “trained” to inspect your house. Hiring a Florida licensed inspector to conduct your home inspection is crucial. Florida licensed home inspectors have passed the state exam, have completed 120 hours of approved training, submitted an application to the state, completed a background check, obtained general liability insurance, and are required to complete continuing education training.
2. What is included in your price?
Most of the time, pool, outbuilding, termite, and crawlspace inspections are not included within the price of a residential home inspection. Wind mitigation and 4 point inspections are generally separate services as well.
3. What will be inspected during our home inspection?
In Florida, residential home inspections must include; roofing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, attic, insulation, garage, bathroom, kitchen, interior, structural, and exterior components. Make sure your appliances will be inspected! Not all inspectors will inspect your household appliances for liability reasons.
4. What will the inspection report look like?
Some reports are made using modern home inspection software, however some inspection companies are still using PDF. Newer inspection software such as “HomeGauge” adds value to the inspection service. The report needs to be easy to understand/navigate, and should offer “follow up” or “repair” summaries. Pictures and videos are necessary, since it can help the homeowner(s) locate defective items. Writing skills also add value to the inspection services. Poor English grammar will make your report difficult to understand. Pay attention to the way your inspector talks over the phone. If your home inspector shows poor language skills over the phone, it is less likely he/she will provide well written reports. All that to say: Newer report software technology and writing skills matter!
5. Do you offer support after the inspection is completed?
Some companies will go ghost after completing their work. Make sure your inspector is receptive and willing to help you before, during, and after the inspection. Later on, if you have questions about your report, it is important that your home inspector responds to your phone calls.
6. Do you offer pre-submission report?
Some inspectors offer pre-submission insurance report. Those are crucial in order for you to obtain the best insurance rate. Let me explain why. Let’s say an inspector goes to your property for a wind mitigation and can’t find the required “product approval stickers” on your garage doors, front doors, windows, and/or shutters. At that point, the inspector has no other chose but to write down on the wind mitigation form that your opening protections appear to be impact or wind rated but has no documentation to prove it. Now, if the inspector submits this report/form as is, then your insurance company is, more likely, not going to give you the credit (discount) for the opening protection section. This can result in hundreds of dollar of savings down the drain. On the other hand, if the inspector offers a pre-submission report, you will now have the time to investigate further with manufacturers, installers, and/or old invoices to find documentation that can prove code compliance. Once found, you will be able to submit the results of your research to your inspector for a “form update” prior to being sent to your insurance carrier. That way, your yearly insurance rate is lower and you save money in the long run! Because it is time consuming, very few inspectors offer that service. Inspection companies charging below average for a wind mitigation inspection are working to complete the form ONLY. What I mean by that is; they won’t go above and beyond to help you get the best wind mitigation discount. What they see onsite is what will go on the form and what will be sent to your insurance carrier.
To conclude, do not be afraid to ask questions when you shop for a home inspector. A qualified and experienced home inspector should be able to answer your questions. Florida Wisdom Home Inspections is there for you. We will provide guidance during the entire inspection process. Before, during, and after your home inspection. We treat clients like family. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions!