An Insider’s Guide for Choosing a Home Inspector

From your Cookeville Home Inspector

We sat down with your Cookeville home inspector Travis Davis, and we asked him, “What should we look for in a home inspector?” He gave us the scoop about the knowledge and skills you should be looking for in your home inspector.

His first tip? Do your research. Don’t just use the real estate agent’s recommendations. Shop around and get quotes from different home inspectors.

What do home inspectors do?

Home inspectors are like private detectives. As objective third parties, they are fact-finders. They are hired to uncover issues or problems that are hidden from view. These problems could be minor or major. But over time, if unaddressed, it could turn into a real safety hazard or money pit for homeowners. 

You would want to know about safety issues or potential money pits before you buy a home, right? Home inspectors help protect the largest investment you’ll ever make, your family’s home. If the home inspection is failed, homebuyers have a chance to back out of the contract or ask that repairs be covered.

But the home inspection process is only as good as the home inspector. You want someone who is going to have the eye to spot the signs of a problem, and this ability comes with experience.

 Home inspectors should have experience 

The average cost of an inspection ranges from $300-$600, depending on the size of the home. Hiring a home inspector is an investment, and you want to make a smart choice with that investment.

The best inspectors have experience in general construction. Or, they could have experience as roofers, electricians, or plumbers. For example, I have built homes from the ground up. I can spot structural issues sometimes by just looking at the outside of a home. As a Tennessee licensed plumber and electrician, I know what the current regulations are and help identify where homes need repairs and updates.

“You want more than a handyman. You want a professional.”

Beyond the experience of your home inspector, there’s something valuable in the home inspectors’ network. Can they identify the local specialists that are cost-effective and will do a good job? Do they know the best roofing companies? Can they make recommendations?

 A home inspector with industry experience will be connected to quality, licensed professionals. They can point you in the right direction for repairs and help you save valuable time researching.

Are there any licenses or certifications a home inspector should have?

Every home inspector in Tennessee needs a home inspector’s license. To receive a license, the state of Tennessee requires a:

  •     90-hour course in home inspections and home inspection reports
  •     Errors and Omissions Insurance policy
  •     passing score from the National Home Inspector Examination
  •     $500,000 minimum General Liability Insurance policy

But should you look for more than the standard state license like professional memberships and certifications? The truth is, professional organizations and certifications can be a measure of a home inspector’s skill, but not always. Experience and customer reviews can give you a better picture of accuracy and professionalism in a home inspector.

What is the biggest asset a home inspector can have?

Communication. All the knowledge in the world isn’t useful if you cannot explain to a homeowner or homebuyer what the issue is. The home inspection can be an anxiety-inducing time for both buyers and sellers. Great communication skills can help put the homeowner in the best position. The end goal is for the buyer or seller to have as clear a picture as possible about what the home’s condition is.

This includes written communication too. The home inspector’s report should be written in accessible language so that stakeholders can understand and negotiate what’s best for the homebuyer. If you can, ask for a sample home inspection report before scheduling your appointment.

Travis Davis, Home Inspector at Cookeville Home InspectionAre you looking for a home inspector for your Middle Tennessee home? You can talk to Travis directly at 931-704-6794 or use the scheduling tool to schedule your home inspection today.

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