The Inspection Process
So what, exactly, IS a home inspection?
A home inspection is primarily an unbiased, objective inspection of a home’s visible and readily accessible components that is intended to assist you before you make such a major investment. While your inspection report will provide a great deal of detailed and helpful information, it is not possible for a home inspection to uncover every possible defect of a home, as some portions are not visible and others may not be accessible or safe for inspection. For example, we will not be able to see behind walls, will not snake through plumbing lines, and will not be able to thoroughly inspect a snow covered roof in the middle of winter. A home inspection is also not a “pass” or “fail” of the home being inspected. As the client, you alone determine how significant any uncovered defects are to you.
With all the people involved with the real estate transaction, it is easy to become overwhelmed very quickly – especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. As your inspection company, we are one very important part of the entire process, but we are not real estate agents, attorneys, appraisers or insurance agents. For that reason, we do not comment on what those other professionals may or may not advise. For example, we will not be able to tell a client what the appraiser may flag on the appraisal or predict what defects may make the homeowners insurance premium increase. With all of that in mind, here’s what you can expect once your inspection is scheduled…
Prior to your inspection:
We will email you Inspection Agreements for each type of inspection you order. The agreements contain important information about what the inspections cover, legal terms, fees, and more. Please read the agreement(s) carefully and let us know if you have any questions. This is standard practice, and all agreements must be signed prior to any inspection services being provided. Upon receiving your agreement(s), you will have the opportunity to order additional inspections you may have not previously ordered.
You, and typically your agent, will receive electronic reminders of your inspection date and time. While you are not required to attend your inspection, we strongly encourage you to join us near the end so we can walk you through the property and go over, in person, what will be on your report. We encourage and welcome any questions you may have and will take as much time as needed to answer them. Hiring a home inspector is an investment, not a mere expense, and we go to great lengths to thoroughly educate our clients before, during, and after an inspection.
Your inspection(s) must be paid for on or before the date of the inspection. The inspection report(s) will be sent to you in PDF form and you will not be able to open and view your report(s) until full payment has been received. You will have the opportunity to pay in advance with a credit/debit card online, but you may also pay on the inspection date with a card, cash, or check. If you would like a hard copy of your report(s), let us know and we will gladly provide you with one.
Once at the property, the inspection typically takes anywhere from a couple to a few hours, and may even take most of the day, depending on the size of the home, accessibility, whether additional inspections are being done, and other factors. The inspection will typically begin outside the property and end on the interior. If the client is present, we will conclude the inspection by discussing and summarizing the inspection findings before leaving the property. At that time, we will also ask you if you would like to schedule a discounted annual home maintenance checkup for the following year so you have priority of booking a time in advance. Your home is likely your biggest investment, and like your vehicle or your health it should be professionally checked annually as a form of preventative maintenance. This service is obviously not required but is strongly recommended to help you stay on top of your home’s needs and avoid unwanted surprises or costs.
As a courtesy, we submit appliance information to a service called RecallChek during the inspection to determine if there are any recalls that may need dealt with. Any potential recalls can be handled in-house and for free through the manufacturer. RecallChek is a free lifetime benefit! When you update any of your appliances, simply submit the new appliance information to RecallChek and you will be notified if any recalls on your new appliances ever arise.
If you are a home inspection client, we will send you a free home maintenance guide in PDF form and will enroll you in a free, zero deductible 90 day home warranty through Residential Warranty Services. In addition to the home warranty, you will also be automatically enrolled in the SewerGard, MoldSafe and 5-year Platinum Roof Protection Plans, completely free of charge! We also partner with a company called Porch to provide you with the Porch Home Assistant – a helpful service designed to assist homeowners in setting up a variety of common services and finding the right professionals to perform any home related jobs. As one of our clients, you can also take advantage of a very valuable service called Homeowners Resource, which connects you with a professional expert who can answer any home maintenance questions you ever have, completely free! Last but not least, we email you a list of trusted local contractors for virtually anything related to home repair so you will know who to call if and when the need arises and won’t have to spend countless hours searching and researching to find the right person/company for the job.
We invite you to call or email us with any questions any time after your services have been completed, and, as previously stated, you will have the opportunity to enroll in our reminder program for discounted future maintenance inspections – a program we strongly recommend. This is all part of our commitment to exceptional customer service and an expression of our appreciation for trusting us with your business!
InterNACHI Standards of Practice
Code of Ethics
COMMERCIAL INSPECTIONSWhen performing commercial property inspections, we adhere to the InterNACHI Commercial Standards of Practice (comSOP) as we feel these standards provide the most clear expectations and best service to our business clients. To review the InterNACHI commercial Standards of Practice, please click on the link below:InterNACHI comSOP
ANNUAL HOME MAINTENANCE INSPECTIONSWe perform annual home maintenance inspections in accordance with InterNACHI’s SOP for Home Maintenance Checkups. To review the SOP, please click on the link below:InterNACHI Home Maintenance Checkup SOP
MOLD INSPECTIONSWe perform mold inspections in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAC2) and are certified through IAC2. To review the IAC2 Standards of Practice, please click on the link below:IAC2 Mold SOP
HOME ENERGY INSPECTIONSWe perform home energy inspections in accordance with the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for home energy inspections. To review the SOP, please click on the link below:InterNACHI Home Energy Inspection SOPIf, after reviewing this information, any of the Standards of Practice we adhere to seem confusing or difficult to understand, please do not hesitate to contact us for further clarification. We want to ensure you have a clear understanding of the inspection process and what you’re paying for prior to hiring us.
Unsure of what inspections you need? In addition to a home inspection, we recommend that ALL clients have at least a WDO (pest/termite) inspection and a radon test done. In fact, HOME + PEST + RADON is our most popular inspection package. In addition, we strongly recommend adding a Home Energy Report for a small but very worthwhile fee. If the home you are having inspected is in a rural area and uses a well and septic system, we recommend also having a septic dye test and water analysis completed, even if these tests are not required by your lender. Visit the blue links on the Services & Pricing page and read the FAQ page for important information regarding these types of inspections. If you live in a newly built home, we recommend having an 11th Month Warranty Inspection done prior to your warranty expiring. For all clients, we strongly advise taking advantage of our Annual Home Maintenance Inspection each year, which provides you with continual peace of mind at a great price.