Why and How to Hire A Home Inspector

If you are like most people, buying a home is one of the largest financial commitments you will ever make. A thorough home inspection will provide you with a wealth of information about the condition of your prospective new home. It may reveal the need for substantial repairs or conditions that will eventually necessitate high cost repairs or maintenance. Knowing this early in the home purchasing process will allow you to make an informed decision regarding whether you should proceed to closing or continue looking for the house which is right for you.

Home inspectors practicing in Arkansas are required to meet minimum standards of practice and to comply with a code of ethics. However, many choose to exceed those standards and provide additional information and services.

We suggest that you obtain a list of registered inspectors who work in the area where your prospective home is located. Then, telephone a number of the inspectors.  Ask each one the same questions and note their answers. When completed with that process, select the inspector with whom you are most comfortable.  Make arrangements to sign a written contract before the inspection is conducted.  Be present at least the last hour of the inspection if possible.  By doing so, you can see the shortcomings the inspector has identified rather than just reading about them.  We suggest that you ask all inspectors on your list at least these questions:

  1. What standard or set of guidelines do you following during your inspections?
  2. How do you conduct a home inspection and what components do you check? Walk me through one of your typical inspections...
  3. How do you check the heat exchanger of a gas furnace?
  4. How long does it typically take you to conduct a home inspection?
  5. May I accompany you during the inspection if I choose to?
  6. What qualifications do you have which you feel makes you a good home inspector?
  7. How do most of your clients make their initial contact with you?
  8. Are there any add-on fees?
  9. What type (checklist or narrative) of written report do you prepare and how long is your typical report? What kind of information do you include?
  10. How long after the inspection will I receive your report and how do you provide it to me?
  11. How many copies of the report are included in your basic fee? Who do you give them to?

Note: The inspector should not release information about the results of his inspection to anyone but you unless you have given him/her authority to do so. However, when deemed necessary by the inspector, he may release appropriate information, or otherwise appropriately act, to prevent imminent danger to the public or the property occupant.