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Should You Use Your Real Estate Agent’s Recommended Home Inspector?

When buying a home, you and your estate agent’s roles are a little like coffee and cream. What each party does is different but related. On your part, you know why you want to buy a home, what you need it to have, and how much you want to spend on the house. The realtor, on the other hand, knows how to find a home that meets your desires.

Essentially, you understand the demand end of the equation and the realtor knows how to handle the supply side of it. Hopefully, you both can learn to communicate your different points of view in ways that make it easy to work together.

However, when your agent has helped you find a home that matches your requirements, should you let them choose the home inspector?

This is a simple but important question.

What is the home inspection and why is it important?

What is the home inspection

The home inspection is a thorough assessment of the physical condition of a home’s structures, systems, and appliances. It is ordered by the buyer and undertaken before the close of the sale. DeSantis Management experts explain the goal of the home inspection is to uncover hidden issues with the home.

It is important because:

  • As a buyer, you may be more interested in the aesthetics of the home and lack the expertise to detect serious problems with it.
  • A home inspector will examine the home objectively and uncover issues the seller may have failed to disclose.
  • This can help you make an informed decision and avoid buying an overvalued property or one that will require costly repairs in the future.

Why realtors may recommend a home inspector

Why realtors may recommend a home inspector

The main reason estate agents recommend a home inspector is to protect the customer’s interest. The agent’s commitment to the client is to work with them until they find the best home possible, explains Cressman Realty. Recommending a home inspector is part of that process.

Moreover, realtors and home inspectors operate locally. After working in an area for a while, agents become familiar with most of the licensed home inspectors in that locality. From working with them or talking with agents who have, they come to know how each inspector performs.

Using this knowledge, agents will recommend a particular home inspector based on the type of home involved and the needs of the buyer. As a rule, when most estate agents recommend home inspectors, they do it to protect your interest as a buyer.

The risk of letting a realtor choose your home inspector

There are risks to giving your estate agent the power to choose the home inspector for the home. This is because agents usually have an interest in seeing a home sold as quickly as possible. Unless the house is sold, the agent cannot earn their commission.

It is not unheard of for realtors to recommend only home inspectors who will give the home a positive report, even if there are problems with it. In return for this favor, the home inspector gets assurance that the agent will always refer business to him or her, at the buyer’s expense.

How do you deal with this risk?

How to navigate this issue?

How to navigate this issue

As a first step, only work with estate agents you trust. Before you hire a realtor, do proper due diligence on them. Since this is really a trust issue, if you only hire agents with a stellar reputation, you should be able to avoid this problem.

Secondly, just like when searching for the right house, you should know what you want from a home inspector. Remember you are paying for the home and you are the one who will eventually live in it. You should not transfer the burden of protecting your own interests to your realtor.

To ensure you get the best, draw up the criteria you want in a home inspector. You can use this criterion as a standard to vet your estate agent’s recommended home inspectors.

So, what are the qualities you should look for in a home inspector?

  • Professionalism

The home inspector should be able to show proof of proper and up-to-date training.

  • Licenses and membership

The inspector should be licensed to work in the area and must be a member of a reputable organization.

  • Code of Ethics

Inspectors who belong to organizations that hold their members to a code of standards are preferable.

  • Years of experience

How long the inspector has been working in the area is important. It makes it easier to investigate the person.

  • Reviews and Reputation

Avoid inspectors with only a few reviews or inspectors who have disputes. Look for reviews by verified customers.

  • Tools and equipment

An inspector who has the latest tools and equipment will provide better service.

  • Add-on inspections

If an inspector offers specialized inspections, you will often get a more thorough inspection from them.

In summary, when looking for a home inspector, decide what you want, discuss it with your agent, and let the agent make recommendations. Vet the recommended inspector before you hire him or her.

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