One of the most overlooked professionals in the world of real estate is the home inspector — a good one can help you to better negotiate on behalf of your client. Here are four tips to help you screen candidates for the job.

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One of the most overlooked professionals in the world of real estate is the home inspector.

So much attention is put into networking with loan officers, attorneys and insurance agents that agents forget to strengthen the path to negotiation for their clients.

I myself spent a few years combing through various home inspectors before I found some that I came to fully trust. But I eventually did it, and based upon my experience, here’s what I suggest agents think about when hunting for a good inspector to team up with.

Are they a member of a trade association?

Much like how real estate agents have the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are two main trade groups for home inspectors: the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

Just like not all real estate agents are Realtors, not all home inspectors belong to either of these associations. You do not need to base your decisions on home inspectors solely on these memberships, but it does help to know they exist and make you look informed when asking.

Here are a few screening questions you can ask on an introductory call.

How much time will they require?

The first is to ask how much time the inspector will require. This is important because you will want to give the seller a heads-up on what to expect. It also is an easy way to secretly vet the inspector.

If they say they can perform an inspection on a large home in under an hour, that’s a big red flag. A typical inspection will require at least a couple hours and possibly more depending on the property and type of inspections required.

Another option to look into a home inspector is to check the internet for their website and any social media or blogs.

As important as the actual inspection is, the report is what we actually use to help negotiate any repairs for our clients.

Find an inspector with clear, easy to understand reports

A good report with explanations, pictures and even videos can make a huge difference in articulating the issues found.

When introducing yourself to a new home inspector, ask them to send you a sample copy of their reports. This will help you flush out those that don’t make enough of an effort to provide clear and thorough explanations.

Many home inspectors typically have a team to help support them. Home inspectors can check for bugs and septic and well issues, but the best inspections you can have include professionals in those specific fields. An inspector with a team of pest and septic pro offers the best service to your buyers.

Make sure you have the right kind of home inspector

As 203k and rehab loans remain popular, it is also advisable to make sure you have access to a home inspector who is qualified to perform inspections on these kinds of distressed properties as well. 

Choosing the right inspectors does not just help your clients, but your business as well.

Inspectors do not kill deals — maintenance deferred homes and unrealistic sellers do.

How do you stay ahead in a changing market? Inman Connect Las Vegas — Featuring 250+ experts from across the industry sharing insight and tactics to navigate threat and seize opportunity in tomorrow’s real estate. Join over 4,000 top producers, brokers and industry leaders to network and discover what’s next, July 23-26 at the Aria Resort. Hurry! Tickets are going fast, register today!

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.


Michael Maynard is CEO of Branford, Connecticut-based New Neighbors Inc. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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