If you’re investing in a home inspection, you must find an inspector that is licensed, experienced, and has a solid professional reputation in your area. In addition, you need results that are as detailed and accurate as possible, which means the quality of the inspection matters.
While using a search engine to look for a “home inspector near me” can be a good starting point, we have tips to make sure you find the best company for the job.
Searching For a “Home Inspector Near Me?”
Here are tips to make sure you find the best, qualified inspector that provides a fast turnaround and the detailed, professional home inspection report you need to make the best decisions for your future (or your home’s future).
1. Contact your homeowner’s insurance agency
If you have or plan to have homeowner’s insurance, we recommend speaking to your carrier’s representatives. Homeowner’s insurance carriers are serious about home inspections, and they need to have accurate data and reports they can rely on when they’re calculating your current and future policy premiums.
They often have “preferred building inspector partners,” they refer to their clients. But, again, asking about this saves you time and energy because you may not have to shop around any further.
2. Speak to your real estate agent (or a real estate agent friend)
If you’re in the process of buying a home, odds are your real estate agent has a building inspection company or two they prefer. As with insurance companies, real estate agents want accurate building inspection information so that clients can make a completely informed decision. Anything that was missed or overlooked in an inspection can come back to haunt them in terms of client dissatisfaction.
If you are getting a building inspection for reasons outside of an upcoming real estate transaction, speak to your real estate friends or colleagues who’ve recently used a trusted agent and see who they recommend in your area
3. Check in with the InterNACHI website
Professionals who are good at what they do are typically members of industry-related associations and networking groups. For those of us in the building inspection industry, that includes the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). You can use their website to locate a building inspector near you, and the website also offers a portal to verify prospective building inspectors’ licenses (see #4 below). Super Inspection Pros is proud to advertise that our names and contact information are listed on the InterNACHI’s Certified Home Inspectors near DeLand, FL, USA page.
This isn’t to say these memberships are necessary prerequisites, but we do feel that professionals who maintain memberships like these are usually the most current in their training and education around the most recent building codes and climate-related information.
4. Verify they are licensed, insured, and bonded
Most building inspection professionals were career contractors or builders. When hiring any building professional, you’ll want to make sure the company or independent building inspector is licensed. They should provide you with their license number, or you may notice it on their website or business card.
Regardless of what an independent building inspector may tell you, credentials always matter! As Consumer Reports says, “Hiring someone who’s certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable.” Those memberships usually mean inspectors have all the right boxes checked, including:
- Passing an in-person National Home Inspector Examination
- Documented proof they’ve done at least 250 paid home inspections
- Have passed some version of written National Home Inspector Examination
Verify a building inspector’s (or inspection company’s) license number with any or all of the following entities:
- The ICC (International Code Council)
- InterNACHI Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector List
- Florida’s DBPR License Verification Portal
- Your local building department
Never schedule a building inspection with any individual or company that cannot verify they hold current licensure, as well as valid liability and workers comp insurance policies. Bonding is also a smart thing to ask about. If your inspector gives the house a solid inspection report and the roof caves in next month, that bond can help cover the cost of the damages as a result of his negligence in the case he’s skipped town or refuses to take responsibility.
5. Read prospects’ online reviews and BBB ratings
If you’re using the online “find a home inspector near me” approach, take the time to read through prospective building inspectors’ online reviews. You can find out quite a bit by reading through both their best and worst reviews. That said, we recommend using reviews with a grain of salt. Anyone can write them (including their competitors, who might intentionally post negative reviews to support their own cause), so online reviews may not be as legitimate as they seem.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB), on the other hand, is a solid resource because it is a third-party agency, and it can’t “hire” people to post invalid reviews. The BBB supplies professional business with a letter grade, ranging from an A+ to an F, and also lets you know if unsatisfied customers registered any pending or past complaints. To preserve their objectivity, the BBB does not use customer ratings to determine a company’s rating, making it one of the most legitimate places to look.
6. Ask for customer references
A legitimate company is happy to provide recent referrals so you can speak to real clients who’ve used them in the past. This can also give you two different perspectives since everyone from private homeowners to real estate agents and insurance carriers regularly uses building inspections.
Asking them for a few references you can check allows you to speak to clients who have both personal and professional perspectives.
7. Schedule a no-obligation meet and greet
Feel free to speak in person or on the phone to “interview” prospective building inspectors. This is especially true if you are a real estate agent or insurance company representative who wants to form a lasting relationship with a building inspection company you can trust. You can tell a lot about a person or a company in a short but efficient “interview,” and we recommend choosing a building inspector who makes you feel comfortable.
Would you like to work with a building inspector that is licensed, qualified, and provides accurate inspection reports within a 24-hour timeframe? Schedule an inspection with Super Inspection Pros (SIP), and you’ll have a “home inspector near me,” partner for life!