top of page

How to Choose the Right Home Inspector

Choosing a home inspector can seem daunting, and it's also one of the last things most people think about when they envision the home buying process. Getting a loan pre-approval, finding a real estate agent, and finally finding a home that's a good fit for you and your family can be a challenging process. So when your offer is finally accepted and you make the wise decision to take advantage of the home inspection contingency period, it's now time to choose a home inspector. Now is NOT the time to cut corners!

1. Do your own research

There are likely dozens of home inspectors to choose from in your area. The best way to narrow down the list is based on visibility: choose 3 or 4 inspection companies that have a strong internet presence: professional websites, social media, and resources they put out to educate clients. Professional goes a long way-- if their website is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical issues, then it's likely the inspection report they complete will be too.

Next, compare their services. What exactly are you looking for? What is included in their home inspection package? What do their reports look like? Most home inspectors include a sample report on their websites. These can range from looking like they were created on an

Your home inspector should explain problems they find in a way that's easy to understand.

old computer with Microsoft Word to looking like a confusing mess of pictures and terminology. See what the inspector's reports look like, and find one you like and find easy to understand.

Finally, make sure the home inspector you choose is certified AND licensed. In Florida, a home inspector must attend at least 120 hours of training through an accredited home inspector school, after which they take the Florida state licensing exam before applying for their state license. Ask your home inspector for their license number and/or name, and you can do a search through the state database here.

2. Make a list of potential inspectors

Out of all the inspectors you've researched, now it's time to make a list of those that caught your eye. List them on a piece of paper, and after viewing their website, think about what you want to ask them. What's important to you? Is price a major sticking point for you, or is it the ability to attend the home inspection to ask the inspector questions? Figure it out now, and you'll be on your way to thinking about what you want to ask them when you call.

3. Ask the questions

In addition to inquiring about how much you'll pay for their service, ask home inspectors what their inspection process is like. Will they walk on the roof? Will they go in the crawlspace? Will they use thermal imaging? Asking questions like this will let you get a sense of whether or not they are thorough, professional, and know what they're talking about.

A phone call for a home inspector isn't like other services. At Sighthound Home Inspections, LLC we get calls all the time where someone asks, "How much do you charge for a home inspection?" A lot of people call expecting a quick answer, but the real answer is that it depends.

You should treat this call as an interview of sorts, because price should be one of the last things you worry about when it comes to a home inspection.

4. Don't cut corners on pricing

Without going too far into the weeds, we'll make this point simple. When you call around and get estimates for the cost of a home inspection, you'll likely get a range of prices from $300 to $700 for the job to be done. Most home inspectors will give an estimate in the middle of this range, so we'll pretend that a home inspection will cost you $450.

With the average cost of a home in Florida being approximately $370,000 in 2023, most homeowners have a rather large investment they're about to make in their new home.

When it comes to a $450 inspection, the inspection cost is one of the cheapest expenses in the home buying process. It's right around 0.1% of the total amount you'll spend while buying the home. Even if you were to pay on the higher end for the inspection, it would have minimal impact on the total amount you're paying for your new home.

The cost of a home inspection is clearly far less important than the quality of the inspection. Do your research and make sure you're focusing on the quality of the inspection, not the cost of it.

Even if you were to spend $700 on a full home inspection (which is on the high end), if the inspection finds significant issues that make you rethink purchasing the home, then the cost of the inspection will be cheaper than blindly going into a home and having to pay for a repair that ends up being the cost of a home inspection several times over.

5. Be weary of the real estate agent's recommendation

In a recent post by Sighthound Home Inspections, LLC, we discussed being weary of the home inspector your real estate agent might recommend. In the post, we wrote:

When you're in the home buying process, your real estate agent can be a wealth of information about buying the home. Often, buyers rely on recommendations for a home inspector from their real estate agent. While this may be a good source of information, it's highly recommended to do your own research for a home inspector. Real estate agents may recommend one or two different inspectors. However, it's important to understand the home inspector works for YOU, not your agent. You need to find an inspector you feel comfortable working with, and who will provide what you expect in an inspection. Agents may be more familiar with one inspector in particular, but you may find another inspector uses different tools, or takes more of a one-on-one approach while conducting the inspection with you present. One home inspector's approach may not quite suit what you're looking for so be sure to shop around to find one that works for you.

At the end of the day, the home inspector works for you. They shouldn't be working for your real estate agent. Real estate agents get paid based on you buying a house; an inexperienced and uninformed agent may recommend a home inspector who goes easy on inspections. This is an ethical issue between that home inspector and the agent, which is

why you have to ensure you do your own vetting process for any home inspector you hire.

Again, the home inspector is YOUR adviser; he or she works for YOU, and you have to find one that will help protect YOUR investment.

Choosing a home inspector can almost be an afterthought while going through the home buying process, but it can be one of the more important events. Having a quality home inspection completed on your prospective home has many benefits; it protects you financially, can help give you some negotiating power on the asking price, and informs you about the home while painting a picture of maintenance and repairs you'll need to plan for once you move in.

Call Sighthound Home Inspections, LLC today to schedule your home inspection!



bottom of page