Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s crucial to have a professional home inspection done to evaluate the condition of the property and uncover any potential issues. With so many home inspection companies to choose from in Michigan, how do you ensure you pick the right one? Here’s a guide to selecting the best home inspection company in Michigan for your upcoming real estate transaction.
Do Your Research
Don’t leave finding a qualified home inspector to chance. Take time to research home inspection companies operating in the area you’re looking to buy. Search online for local options and ask your real estate agent for recommendations. Look for companies that have a strong reputation and many years of experience inspecting homes in Michigan. Verify that potential inspectors carry proper licensing as well. Comparison shop by getting quotes from at least three home inspection companies in Michigan to find the best value.
Look for Experienced Inspectors
One of the top things to look for is an experienced home inspector. They should have comprehensive knowledge of Michigan building codes and inspection practices. Ask about the inspector’s background, certifications, years of experience, and membership in professional organizations. Also ask how many inspections they’ve completed in Michigan. Look for seasoned inspectors who have inspected hundreds or even thousands of Michigan homes over many years. They’ll be well-versed in recognizing issues common to local homes.
Make Sure They Follow Industry Standards
Reputable home inspection companies in Michigan should follow industry standards when examining homes. Look for those that adhere to the guidelines outlined in the International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or the Standards of Practice from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Choosing an inspector that completes inspections based on these standards ensures the inspection is conducted in a thorough, uniform manner.
Look for Detailed Inspection Reports
A comprehensive written report is one of the most important things you’ll receive from the home inspector. Make sure the home inspection company in Michigan provides a detailed inspection report documenting the condition of the home’s major systems and components. Reports should describe any issues found, indicate the location, explain the recommended fix, and highlight any urgent or safety issues. The report shouldn’t contain just checkboxes but detailed narratives that give you a clear picture of the home’s condition.
Consider What’s Included in the Inspection
Home inspections can vary widely in what’s covered, so ask what’s included. At a minimum, the inspector should evaluate major systems like the roof, exterior, foundation, electrical, heating and cooling, plumbing, and interiors. Some companies offer additional specialized inspections for pools, spas, wells, septic systems, and mold or radon. Consider having these items inspected too if present in the home you’re buying. Also ask if the home inspection company in Michigan offers any repair cost estimates with the inspection. This additional information can assist with budgeting for future repairs.
Ask About Their Testing Equipment
Find out what type of specialized equipment the inspector uses during the visual examination of the home. A qualified home inspection company in Michigan should use equipment like moisture meters, outlet testers, thermal imaging cameras, and carbon monoxide detectors. This equipment helps inspectors conduct a more thorough evaluation of the home. Ask about the specific devices they use to test home components for issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Look for Certifications and Training
Inspectors receive extensive training and certifications and belong to professional organizations. Look for affiliations with reputable groups like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), or Michigan Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI). Also ask about continuing education requirements to keep their expertise up to date. Inspectors with rigorous, ongoing training deliver higher quality inspections.
Make Sure They Have Insurance
Another must-have is proper insurance coverage. A dependable home inspection company in Michigan should have general liability insurance as well as errors and omissions insurance. These protect you if any damage occurs during the inspection or if issues are missed. Ask for proof of adequate insurance coverage before hiring an inspector.
Consider Offered Guarantees
Some inspectors stand behind their work by offering guarantees. For example, some home inspection companies in Michigan guarantee their inspection reports for 90 days up to a year. Under this policy, they’ll re-inspect anything missed in the initial inspection at no additional cost. Guarantees show confidence in their inspection services. Consider companies that provide these types of reassuring guarantees about their work.
Ask About Pricing and Bids
Have candid conversations with inspectors about what’s included in their inspection fees. Most home inspection companies in Michigan charge $300-$500 on average for a standard detached single-family home inspection. However, pricing can vary based on the size of the home, additional services, and the region. Get a bid from the inspector listing all fees before hiring them. Be wary of extremely low bids that seem too good to be true.
Look for Responsive Customer Service
You’re entering into a business relationship with the home inspector. Make sure they have responsive customer service during the evaluation process. Pay attention to how quickly they return calls and emails. Look for inspectors that answer questions thoroughly and make themselves available to prospective clients. You want to choose an inspector and company that provides top-notch service from inquiry to inspection.
Ask About Scheduling
A reputable Michigan home inspector will give you prompt and flexible scheduling options tailored to your real estate transaction. They should be able to accommodate both buyers and sellers by scheduling the inspection as soon as possible after all contingencies are met. Avoid companies that make you wait weeks for an inspection. Also, make sure they give at least a 24-48 hour cancellation notice if you have to reschedule the appointment.
Look for Digital Convenience
Today’s inspectors offer digital convenience to customers. Look for a home inspection company in Michigan that lets you schedule, receive quotes, sign contracts, make payments, and receive reports online or via a mobile app. Digital management of the process brings added transparency. Email and text message updates from the inspector also keep you informed of their inspection progress.
Read the Contract Carefully
Before officially hiring a home inspector, read their contract thoroughly. It should clearly define what’s included in the inspection, the fees, required notice to cancel, limitations of liability, dispute resolution process, and other terms and conditions. Make sure you understand and agree to all parts of the contract before signing anything. Get clarification from the inspector on any points you find confusing.
Consider a Waiver on Contingencies
If you’re facing a competitive purchase offer situation, some home inspection companies in Michigan may provide waivers on inspection contingencies. This means they’ll do an inspection for informational purposes but waive your right to request contract changes based on inspection issues. While waving this key contingency isn’t ideal, it can make your offer more appealing in a tight market.
Ask About Follow-Up Services
Many home inspectors offer follow-up services after the inspection report is delivered. They are available to meet at the home again to provide informal second opinions on contractor estimates for repairs. Some may even work as a liaison between buyers and sellers regarding request repairs. Follow-up services bring added value after the inspection.
Choosing the right home inspector is one of the most important choices you’ll make in the home buying process. Take time to thoroughly research and evaluate home inspection companies to find the best fit. The perfect inspector will give you peace of mind through their expertise, technology, guarantees, and customer service. With a comprehensive home inspection by a qualified company, you’ll have a clear picture of your potential new home before completing the purchase. Rest assured knowing you made a smart investment thanks to your trusted home inspection company in Michigan.