Most home purchase contracts include several contingencies; that is, conditions that must be satisfied before the sale of a home can be finalized. One of the most common of these contingencies, included in virtually every home sale contract, is the home inspection contingency. 

This contingency can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers. The inspection contingency gives the buyer the right to have the home inspected within a specified time period. It serves as a critical protection for the buyer, who can cancel the contract and secure the return of earnest money or negotiate repairs based on the findings of a professional home inspector. This contingency allows the buyer to rely on the expert advice of a professional in ensuring that the home’s condition is satisfactory and their investment is sound.

However, finding the right home inspector is key. A good inspector can identify major issues, offer the seller an opportunity to correct, and provide the purchaser with peace of mind. But choosing the right inspector can be difficult. Online reviews and ratings can help, but are not always reliable, and referrals from family and friends may not be available. So how can you find a home inspector you can trust? Read on for a few tips on how to make sure your most cherished investment is protected.

Start By Requesting Your Home Inspector’s Qualifications And Certifications

Be sure to check on an inspector’s certifications and credentials before hiring. Are they a BBB-accredited organization? Do they belong to professional groups or organizations, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the All American Association of Home Inspectors (AAAHI), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)? Do they offer a warranty or a protected promise to back up the results of their inspections? A good inspector will respond positively to questions about their affiliations, training, licensing, and warranties, and be eager to discuss any questions you may have. 

In Illinois, home inspectors are required to be certified by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. If you have any questions about your inspector’s license, you can check their status on the IDFPR website

Don’t hesitate to talk to your inspector and make sure that they can bring the level of training and professionalism that you need out of your home inspection.

Your Inspector Should Encourage You To Be Present For The Entire Inspection

As a homebuyer, it’s not necessary for you to attend the inspection, and it’s undeniably true that an inspection is not the most exciting process to watch. However, an inspector who doesn’t want you to be present, or doesn’t welcome your presence, is a red flag. A good inspector will welcome your questions and be willing to walk you through the inspection process — both before the inspection takes place and during the process itself. 

Your Home Inspector Should Be Willing To Provide Sample Reports

Sample home inspection reports can be a great way to evaluate the thoroughness of an inspector, and to compare one inspector to another. Asking for a sample report, or a report prepared for a similar property to the one you’re considering, can be a great way to understand how your inspector will approach your property.

In reviewing sample reports, be sure to look at how the inspector’s findings are presented. For example, check to see whether the report contains notes on the inspector’s observations, instead of a series of check-boxes. Your inspection report may be your only opportunity to negotiate repairs with your seller, so a clear, thorough report is of critical importance. After all, it’s difficult to identify whether a seller is willing to fix a problem if you don’t have a clear understanding of what the problem actually is

There are no length requirements for inspection reports, but a report that spans only a page or two should raise immediate alarms. A good inspection report should range at least 20 pages, including comprehensive notes and even photos outlining the inspector’s exact observations.

Does Your Home Inspector Back Up Their Work With A Warranty?

At Windy City Home Inspection, we back our work with industry-leading warranties and services, including our 90 Day Limited Structural Warranty, MoldSafe Policy, and SewerGard Policy. You need more than just a home inspection, you need professionals you can depend on even after the job is done. Recalled products? Sewer and water lines experiencing unexpected wear and tear? When these issues arise, you’ll want to ensure you have trained, experienced professionals on the line, ready to help.

What to Expect with Windy City Home Inspection

Whether you’re buying a property, selling a property, or just want to know how to maintain your property, Windy City Home Inspection is here to help. With Windy City Home Inspection, you can expect a diligent, thorough inspection covering all the bases and never cutting corners.

When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them — even if it means returning to your home.

At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards — yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.