You’ve found the perfect home, and you’re ready to make an offer. But you want to make sure you do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line.

 So you look for a home inspector to make sure the home is as good as it looks.

 You’re off to a good start—but before you hire a home inspector, you should make sure that home inspection company you’ve contracted is the best of the best.

 As an area development manager for HouseMaster for more than 15 years, I’ve seen a wide variety of inspection companies … some good, some bad.

 In this article, I’ll discuss the five questions you should ask to determine whether your prospective home inspection is not just good, but great.

Does the home inspection company offer a guarantee for their work?

A great home inspection company should stand behind their work.

Depending on the state you reside in, home inspection companies may not be required to guarantee their work. However, the best home inspection companies will build trust by guaranteeing some sort of compensation if their inspection is inaccurate.

There are two types of guarantees: A money-back guarantee and a guarantee of work performed that extends beyond money back.

Many companies offer to give customers inspection costs back if customers have a problem with an area the inspector rated satisfactory.

That’s good.

But the great option—one that will save you money—is to make sure the home inspector guarantees their work. At HouseMaster, we guarantee that if we rate a part of the house satisfactory and it has a problem within 90 days of closing or 120 days of the inspection, we’ll replace or repair it.

We stand by our work. Our inspectors are trained to make thorough inspections—and we promise complete restitution if the inspection is anything less than thorough.

What kind of insurance does the home inspection company carry?

To cover yourself, you want to make sure your home inspection company carries several types of insurance. When you contract with a home inspection company, you are technically the employer of record—you want to make sure your inspectors have insurance to protect you from liability in case of a mishap.

There are three types of coverage great home inspectors should carry:

  1. Liability coverage. This makes sure you don’t have to pay for any unforeseen damage that happens while inspectors or vendors are inside the house.
  2. Workers’ compensation. If a worker is hurt while onsite, their medical bills are your responsibility—unless the contractor carries workers’ comp.
  3. Errors and omissions insurance. This kind of insurance offers a safety net for you and any contractors who enter your home. Inspectors are humans too, and sometimes they make mistakes. This type of insurance covers the consequences of those mistakes, whether they affect you or the inspection company.

HouseMaster carries these three insurance types—we won’t enter a house without them, even if they’re not required by state law.

Can customers walk through with the home inspector?

Be wary of any home inspection company that refuses to let home buyers or owners walk through with the inspector. A walk-through is something you shouldn’t skip.

Great companies should want customers to be present during the walkthrough.

I have frequently rescheduled inspections to accommodate customer schedules—just to make sure the customers can accompany the inspector. It’s that important.

An inspection has two parts: the actual inspection of each component of the home, and the educational process.

Great home inspectors should be serious about educating you about the systems and components of a home. They can tell you what type of appliances you have and what maintenance schedules you should be aware of.

We want you to have skin in the game and have the best inspection experience possible. That means seeing problems and systems first-hand, instead of just getting a piece of paper you have to interpret on your own. HouseMaster even offers an inspection resource guide to help answer any other questions you might have.

Does the inspection company offer consulting services post-inspection?

This question is sweet and simple.

Great inspection companies will offer consulting services for the life of your ownership of the home. That means you can follow up if you have issues with the home … even years later.

It also means the inspection company has connections with local contractors and can refer you to companies who will offer vetted repair services and share the company’s philosophy of client care.

Does HouseMaster offer consulting options? You bet. And we would be happy to tell you more about it.

What kind of ancillary testing does the inspection company offer?

This question allows you to compare apples to apples.

Say you’re comparing the prices of multiple home inspectors. To truly comprehend the value of a home inspection, make sure you ask what ancillary testing is included or not included.

As Warren Buffet has said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

Customers should be looking at value, not just price.

At HouseMaster, we offer several valuable ancillary services that other home inspectors may not offer. We include wood-destroying insect inspection with your mortgage paperwork. We also test for radon—and have our own radon testing lab so we can process reports quickly and guarantee their results. Our response time is second to none.

Aim for great, not just good

Not all inspectors are created equal—and whether you choose HouseMaster or another home inspection company, you should know what you’re getting when you say yes to your home inspector.

We aim to provide service that meets or exceeds your expectations. Schedule a HouseMaster Home Inspection today. Our area office works with local HouseMaster inspectors in New Hampshire and southern Maine.