Choose A Home Inspector

I believe the choice of home inspector is one of the most important decisions in the home buying process. The most important choice is choosing the right Realtor. But hopefully after reading up on me and TEN Realty, the choice of the best Realtor is Southern Oregon is obvious and you have already decided to choose me.

The second most important decision is the choice of lender. I will leave that to another blog. But believe me, the 7 of 10 of the most difficult deals I have done have been due to an poor choice in lender. Now I can’t 100% tell someone which service providers to choose, but things always go smoother if my client allows me to refer them to the best service providers.

But what we are going to talk about it the Home Inspector.

I have a definite preference in my GO TO inspector.  And it is for a combination of reasons. First and foremost is that he is good at his job. I don’t want an inspector that overlooks things or misses things. It is the best insurance

A magnifying glass hovering over the words Inspection, centering on a house with the word Home inside it

policy you get when buying a house that on the date the inspection was done that the home was in a “known” condition. That is not to say it is in perfect condition, but that the issues are known and their risks and costs associated with them have been assessed.  My GO TO inspector quotes something I said to him years ago still. It was “if you don’t occasionally kill a deal for me, you aren’t doing your job”.  And I believe this, because some houses are just more work and need more money to fix that the buyer may have or be willing to live with.

But the next most important thing an inspector can have is being able to see the big issues from the minor issues. And to be able to communicate this to their clients. There are certainly some large issues that can go wrong on houses, but it is also the inspector’s job to find smaller items that are issues. Some inspectors make every little think look like it is a big deal  A house that was built 10 or 20 or 90 years ago will not have things as perfect as it should have as a brand new house (although brand new homes have issues all the time too). And if an inspector makes big deals over little items, it is counter productive.

There is one inspector that is in the area that has a reputation as a deal killer. I call this the WORRIER inspector Not because of major issues, but because he makes minor issues seem like big deals.  And to the inexperienced home buyer, they get scared and worried. I’ll tell you one thing as a home owner. Things break, things go wrong, and you too will defer some maintenance. We don’t all crawl under our houses and inspect that the insulation is still in good order. Or we don’t all consistently keep that beautiful climbing vine off of the side of our houses.  But if the attitude of the inspector is that all of this MUST be fixed, and that the seller REALLY should do it, that can turn a perfectly good house into one that isn’t purchased because of minor issues.

House_1Some inspectors also OVER inspect. When buying, it isn’t necessary to know every scuff of paint or snag in the carpet. Generally you want to know if the foundation is good. The roof is good. The plumbing isn’t leaking. There is no significant dry rot. ETC….  Unless you do want to have the perfect house with zero imperfections. And you are going to take the OVER inspection as a to-do list. Because generally the seller will not agree to a 100 point fix it list. But if you want that guy…I know who it is.

Then some inspectors have no people skills at all. They come in, check the boxes, do the job, fill out a report, print it and move on to the next one. I actually prefer this inspector to the OVER inspector or the WORRIER inspector. Because they do a good job. The reports point out the flaws of the house. This isn’t my GO TO inspector, but it certainly is my OKAY inspector. I’ve got a few of these.

I have also run across a report or two. An inspector or two who just seems incompetent. They may find the issues but their reports are so basic or poorly written it is hard to tell. They don’t take pictures or don’t take enough pictures to demonstrate the issues that they have found. If I am representing a seller in a deal…there are a couple of names of inspectors that I love to hear are doing the inspections. Because they are the INCOMPETENT ones. And if there is something that the seller doesn’t know about, the inspector doesn’t find…then all is good. You will not find the INCOMPETENT ones on the preferred providers section on my website.


So in order of my preferred personality inspectors when representing a buyer.

1. GO TO inspector (obviously)

2. OKAY inspector

3. OVER inspector

4. WORRIER inspector

5. INCOMPETENT inspector.


My order of preferred personality inspectors when representing a seller:

1. INCOMPETENT inspector

2. OKAY inspector

3. GO TO inspector

4. OVER inspector

5. WORRIER inspector