Frequently Asked Questions
Do inspectors have to be licensed?
Yes, only Inspector’s or licensed by the Florida Home Inspector Licensure Board and are permitted to perform home inspections for compensation. To qualify for licensure, they must satisfy certain education and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. Inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
What is a home inspection?
A 400-point evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of the system’s condition.
It is also important to know what a home inspection is not.
A home inspection is not an appraisal of the property’s value; nor does it cover the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or guarantee an item inspected will not fail in the future. [Note: Warranties may be purchased to cover many items.] Home inspections also should not be considered a “technically exhaustive” evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.
What are the benefits of a home inspection?
Most homebuyers lack the knowledge or understanding of what is industry norm. Buying a home is an emotional decision and thus detachment and objectivity or needed to inspect a home. By using the services of a Licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not “function as intended “or “adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling “or “warrant further investigation.”
Which inspection association is the best from which to hire an inspector?
There is no such thing as one association making inspectors “better” than their competitors. Each inspector is required to meet a minimum set of standards put forth by their association’s Standards of Practice and/or Code of Ethics, and all major state or national inspection associations require Continuing Education. Most association SOPs and COEs mirror one-another’. Keep in mind that inspectors come from all occupations. Some individuals were involved in the construction trade for many years while others are licensed engineers. Some worked in Information Technology while others were pest control technicians. What is important is that the inspector you hire or properly trained to perform an inspection on your property and has proven experience, or endorsed by actual clients, and carries the appropriate insurances, licenses, and certifications to do the job they advertise.
In short, being an “association member” and a “great home inspector” are not mutually exclusive. Even so, inspectors who belong to recognized state and national associations receive ongoing educational opportunities that many non-association inspectors may neglect or not even know about.
Why are inspectors sometimes called deal killers?
The term “deal killer” refers to inspectors whose findings, after an inspection or performed and reported in writing; motivate a buyer to avoid moving forward with the transaction. Of course, no inspector can know what findings will result in “killing” a deal as the decision to buy, or not, ultimately belongs to the client. Sometimes, a deal can be “killed” by the seller not being willing to fix something or the two agents not being able to negotiate terms between their clients.
Contrary to the negative nature of the name, the “deal killer” inspector is gaining popularity as the buyer’s inspector-of-choice due to their protective nature towards their clients and attention to details. Even buyer’s agents are beginning to show a growing appreciation for “deal killer” inspectors as such inspectors help agents to avoid potential liabilities associated with the transaction. The inspector’s track record have proven very useful in pre-inspection to help a motivated seller and agent in finding the right price to sell the home quicker in slow moving economy.
How important is the inspection report, and how can I tell whether or not I am receiving a thorough report?
The inspection report is extremely important as it represents the inspector’s findings in printable form and provides the client with a permanent record of the inspection. In short, the report is the record of the inspection.
Different inspectors use different methods to generate reports. Some inspectors literally write their reports in pencil while others may use a checklist form. In today’s modern era of portable computing, many inspectors are migrating over to generating reports using sophisticated reporting software, which allows photos to be inserted into the report and comments to be generated quickly.
Due to the report being the most important result of an inspection, you should require that inspector provide you with a sample report to review. Many inspectors have sample reports available online for you to view from their Websites in PDF format. You will know if your inspector will provide you with a thorough inspection report by reviewing their sample report
How long should a home inspection take to perform?
The average home inspection takes between two hours to four hours to perform. Of course, this entirely dependent on the building’s size and age, the type of inspection being performed, the equipment used by the inspector, and what the inspector includes as part of their inspection service. Then the inspector has to write the report although this is time you will not witness. Many times, reports can be available in about 24 hours from the actual inspection.
In my home purchase I have chosen to sign the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract* form which many real estate and legal professionals use. It states that I have the right to have the home inspected and the right to request that the seller repair identified problems with the home Will the home inspection identify all of these problems?
The answer is Yes and No. Home Inspectors typically evaluate structural components (floors, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, pool, spas etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning), installed appliances and other major components of the property. The Home Inspector Licensure Board’s Standards of Practice do not require Home Inspectors to report: wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, detached structures and certain other items listed in the Offer to Purchase and Contract form. Always ask they cover all the things that are important to you. If not, it is your responsibility to arrange for an inspection of these items by the appropriate professionals. For a description of the services to be provided by the Home Inspector (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the Home Inspector must give you and which you must sign before the Home Inspection can be performed.
How do I request a home inspection, and who will pay for it?
You can arrange for the home inspection or ask your real estate agent to assist you. Typically, the buyer is responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections. If the inspection scheduled after you have signed the purchase contract, be sure to schedule the inspection as soon as possible to allow adequate time for any repairs to be completed.
Should I be present when the home inspection or performed?
Whenever possible, you should be present. The inspector can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home will take two to three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The Home Inspector should give you a written report of the home inspection within three business days after the inspection or performed (unless otherwise stated in your contract with the Home Inspector). The home inspection report is your property. The Home Inspector may only give it to you and may not share it with other persons without your permission.
Are all inspection reports the same?
No. While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a “checklist” of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two. Home Inspectors are required to give you a written “Summary” of their inspection identifying any system or component that does not function as intended, or adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling, or appears to warrant further investigation by a specialist. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not read only the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire home inspection report.
What should I do if I feel something has not been identified in the inspection?
Before any repairs are made (except emergency repairs), call the inspector or inspection company to discuss the problem. This allows a “trip charge” to be avoided and the problem to be rectified by the inspector who can then answer the question over the telephone.
If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, may I have the Home Inspector perform a "re-inspection"?
Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. The inspector may be able to help you evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that were rectified. Home Inspectors typically charge a fee for re-inspections.
Visit our Contact page or call us directly at: (813) 368-6813 or (727) 289-8237 – to get the information you need for your home inspection service.