People who own and operate a home inspection company as a serious business, offer many benefits and protections that less serious inspectors can offer.
Error and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a large expense for companies offering this protection. E&O is the insurance that comes into play if something expensive was missed during the home inspection and it needs repaired, such as a major foundation issue.
Other benefits and protections that can be offered for 90 days are: warranty on the mechanics such as furnace, etc, sewer line warranty, discovered mold, recall research on major appliances, and a termite protection plan. One of the newer protections for home buyers provided by top level home inspection companies is a 5 year roof leak protection plan.
These benefits and protections for home buyers do have costs that naturally are passed on in the cost of business. If a home inspector offers a fee that is low there is a very good chance that they do not provide E&O insurance or any of the other protections. Other protections that can be offered to a home buyer are: 90 day warranty, sewer line warranty, roof leak warranty, a radon plan, discount on a second inspection if a person does not buy the first place, a 200% money back guaranty, termite plan, check appliances for recalls, mold warranty, same day report delivery, pictures in the report for easy reading and provide ongoing consultation and home ownership materials for you.
Checking the company for the quality and quantity of reviews they have on places such as Listen360, Google and Yelp is also very valuable information. Having a large number of reviews that are consistently providing good to great comments is far more telling than the one positive or perhaps even the one negative.
Fees for the home inspection portion are in the area of $350. This will vary depending upon the size of the home and if there are out buildings requested to be inspected. Charging less than $300 for any but the tiniest homes is a red flag in regards to the potential of the inspector not having insurance, warranties, nor a quality inspection and report. It is not uncommon to find condo inspections starting in the area of $275.00
If you are adding things such as radon testing, termite, wood destroying inspect inspections, mold testing, gas leak check, etc these things will naturally add to the total fee.
Deciding who to use is an important decision and it should not be based upon finding the cheapest. Buying a home is not a cheap event. It is not the time to short change yourself and add risk to yourself by using a company that does not offer you the protections you and your family need. Be careful who you use and do not use the cheapest because they are cheap for reasons.
Jim Troth is a Manager of a multi-inspector company, Habitation Investigation, in Ohio and the former Education Coordinator for InterNachi Ohio. He attributes the growth to excellent customer service and referrals from satisfied clients. The company provides home inspections in the Central Ohio Columbus area, Hilliard, Powell, Pickerington, Pataskala, New Albany, Delaware, Gahanna, Westerville, Galloway, Grove City, Worthington, Dublin, Marysville, London, West Jefferson, Mechanicsburg, and other cities surrounding Columbus, Ohio. His home inspection company is Habitation Investigation LLC. The website is: https://www.homeinspectionsinohio.com