Home inspectors

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April 2003 (Palm Springs, Calif) — The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) encourages all potential homebuyers to personally accompany their professional inspector when considering a home to purchase. Maximum benefit is obtained from an inspection when you attend in person. Neglecting to do so can be a big mistake. 

CREIA recommends that homebuyers and their agents always attend the inspection as this is an excellent way to gain firsthand information on the current condition of the property and what will be in the inspector’s forthcoming report. Far more can be learned when the inspector explains the report than when you interpret it on your own. 

By following your professional home inspector through the inspection, observing and asking questions, you will learn about your home and get some tips on general maintenance. This will also help clarify in your mind what the inspector saw, couldn’t see, and what their opinion was regarding each and every item inspected, especially after you receive the inspector's written report. Only then can you have a good basic understanding of the home's overall current condition, which is vital in helping you make an informed purchasing decision. 

Homebuyers are cautioned against inspecting the property themselves. Most homebuyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the property, and this may lead to a poor assessment. A qualified professional inspector is familiar with general construction practices, maintenance and inter-relationships of a home’s systems and components. A professional inspector’s goal is to help you understand the overall current general condition of your new home. If you find items in your written inspection report that you fail to understand, call the inspector and ask for an explanation of the condition(s) in question. If you fail to find defects listed in your report that your inspector verbally noted to you during the inspection process, call the inspector and ask why they were left out. If you get a conflicting opinion from one of the agents involved in the transaction, call the inspector and ask them for the basis for their opinion. If you get a conflicting opinion from a contractor retained to perform corrective work on a defective system or component noted in the inspector's report, call the inspector and ask for further explanation; suggest the inspector speak to the contractor. If you find that the seller states that a certain item reported as defective or hazardous is not a problem and refuses to negotiate a price adjustment, it is the seller’s legal right to not negotiate. Either accept the seller's position or look for another house. 

Most importantly, make sure you hire a qualified, professional inspector. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.