You looked around, talked to friends or acquaintances for recommendations, and found your real estate agent. You should do the same to locate your Appraiser and Home Inspector. It’s really not that hard or time consuming. You can usually find the right one in a matter of an hour or so of research and phone calls.
No matter how honest a real estate agent or broker is, few of them want to see a potential sale go south because of a low appraisal value or a home inspection report full of listed defects. One of the ways is for an agent to recommend an appraiser that will almost guarantee the sale price or a home inspector that isn’t very picky or does a very quick inspection. There are many, many good appraisers and home inspectors out there. However, for those that have an “in” with an agent that recommends them, they may be more than reluctant to give a bad report. No one wants to shoot the goose that lays the golden egg so to speak. An appraiser or inspector will feel a bit of loyalty towards that agent that recommended them, and may not have your interests fully in mind.
One of the ways to avoid this apparent conflict of interest is to find one on your own. There are many sources to locate a good appraiser or inspector. You can start by looking up 3 or more and calling and talking to them. Several sources include the internet, phone book, friends, etc. If you ask your agent for some, make sure it’s a long list and not just a hand picked few.
Have a list of questions handy. Ask about their experience, national or local professional affiliations, etc. Ask for references and/or copies of their work. Find one you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can trust. It’s hard to determine over the phone someone to trust, but if you do your homework and ask the right questions it will greatly increase your odds.
Another issue will be timing. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to find someone. That will reduce your chances of finding the right person, and you’ll end up hiring the first one that can just meet your schedule.
Try not to shop for the lowest bidder! This is probably one of the largest and longest investments you will ever make so this isn’t the time to become thrifty. Find someone in the middle of the road. Those that are low end of the spectrum tend to be either part-timers or very inexperienced. Those on the high end tend to be the more experienced inspectors or appraisers that don’t really want your work unless you are willing to pay through the nose for it and can meet their schedule.
Finding a home inspector or appraiser on your own will help to avoid any conflict of interest with your agent and will almost guarantee that you will have someone working in your own best interest.
Here are a few sources to locate a qualified home inspector.
Wisconsin Home Inspector Directory [HTTP://wisconsin-home-inspectors.com]