A Guide on How to Protect Yourself from Home Inspection Scams

When buying a house, taking precautions is of vital importance. You would want to get your potential home inspected naturally. The thing is, you can easily get sucked into home inspection scams, whether you’re a buyer or seller. If the problems are not uncovered on time, you have to pay thousands of dollars to get the damage repaired.

A home inspection is not as dire as loan flipping. Primarily because loan flipping exhausts your equity. However, home inspection scams rob thousands of dollars off you without doing anything of potential advantage. Your best bet is to shield yourself against these scammers and keep watch for any red flags. This article aims at narrowing down every possible point that could lead to a home inspection scam.

Why is a Home Inspection Necessary?

A home inspection helps you determine your property’s cost if it goes on the market. Home inspectors check the sewage systems, safety conditions, electricity, and everything in a home that require checking.

A Guide on How to Protect Yourself from Home Inspection Scams

You can figure out what needs repairing in your home before it causes harm or decreases the value of your property. But all that is possible only when you have a trusted home inspector. 

home inspection is very different from a home appraisal. An appraisal determines the value of your property according to certain factors such as geographical location, which U.S. state it is located in, the value of the houses in the neighborhood, etc.

In contrast, a home inspection determines the “condition” of your property and what improvements can be made to improve the value of your home in the market. So, a home appraisal determines the value of your home, while getting your house inspected gives you a lead on what needs to be repaired.

How a Home Inspector Could Scam You

As mentioned earlier, buyers and sellers could be targets of home inspection scams. Listed below are some of the most common home inspection scam tactics.

Sudden Increase in Prices

A sudden increase in prices is a typical home inspection scam. The home inspector may settle on a price beforehand. However, after examining the house, their price rates rise. Maybe they offered you a low rate when meeting with you but doubled the rate suddenly after these scammers did the inspection. So in a case like this, you’d have to pay the added amount as the relevant people provided the services.

They could also come up with additional issues and charge you extra. In some cases, the inspector causes damage intentionally, for which they cannot be held accountable. You should get it into writing that the inspector will have to pay if they cause damage to the property.

Knowingly Doing a Bad Job

Doing a bad job on purpose is the most harmful home inspection scam. Usually, what happens is that your real estate manager recommends a home inspector. But they’ve made a deal beforehand. The home inspector oversees the problems found in your home and gives you an all ok review. 

They do this because if the house doesn’t get on the market, the real estate agent doesn’t get the commission if it sells. To prevent this from happening, back out as soon as you sense something wrong. Hire another home inspector, a completely independent one. Hence, it’s best to work without such real estate agents and sell the property on your own.

Unprofessional Home Inspectors

Many home inspectors don’t have a license for a home inspection. Due to their unprofessionalism, the problems taking shelter in your home do not get uncovered. That leads to more significant issues coming to the surface, which could cost you thousands of dollars to repair.

Unprofessional Home Inspectors

If your house is relatively new, the home inspector could assume the place is damage free. Usually, they do this to get the job done fast and get paid without having to work for it. That could bring down the price of your property if you had the intention of selling it.

How You Could Get Scammed

Falling prey to home inspection scammers is a common thing even if you’re not buying or selling any property. You can get scammed by services insisting on giving a free inspection for your house or come in disguise. Here are two popular ways you can be scammed without knowing it.

Disguised Inspections

Often home inspectors come disguised as fire/safety inspectors. They usually don’t make a prior appointment, and the visits are sudden. They pretend to check out the apartment thoroughly. Make a list of things that needs repairing. Get you to sign a legit-looking form and then send you a bill in the mail.

Disguised Inspections

To protect yourself from similar situations, don’t let anyone into your home without running a background check first. Ask them what company they’re with, and get a proper introduction. Legitimate companies don’t show up at your door uninvited.

Free Inspections

Another common technique is a fake home inspector calling you to tell you that a home inspection is needed and that it will be done free of cost. They’ll make up an excuse saying your home needs repairing or that the area is unsafe. Since home inspections are never free of charge, you should keep an eye out for these red flags. The intention behind this is to rob you or get access to your home.

See Also: Avoid “We Buy Houses” Scams 

Filing Legal Action against House Inspection Scams

Filing legal action against home scammers is possible. You can sue their services for dishonoring their contract with you due to negligence. However, for legal cases, you always need evidence. Hence, you will have to prove evidence that something was done to your home during the inspection that caused damage.

The Simple Way to Avoid Getting Home Inspection Scams

By now, you are aware of the fact that home inspection scams are possible. If you’re worried that your house will fall into the wrong hands, our services are here to help. We are the direct buyers, which means you can save up on any commission fee and avoid going to real estate agents. 

Moreover, there is no catch here as buy the house directly, and in the same condition, it is in. There is no need to get it inspected; we offer a no-obligation offer that is market competitive. Work with us to close a quick deal on your house without getting scammed.