Certified Home Inspection
There are a few situations where it might be important to obtain a report from a certified home inspection specialist. If you are planning to sell or purchase a home, a certified home inspection service can tell you if there are problems with the house that will need to be fixed.
If you're a seller, you can decide which problems are necessary to fix before you put the house on the market. Severe problems may scare a buyer away entirely, so it's a very good idea to get a home inspection so that you know what needs fixing. Similarly, a certified home inspections specialist may let you know of problems that are not so major, but that could increase the potential asking price of your home. If you are selling a home, getting an inspection can prepare you for problems and help you strategize about maximizing the selling price of your home. Inquire about optional tests like radon testing, as these are questions that buyers may have as well.
If you are a buyer, there are some problems with a home that you'll be able to notice yourself, but a certified home inspection specialist can alert you to invisible problems like electrical or plumbing issues. Any problem that will need repair is leverage for you to negotiate with the seller about your offering price. A certified home inspection professional can let you know if a problem is minor or severe; for instance, a sloping floor in an older home could just be from natural settling (and therefore a minor annoyance instead of a real problem) but it could also indicate foundational issues. A home inspector can tell you if a problem is severe or not. Be sure to ask about issues like radon, lead paint, and other optional tests. Trust your own judgment as well-- don't get carried away by paint color when there's a wiring problem that may cost thousands to fix.
When you look for a certified home inspections professional, be sure that the person is experienced as well as certified. Choose an inspector who is thorough and who will answer all of your questions.