Buying a new home? How to choose a snagging inspector

There are many firms and individuals that offer so-called professional snagging inspections. Some even refer to historic TV appearances. So how do you decide?

SnaglistNew home buyers need to ensure that the inspector who will be snagging their new home is qualified and experienced and not sub contracted out to a local ex-site manager or finishing manager who cannot currently find a job – the very people who have now made professional independent snagging a necessity!

Cost – Most people’s first consideration. However, apart from making sure any VAT is included in the price cost should not be the primary factor. Most snagging companies charge similar fees anyway. You should not be asking yourself can I afford this, rather than, can I afford not to!

Is the inspector competent?

  • Check the qualifications and experience of the inspector who will be doing the inspection.
  • Can the company provide any testimonials or historic snagging reports as examples?
  • Does the company’s website feature a list of their inspectors along with details of experience and qualifications?
  • Do the inspectors have a thorough knowledge of the latest building regulations and NHBC standards?
  • Are employed inspectors properly interviewed and assessed?

Check the level of service

  • Does the company have trained and knowledgeable staff in an established office? People who are able to provide help and advice over the telephone, not just for the initial inspection, but throughout the two year warranty period.
  • How quickly are they able to carry out the inspection and produce a professional report for the builder to action?
  • Do they offer nationwide inspections or are they just in a particular county or area?
  • Are they able to carry out inspections, even if the house builder or site manager initially refuses access?
  • Does the fee include re visiting the home to check defects have been dealt with or is this only available at extra cost?
    Does the service provided include dealing with any problems or disputes with the builder for the full 2-year warranty or does it just provide a one-off inspection report?

Do a general background check

  • How long have they been in business? You can check the copyright date on their website. If it is less than three years, choose another company!
  • Is the company respected within the house building industry?
  • Is the company able to offer expert impartial advice?
  • Is the company committed to improve the quality of new homes by working with both house builders and their customers?
  • Can the company deal professionally but resolutely with house builders, or are they in partnership with builders providing services for builders? This may influence and regulate how thorough your inspection is.

Check out the website

  • Is the website professional and original or created using a 1&1 website template?
  • Are there any errors or spelling mistakes? If they cannot snag their website it is likely they won’t do a good job snagging your home.
  • Is the website full of useful information or is it purely used as a shop window for promoting the services offered, full of self promoting historic media stories?
  • Are there useful links to other sites providing relevant information for new homebuyers?
  • Are testimonials from satisfied clients provided on the website?
  • Can you find a sample inspection report on the website?
  • Has the website plagiarised content from other websites?

Check out the firm’s sample snaglist

  • Does the snaglist have any spelling or other basic mistakes demonstrating a lack of professionalism and care?  For example referring to a “cutlery door” not drawer.
  • Are the snagging defects listed clearly identified?  Where they are, What is wrong and the possible solution or work required to rectify.
  • Are inaccessible areas inspected?  For example the roof space and inside garages.
  • Are industry terms used?  For example “floor screed” rather than “cement.”
  • Are NHBC or British Standards quoted or referred to?
  • Does the snagging report mainly list fairly obvious decoration and cleaning items like this example, things that most people would notice anyway?
  • Is there any evidence that fans, heating and appliances have been tested?
  • Are there any snags to show that the plumbing has been checked for leaks? For example a shower hose washer missing.
  • Have all the doors and windows been checked for damage and opening/closing?
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