Since I run a small business, my answer is obviously going to be "yes." But let me tell you why. Right now, the real estate market in Central Ohio is hot. Practically on fire. Home sales have been steadily increasing year-over-year. There is a lot of business, which means there are a lot of new agents, loan officers, and, of course, home inspectors. Big home inspection companies are constantly putting up the "now hiring" signs on social media. Some of them are restructuring, adding new inspectors as fast as they can train them while cutting loose their more experienced members. As a result, when you call up one of the big guys, you never know what experience level you are going to get. While it may be convenient to schedule online, if you know that the company has multiple inspectors it might be worth the time to call up the company directly and request to have a Certified Master Inspector check out your new home. You don't want to take a risk on the largest investment you're going to make. With a small business home inspection company, you can be certain that you are getting the best qualified inspectors in the market. If the company only has one or two highly-qualified inspectors, you don't have to worry if they've just grabbed the first warm body they could stick in front on an online learning class. Many small businesses also offer the same warranty protection that the bigger companies provide, thanks to the lower overhead. Aside from the obvious value of being sure you're getting someone who knows what they are looking at, you can also be sure that you are getting personal attention. For small businesses with only one or two inspectors, you aren't just another order number they have to work through. You will get more personalized attention from your inspector, and you won't have to worry about getting lost in the shuffle. With Hane Home Inspections, I perform every inspection personally. I am a Certified Master Inspector, I've done thousands of inspections, and I always keep ahead on my continuing education. Obviously, this entire post is a thinly veiled plug for my own business. But even if you live or are moving to somewhere beyond my operating area, I encourage you to find a smaller business that will treat you like a person and not a number. You are buying a new home. You deserve to have someone on your side who gets that, and wants to make sure that you, personally, are taken care of.
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