The State of California does NOT license Home Inspectors! At present, anyone can claim to be a Home Inspector. Therefore, consumers must exercise extreme care and cautious consideration before hiring just anyone and it is imperative that home Sellers secure the services of a competent Home Inspector. A poor inspection can have a drastic consequence! Make sure to hire a Home Inspector who is experienced, properly trained and Certified and is a member of a viable professional association. Select your Home Inspector with the following criteria in mind:
- Professional Affiliation: Membership in most professional associations requires obtaining initial training, passing a rigorous testing exam, and mandatory adherence to professional standards of practice and participation in ongoing education. When you choose a home inspector, you should specify membership in ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association). These organizations are the ONLY professional affiliations that have a viable certification process and proctored exam! Home Inspectors who claim adherence to standards of these organizations, but who are not actual members, are avoiding professional accountability and should be viewed with caution. Any other organization is nothing more than a “paper mill” and does not have a viable certification process.
- Inspection Experience. Of paramount importance is a Home Inspector’s actual level of direct experience in the practice of Home Inspection. A General Contractor’s license can be an important credential, but when it comes to Home Inspection, a license to build indicates very little as it relates to competence as a Home Inspector. The experience that matters most is specific Home Inspection training and experience, not building experience.
- Avoid Price Shopping. Home Inspection fees vary widely. Lower fees may indicate a Home Inspector who is new to the business or does not spend sufficient time performing the Home Inspection or has an inferior report. One defect missed by your Home Inspector could cost 100 times what you save with a bargain Home Inspection. The best method of price shopping is to shop for quality. Considering the high cost of real estate today, the Home Inspection fee is a small price to pay and can save thousands of dollars in the transaction!