What Does It Take to be a Home Inspector?
If you’ve ever gone to school to study and then gone out in the real world, you know scholastic preparation and real life are two unique experiences. It couldn’t be more true for home inspection.
Home inspectors need to know how to evaluate systems in a home for safety and structural soundness. Your inspector observes the Standards of Practice of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors):
What is important for you and the information you receive in the inspection report, is your inspector needs to know enough to see problems in any of these areas. Experience in the field creates a history of different types of system failures and needs for remediation and repair.
Knowledge and experience are the foundation of a professional home inspector.
California Requirements for Home Inspectors
Home inspectors in California are not licensed. That poses a question for consumers who are buying or selling a home. How do you know your home inspector has what it takes to do a thorough, professional inspection?
There are some legal safeguards for consumers. Although there are no licensing requirements, California laws require legal safeguards.
Senate Bill 258 has been in effect since 1997. In it, is a business and professions code (Sections 7195 ff.) pertaining to home inspectors. It defines home inspections and home inspectors and imposes certain duties and restraints.
The law encourages courts to consider the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of ASHI and the California Real Estate Inspection Association when determining whether an inspection meets the required standard of care. Consumers are protected with the definition of the scope of the inspection and with ethical codes of conduct for all home inspectors.
National Standard Test
In addition, to general knowledge and field experience, home inspectors in California can take a state-specific examination through the National Home Inspector Examination. The exam is very detailed. Home inspectors need field experience over and above study materials to successfully pass the exam.
The National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) ensures that home inspection professionals meet basic knowledge and practice requirements for the purposes of regulation. Successful completion of the examination fulfills the needs of the public, the government and of home inspectors. Home inspectors who are members of ASHI, take this exam.
Choosing Your California Home Inspector
Since California lacks licensing requirements, choosing a home inspector can seem murky. But, there are steps you can take to find an experienced, knowledgeable, and ethical home inspector.
Take steps to identify the right inspection business to fit with you and your clients.
A professional home inspector always takes the high road—even when no one is looking. They qualify themselves to ensure they deliver quality to their clients. They believe that is a requirement and obligation of being in business. It’s much more than a gold star on their homework, like passing an exam.
The bottom line is choosing a home inspector that meets your standards and communicates well with you.