After choosing the perfect home for you it is important to make sure you are choosing the right home inspector as well. While there are many home inspectors available not all are certified home inspectors.
A certified home inspector can offer you peace of mind as you complete your purchase. Certified home inspectors, like the ones at Clear Choice Inspectors, are trained to do a thorough inspection. Most importantly these inspections protect you from any issues which may cause problems or affect your home’s value. However, hiring someone without the proper qualifications can leave you with a false sense of security.
Knowing how and who to choose may not be easy so, let us help you navigate the differences between certified and non-certified inspectors. We will also give you tips on how to find the right inspector for you.
In this post, we are going to cover
- What is a Home Inspector?
- The differences between a Certified vs. Uncertified Home Inspector
- How do I know if my Home Inspector is Certified?
What is a Home Inspector?
A home inspector evaluates the condition of the home. This includes plumbing, electrical, water, and sewer systems, as well as any fire or safety hazards. The home inspector also looks for signs of vermin, water, fire, or other damage. If missed these things could reduce the value of the home in the future. In addition they can result in costly repairs you were not anticipating.
According to a 2023 data finding, done by Abdalslam, 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed.
We have all heard the nightmare stories of people who purchased a home that had mold issues they weren’t aware of foundations problems or even devastating destruction due to termites. The cost of repairing these issues, if they can be repaired, can be enormous. In addition, the emotional strain it can have on you and your family can be much more costly.
Certified vs. Uncertified Home Inspector
Uncertified Home Inspector
Unfortunately, there are uncertified home inspectors performing home inspections. But what does that mean to you? Is the difference between certified and uncertified really important? The answer is, yes!
Through cookie-cutter certifications and “associate” certifications even unqualified people can get certified. This makes it all too easy for an unqualified inspector to perform your inspection.
A “certification mill”:
- Offers certification based on the applicant’s work history. Generally this provides little or no evidence of previous study.
- Issues a certificate indicating that the person has completed a certified certification program. This program may not be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To earn certificates like this the individual generally completes little to no recognized training or study.
- Operates without oversight by a state or federal government or a national accrediting organization. They issue certificates that are either meaningless or false in the absence of institutional standards.
It is possible that an individual’s certification may be considered invalid. This can happen if it was issued by a training organization, association, or institution which does not adhere to national criteria established by a federal accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Certified Home Inspector
On the other hand, an officially certified home inspector must achieve many more requirements.
For an official home inspector to receive their license they must complete the following:
- Twenty-four hours of continuing education.
- Every 3 years they must pass the Home Inspector Examination. This is a two-hundred multiple-choice test that must be completed in four hours.
- They must complete training courses. These can take anywhere from one week to 3 months to complete.
- The inspector must successfully pass a Standards of Practice test as well as a code of ethics course.
- An officially licensed home inspector will participate in intense schooling and studying
- The home inspector must earn accreditation from a national organization that is acknowledged by the federal or state Department of Education
ICA states that “it’s one thing to be able to see that a furnace is more than a few years old. It’s another to be able to tell someone if it’s malfunctioning and whether it needs to be replaced.”
This is the essence of why it is so important to use only certified home inspectors.
How do I know if my Home Inspector is Certified?
Since unqualified inspectors can be certified how do I know if a home inspector is properly certified, licensed and insured?
Here are 7 suggestions for helping to find the right certified and qualified home inspector for you.
- Always verify the inspector’s license
Most states require home inspectors to be licensed. So check with your state to see if that is the case. Also, home inspectors are generally required to have insurance (professional liability, and errors and omissions insurance). Even if it’s not required by your state law-you should require it!
Ask your prospective home inspector if they are licensed. Also, get their license number, and ask them about insurance before you hire them. You can check on your state’s website to find out if they are licensed in that state or not. Florida’s website allows you to search by name, license number, city, county or license type.
- Find out where they were educated
Asking your potential home inspector for their certification proof is completely reasonable. Ask them where they were certified. Then check online to see if that school is approved by the state and/or U.S. Department of Education. Many inspectors now offer links on their websites where you can click to verify their certification.
One of the most respected certifications for home inspectors comes from InterNACHI. Checking their website can also help you find out if the inspector you are considering is certified or not.
- Ask a realtor about the inspector’s reputation
Check with your realtor for recommendations or for information on the home inspector you are considering. If they recommend someone be sure to ask if the inspectors report was thorough and helpful for their clients.
- Request a sample report
Request a sample of the home inspection report that your potential home inspector provides. It is a good sign if they are able to quickly provide you a sample report. It is even better if they provide you with a link to an online sample report.
- Check out their website
Good organizational skills and communication skills are important qualities to look for in a home inspection company. Therefore, if you want to get an idea of how sophisticated a home inspection will be, consider the usability of their website. Check to see if they offer online scheduling or thorough explanations of their services.
- Check Google reviews
Any good home inspector should be able to provide you with recommendations. You should also be able to find their reviews on Google Profiles. Above all, these reviews indicate the type of experience you can expect to have.
It is a good idea to see if and how they respond to reviews. How do they respond when there is an issue? Good communication will be important for your inspection. This is a great way to see how important it is to your potential home inspector.
- Interview the inspector yourself
Take the time to have a quick call with your potential home inspector. How well are they at communicating? Do they answer your questions and provide you with license numbers, certifications, and insurance proof? Did they answer or return your call promptly? These are all indicators of how your experience will be if you choose to work with them.
If you are looking for a certified, licensed and insured home inspector Clear Choice Inspectors is your answer in the First Coast Florida area. It is important to have the peace of mind that you will get the highest quality of service when you entrust your new home purchase to an inspector.