Home inspections evolved from the desire to help home buyers make an informed decision. Long before it was an official profession, the goal was to perform a service.
But now, some bad apples appear to have more interest in the money they can earn than the good that they can do. And that’s a recipe for bad inspections, disappointed customers, and a tarnished mark on the industry. America needs more qualified and dedicated home inspectors now. Here’s why.
Home Owners Rely on Inspection Results
Most home owners don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of a house, even one that they’ve lived in for a while. So when it comes to a house they’ve never lived in before and have only seen once or twice, you can imagine how much there is to learn about it. Chuck Mooney, a buyer in Massachusetts, told CBS Boston that his inspector didn’t disclose numerous problems, which he estimates will cost about $30,000 to repair.
A home inspector should provide an accounting of the functionality and safety of accessible items in every house that he inspects, from electrical and plumbing to appliances and HVAC systems. When an inspector doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, buyers, such as Mooney, can go into a contract with no real idea about what he’s buying.
Lenders and Others in the Process Do, Too
During the home buying process, the real estate agent or lender usually asks the buyer to pay for an inspection. This helps all parties understand the true condition of the house, which can support, or not, the asking price.
An inspector isn’t charged with assessing a value to the home, nor the cost of repairs. But the information that he provides helps other parties make that determination. For example, a roof in bad condition might be a risk that a lender is unwilling to make. An inaccurate or incomplete inspection report can affect the judgment of other parties.
Inconsistency Hurts the Industry
By and large, home inspectors are a reliable lot. The major organizations, such as InterNACHI and ASHI, have Standards of Practice and guidelines for ethical behavior that guide the industry and workers within it. Even inspectors who don’t have membership in one of the organizations often use the Standards as a guideline.
When renegade inspectors who aren’t licensed and don’t feel bound by any Standards or ethics code perform shoddy inspection work, the integrity of the whole industry suffers. The good character and dependability that most inspectors have striven for are tarnished by a few who don’t comply. But with each new crop of inspectors that gain certification and licensure, the industry grows a little stronger again.
Every industry needs honest, dependable, skilled workers to keep it moving forward. And the home inspection industry is no different. There’s a chance to make a difference, not just for the inspector himself, but for the community that he works in.
If you’re still on the fence about whether to begin ICA School’s home inspection training, there’s no better time than now to make that choice. Enroll now, and you can join others in the field who strive to provide this much-needed service.