No one can be 100 percent right 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, some authorities are responsible for misinformation about home inspectors and the inspection process. Although it’s probably not intentional, it’s detrimental, just the same.
As buyers usually meet their inspector only once, and sometimes not at all, the information that buyers get from you may be all that they have to balance inaccuracies they’ve learned somewhere else.
Here are six home inspection myths that persist.
#1: An Inspector Without a License Isn’t a Good Inspector
It’s amazing that real estate professionals still promote this myth, but you’ll still find it peppered casually through articles on home inspections as if it’s a given. Not all states license home inspectors. In fact, nearly half of them don’t. If a customer goes into the process expecting a license, they may automatically view your expertise as suspect.
#2: Home Inspector Associations License Inspectors
This myth has popped up at a surprising place, namely, Home Advisor. Considering the amount of money the company spends on television and online advertising, it’s safe to assume they have a broad audience. They claim that home inspector associations license inspectors, which is not just misleading, it’s false.
#3: Inspectors Don’t Inspect Landscaping
Wrong. While it’s true that a certified home inspector doesn’t check flower beds, trees, and shrubs throughout the whole property, they are acutely aware of all landscaping elements that threaten the structure. Tree roots, poorly graded landscaping beds, and branches that threaten the roof should make it into the inspection report.
#4: Appliances Aren’t Inspected
Coldwell Banker says home inspectors don’t inspect appliances. That’s strange, considering that every prominent home inspector association includes appliance inspections in the Standards of Practice. It’s true that a home inspector might not inspect appliances that aren’t permanently installed, such as a countertop microwave. Oftentimes, they will. Coldwell Banker goes on to say that inspectors will run appliances through a few cycles, which betrays the sensational subhead.
#5: Inspectors Don’t Inspect HVAC Equipment
Coldwell Banker is wrong again. They say, “HVAC systems aren’t covered in the inspection, either.” They go on to claim that inspectors don’t want to stress out the system by testing it. In reality, the ASHI Standards of Practice explicitly describe the inspection process for HVAC equipment. Most standards do.
#6: Inspectors Don’t Inspect Plumbing
At this point, Coldwell Banker’s advice becomes more suspect than their claims about home inspectors. Every certified home inspector always inspects plumbing. Their assertion that “most home inspectors don’t have the qualifications to look at plumbing” is plain wrong.
So what’s a certified home inspector to do in the face of so much misinformation? Educate consumers. Industry professionals who understand the home inspection process are the only ones who can put damaging myths to rest for good.
Build a comprehensive pre-inspection agreement so your customers know what to expect. Blog about inspecting. Do research. Write educational eBooks on the subject. Use social media to spread truths. The more the public knows about the realities of home inspecting, the less you’ll have to deal with unhappy customers later on.
Start your path toward a new career in home inspecting today. ICA School offers the best value for your money and you can learn at your own pace. Ready to begin? Enroll now.