What to Do On a Second Inspection
Home inspectors are sometimes asked to conduct an inspection on a house they previously examined. One reason may be because the home was inspected while under contract to be sold, but then the sale fell through, resulting in a new buyer wanting another inspection conducted since time may have passed between the initial and new sale. Another example might involve a house that’s being sold and the buyer requests an inspection of a property the inspector had examined when it was acquired by the owner/seller some time earlier. A second inspection could result from the inspector being called back to examine the repair or replacement of a major defect uncovered during the original inspection. A dangerous electrical problem, damaged gas line, serious roof leak or a similar issue reported as needing attention on the inspector’s original findings are a few examples of reasons for a buyer to call for a second inspection.
What a Second Inspection Includes
When a prospective buyer knows that the inspector has previously checked a property, the buyer—or the buyer’s agent—might request to see a copy of the previous report rather than arrange and pay for a new inspection. To do so would be an ethical violation on the part of the inspector and should definitely be avoided, particular if the buyer offers to pay for the report off the books. Instead, the inspector should propose conducting a new inspection at his or her standard rate. Offering a discount would be inappropriate, since the scope of the work will be the same as if there hadn’t been an earlier inspection. Regardless of whether a second inspection is a follow-up to examine a repair or a full report for a new buyer, the inspector should take on the assignment just as if he or she had never seen the home.
According to Chuck Pulaski, a certified home inspector and Inspection Certification Associates’ instructor, when inspecting a home for the second time, the inspector should take the approach that he or she knows nothing about the property. The reason is that, unknown to the inspector, changes or improvements may have been made to the home, or its condition may have deteriorated since the property was originally inspected. A safety hazard may have also become an issue sometime after the original inspection. There’s also the possibility the inspector may have missed something the first time around, or that new Uniform Building Code (UBC) requirements or local building and safety regulations have been enacted that could apply to the property. Either way, Chuck recommends the inspector take on the assignment just as if it’s his or her first visit.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), of which ICA is a Gold Member, has incorporated a Code of Ethics for home inspectors into its Standards of Practice. Under the Code, inspectors are prohibited from releasing information regarding their findings without the client’s knowledge and consent. The Code includes recommending the inspector asks clients if they would like their agent or other interested parties to receive a copy of the findings. Although the ASHI Code doesn’t keep inspectors from informing clients that a property had been inspected previously, they’re strictly prohibited from disclosing the results of the earlier inspection.
An exception to the Code is when an inspector shares findings involving serious and immediate safety concerns, such as gas leaks or detection of dangerously high levels of radon or carbon monoxide. According to the ASHI Code, inspectors may, at their discretion immediately disclose these types of safety hazards to the home’s occupants.
Home Inspector Training and Qualification
If you’re thinking about a career change, consider becoming a certified home inspector. Part-time home inspection is also a great way to make extra money while still working at your regular job, particularly if you’re familiar with the real estate or construction industries. Regardless of where in the country you live, by far the best way to receive the training you’ll need to become a certified home inspector is through Inspection Certification Associates.
After completing ICA’s Online Home Inspection Training, you’ll be qualified to conduct inspections in your home state. You’ll also qualify to provide clients with additional services, including testing for radon and conducting mold inspections, both of which are included free of charge when you enroll in our Home Inspection Course.
Our online Real Estate Inspection Certification Program is both comprehensive and convenient. When you choose ICA, you’ll work at your own pace. All training materials are available online 24/7 using a laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone, which lets you study anywhere and any time that’s convenient. After you’ve completed the program, we’ll mail your certificate of completion, which means you’ll be ready to start your full- or part-time new career as a certified home inspector.
Here’s what you’ll receive when you enroll in ICA’s Real Estate inspection Certification Program:
- Unlimited 24/7 access to our online reference library
- Personalized instructor support
- Radon certification training
- Mold certification training
- Software for generating inspection reports
- Everything you need to fulfill home inspection training requirements!
We’ve been training home inspectors for more than 20 years, and are North America’s most trusted source of online home inspection training and certification. Other home inspector training schools simply can’t compare with ICA’s Real Estate Inspection Certification Program. Check out what our graduates say about Inspection Certification Associates’ Training.
It’s easy to get started. Simply fill out the brief form and we’ll send you an email with a link to access the program. You’ll be on your way in no time at all to an exciting and rewarding career as an ICA-certified home inspector!