All home inspectors and inspection companies are not alike. Buyer’s and real estate agents are on their own when it comes to qualifying the firm that they use. Here are a few guidelines for choosing the company you will work with:
1) Get referrals from Realtors. Past experience can be a big help in locating a competent company. Real estate agents come into contact regularly with many different home inspectors. they know who the good ones are.
2) Make sure the inspector has a state license. Believe it or not, the Arizona Board of Technical Registraton (BTR) prosecutes folks each year for practicing without a license. Check on the status of a license at http://www.btr.state.az.us/.
3) Find out if the inspector is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). ASHI is the nation’ oldest and leading professional association for independent home inspectors. If you hire a ASHI member, you know the inspector has at least completed 250 inspections and that they complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education each year. To find a ASHI member go to www.ashi.com.
4) Communication skills. Advising about the needs of a potential home is a delicate operation. The way in which these needs are communicated can make all the difference. If the inspector can’t put defects into perspective, he or she is ineffective.
5) Professionalism, ethics and attitude. It’s to your advantage to choose someone with high levels of professionalism and integrity. ASHI members are required to comply with a strict Code of Ethics.
On a final note, be careful of choosing the low cost provider. Low cost often equates to low quality. Buying a home is an expensive venture. Would you bargain shop for a heart surgeon? pric should be the last and least significant item on your list of questions for the inspection company.