RISMEDIA, Feb. 2, 2007-While more home inspectors in the marketplace could mean more competitive prices, homeowners need to know that saving a few pennies now may cost them more later. The number of home inspectors entering the profession across the U.S. is on the rise, increasing from 450 to 3,335 in the state of Illinois in the last four years alone.
In 2007, American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) incoming President Frank Lesh will focus his term on protecting the interests of consumers by reminding homeowners how to best identify an experienced home inspector.
"The increase of home inspectors in the field has made it more difficult for consumers to differentiate between someone who just received his or her license and the experienced home inspector," said Lesh. "Caveat Emptor, or buyer beware, can best be avoided by working with an ASHI Member who follows the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which have become the industry standard."
ASHI's Tips for Hiring a Home Inspector
One of the costliest mistakes homeowners can make is to hire an unqualified inspector to assess their home. "Only 31 states currently regulate home inspection," added Lesh. "That puts the impetus on the homeowner to make sure the inspector is qualified." Before hiring a home inspector Lesh advises homeowners to ask the following questions:
Is the inspector a Member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?
Working with a certified Member of ASHI is an excellent indicator of an inspector's qualifications and professionalism.
How long has the inspector been practicing the profession and how many inspections have been completed?
Full ASHI Members are required to have completed at least 250 paid professional home inspections and pass two written exams that test the inspector's knowledge and competency. ASHI Candidates with logo use (CL) have passed the same exams and have performed a minimum of 50 fee paid inspections verified by ASHI to be in substantial compliance with the Standards of Practice.
Is the inspector specifically experienced in residential inspection?
Related experience is helpful, but is no substitute for training and expertise in the unique discipline of home inspection.
Does the inspector or his company have a policy not to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
ASHI's Code of Ethics prohibits the inspector from performing any repairs or improvements to a home for a period of one year following the inspection, as it might cause a conflict of interest.
Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date?
ASHI membership requires yearly continuing education.
While the majority of homeowners are on the right track with obtaining a home inspection for buying, selling and maintenance purposes, the difference in quality, and therefore, the protection of a homeowners' financial interests, can best be realized when the inspection is performed by an experienced, professional home inspector.
For more information, visit www.ASHI.org or call 800-743-2744.