As a trusted professional, clients naturally look to their real estate agent for a home inspector recommendation. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, HomeTeam has identified several considerations to use when recommending a home inspection company:
Look for licensing and professional certifications. Not all states require home inspectors to be licensed to perform home inspections. In many states, home inspectors can be part-time or there one day, gone the next. Do your homework to ensure that the home inspection company your client chooses has the proper state licenses or, in states where there isn’t licensing, that they’re members of a professional organization like ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or InterNACHI, where they can receive training and certification.
Seek national brands like HomeTeam Inspection Service that have developed proprietary resources, tools and technology designed to provide a level of service above what an independent home inspector can provide. On the national level, they can be found at conferences and events and are constantly tracking industry news, trends and challenges to collectively provide the best service to clients and agents.
There’s no standard insurance coverage for home inspectors, but two types of coverage are critical. General liability insurance, which covers damage that occurs while performing an inspection, is the most common. Professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance applies to issues related to the inspection. This type of insurance covers the agent, so agents can have peace of mind knowing that they’re indemnified from recourse after the transaction.
Some states require home inspectors to have professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance, but the minimum requirements vary. Texas, for example, one of the most stringent states with home inspection regulations, requires home inspectors to carry $100,000 per claim and $100,000 aggregate of professional liability, or errors and omissions, insurance. However, they don’t require general liability insurance.
Look for a home inspection company that carries both professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance and general liability insurance at coverage amounts of at least $250,000 per occurrence/ $500,000 aggregate. A national home inspection company, like HomeTeam, requires that all locations have these coverages regardless of state requirements.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the client to choose the best home inspection company for them, but being able to provide some criteria for evaluating a company will help position the agent as even more of a resource.
Buddy Stark is director of Operations at HomeTeam Inspection Service. For more information, please visit www.hometeam.com.