What Qualifies a Home Inspector?

In Kansas and Missouri? NOTHING!

Sad, but true.

In these two states, there are no licensing requirements for home inspectors. So anyone with a flashlight and screw driver can go into business as a home inspector. That makes things scary for home buyers and sellers (and anyone involved in the transaction, for that matter)!

So its important to do your homework before hiring an inspector! Simply calling a list of inspectors and asking for their prices can lead to a lot of trouble down the road (more on this in a future article).

 What should you look for in a home inspector?

  • Education. Make sure your home inspector has been through some type of training or certification program. There are many different schools around the country, including Inspection Training Associates (ITA) and the American Home Inspection Training Institute (AHIT).  Your inspector should also keep up their education by attending continuing education on a regular basis. The more your inspector knows about current building standards, the better for you.
  • Certification. As I’ve mentioned, there are no licensing requirements for home inspectors in Kansas and Missouri. And there is no requirement for any type of 3rd Party certification either. So anyone that wants to, can pay a fee on the internet and become a “certified” inspector. Fortunately for you, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a certification program that you can trust: ASHI Certified Inspectors have actually passed a proctored examination for home inspections, have actually performed 250+ inspections, and are required to maintain a high level of continuing education each year. 
  • Insurance. We all make mistakes. Its bound to happen in any industry. Home Inspectors are no different, and should carry Errors and Omissions Insurance (E & O) for your protection. Errors and Omissions insurance is not cheap, and is one of the factors that will drive home inspectors prices higher. So when you’re price shopping, the cheapest inspectors usually do not carry this type of insurance. If your inspector makes a mistake that costs you later, you’ll want an inspector that can stand by his work.
  • Services. The most popular types of real estate inspections in the Kansas City area are Whole House Inspections (Mechanical and Structural), Termite Inspections, and Radon Measurements. Finding a home inspector that provides all these services can make things easier for you.

There are many more things that can help you to find a qualified inspector. Don’t be afraid to talk to your inspector and ask questions. Make sure you understand what his process is, and what you’re getting for your money. Like anything else – cheaper is not always better.

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