FAQs: Home Inspection

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What are the steps to become a home inspector and work independently?

Being a home inspector means great pay, flexible hours and—most importantly—job security. With every house bought and sold, home inspectors stay in demand, setting you up for life. If you want to become a home inspector, but the process seems complicated (it’s not), these steps will guide you through it. This is how to become a home inspector, from training and certification to your first inspection.

  1. Research home inspector license requirements in your state. There’s no national standard for certification. Every state has different requirements to become a house inspector. Some states only require 60 hours of education; some require almost 400 (Texas, New York, and Washington). Some require you to pass the national exam; some have their own exam for you to pass, too. Home inspector license requirements by state. Get familiar with the exact requirements in your state and sign up for a class that’ll actually get you certified.
  2. Study up with pre-licensing home inspection classes. This job is half property inspection, half customer service. If you’re coming into home inspection from either field, congrats. Half the battle is over. But if you’re rusty on building basics or people-pleasing, it’s a good idea to brush up. You don’t have to know this stuff to be a home inspector—but you do to be a good one.  Online course aren’t valid in a handful of states. Do your research before wasting any time or making a big irreversible investment. You don’t need to be an engineering expert to be a successful home inspector. But you’re going to be inspecting buildings for a living. A little knowledge  goes a long way. Pre-licensing courses help you learn the ropes before your first inspection, giving you an advantage over competitors. Repeat business is the quickest way to a successful home inspection business. To get it, you’re going to have to schmooze build a lot of relationships. A good place to start is by contacting realtors and forging a relationship. More often than not, homeowners trust their realtor to find a qualified home inspector. When realtors find a home inspector they can trust (queue: techinical smarts and people skills), they’ll hire them again and again.
  3. Get a home inspection certification & get educated. Not every state requires training, but any home inspector worth their salt with take a number of educational courses and follow up with continuing education classes. Good home inspection training courses lay the groundwork for your success, with all the services you need to get NHIE certified (if your state requires it) and start making serious money. There are schools and training programs out there that provide a full marketing package to get your business off the ground, including: • Website • Logos • Business Cards • Client Hand-Outs • Lead Generation • Reporting Software
  4. Make sure you stay certified by getting Liability/E&O insurance. People are protective of their homes. A single accident or report omission can lead to a pricy lawsuit on your end. General liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance does more than protect you—it keeps you employed. Liability and E&O insurance in a must-have for home inspectors. Period. 5. Get hired by a home inspection company – or start your own business. After you’re certified, you have a few options: Start a home inspection business, or work at an established home inspection company. If neither appeals to you right away, good thing you’re a home inspector, because you have pretty much unlimited freedom to move between jobs. These are just the primary options.
  5. Get hired by a home inspection company – or start your own business. After you’re certified, you have a few options: Start a home inspection business, or work at an established home inspection company. If neither appeals to you right away, good thing you’re a home inspector, because you have pretty much unlimited freedom to move between jobs. These are just the primary options.

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