When a buyer is ready to make an offer on a house, the next step is usually to hire a home inspector. The inspector’s job is to take a thorough, objective look at the property in question–from its roofing, structure, electrical and heating, to its air conditioning, plumbing, and siding to ensure the home is in solid condition.
While clearly in the buyer’s interest, the home inspection process makes most sellers nervous–with its potential to put a wrecking ball to a real estate transaction. A home inspection can even prove to be a disservice to the buyer if the job is poorly executed. For instance, an inexperienced or careless inspector can kill the deal by unnecessarily alerting the buyer to trivial issues. This can draw up a long list of minor problems in the final inspection report without adequately explaining the relative importance of these issues.
The right training teaches an inspector the most crucial aspects of the home inspection to focus on, and how to put minor defects into context to ensure the buyer’s confidence isn’t compromised, and the deal isn’t sabotaged.
What Exactly Does a Home Inspector Do?
Paid solely by the buyer, the job of the inspector is to conduct an objective evaluation of the home to make sure there are no issues with the functioning of the systems and components of the house, and that there are no existing safety hazards anywhere on the property.
Anyone wishing to become a home inspector will learn how to pay special attention to the building’s foundation and siding to make sure there’s no presence of cracks, warping, or rotting. The roof is another focal point, needing careful examination to exclude problems with shingles or gutters.
Inspectors must also ensure the home’s plumbing is leak-free, and that the water heater, wiring, heating systems, and any existing fireplaces are in safe working condition. The process usually takes no more than two to three hours, but can take longer if issues concerning compliance with building regulations are revealed.
Once the A-Z’s of the home have been examined, the home inspector is responsible for preparing an inspection report for the buyer. This document represents the condition of the home at the time of the inspection. The report also serves to list any defects that may need repairs. From the report, a buyer can make an informed decision on whether or not to complete the real estate transaction with the seller.
Why is Training Crucial for Someone Wishing to Become a Home Inspector?
Real estate professionals often complain about home inspectors that go too far with the inspection by raising attention to every tiny issue, and potentially causing irreparable damage to the buyer’s confidence.
A less helpful inspector might provide a long list of superficial issues – anything from minor surface mold, to cracked tiles, loose fixtures, and chipped paint – without explaining the minor importance of these issues, and the relatively low cost of fixing them.
Pros with home inspector training are taught to understand the weight that they carry in the real estate transaction, and learn the importance of focusing on major construction and systems points to consider on behalf of the buyer. They are given clear direction, for example, on how to detect signs of non-performance due to old age, weather damage, and poor workmanship. Additionally, trainees learn the importance of providing context to the buyer when revealing more minor defects, so the buyer isn’t unnecessarily scared off an otherwise superior build by a slew of minor, low-cost repairs.
What Does it Take to Become a Home Inspector?
A person with an interest or background in residential construction, as well as strong technical writing and time management skills would be an excellent candidate for home inspection training.
It might also be helpful to have some general people skills for dealing effectively with home buyers and real estate agents. Additionally, some engineering knowledge can be handy to correctly evaluate properties and follow established procedures more closely.
An inspector with the right training can provide an invaluable service to home buyers and gain a great reputation in the industry, leading to consistent recommendations and a steady flow of work.
Interested in training for a home inspector career to join this exciting and growing profession?
Contact North American Trade Schools to find out more!