Credentials Are Key To Choosing A Home Inspector
Where State Regulation is Lacking or Inconclusive
Nation's Leading Home Inspector Society Sets the Standards
Looking for a home inspector? The president of the nation's oldest professional society of home inspectors says consumers are wise to carefully scrutinize professional credentials as states continue to step up in regulating the industry.
Regulation Varies By State
"The best way to be certain an inspector is qualified is to check for ASHI membership and references, and to interview at least three professionals before hiring an inspector," says Mike Casey, president of the nearly 6,000-member American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a non-profit organization for professional home inspectors.
Casey pointed out that relying on states to protect consumers' interests depends on what, if any, type of regulation and testing of home inspectors is in effect in each state.
"Although most states and many local governments have at least considered home inspector regulation issues, the variables and stringency of regulation and testing vary from state to state," Casey says. "Consumers should investigate if and how home inspectors are regulated and tested in their states."
As the national voice of the home inspection profession, ASHI seeks to work with legislators and administrators to develop regulation that is good for both consumers and home inspectors.
Rigorous Examinations Protect Consumers
A key issue in most states where regulation is adopted is how to test home inspectors to meet the most rigorous technical and experience requirements that the industry offers. ASHI strongly urges that any regulation requires home inspectors to pass a high stakes examination, an exam that is designed to protect the public and adheres to a consensus-based, publicly developed set of professional standards of practice and code of ethics.
ASHI, with a quarter of all home inspectors as its members and more than five times the membership of any other home inspector organization, endorses home inspector testing through the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE). The exam is administered by the independent Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors.
"The NHIE, which ASHI requires its own members to pass, benefits consumers by providing a national standard for states to use to test the competency of individuals who present themselves as home inspectors," Casey says.
"A code of ethics also is important to assure consumers, for example, that an inspector has no hidden alliances or conflicts of interest and will not use an inspection to solicit repair work. For more than a quarter century ASHI has been the leader in upholding a code of ethics to help ensure consumers are treated in a fair, impartial and professional manner."
For More Information
To learn more about the American Society of Home Inspectors or to obtain the names of ASHI members in a particular community, contact the organization at 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL, 60616; by phone at 800-743-2744, or on the Web by visiting www.ashi.org.
Consumers also can review the status of home inspection regulation in their state by visiting the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org/customers/legislations.htm.