ASHI President Recommends Long-Term Relationships,

Client Preparation to Help Ensure Smooth Home Inspection Process


Sheena Quinn
Public Communications, Inc.

Des Plaines, Ill. - Home inspections have become a standard aspect of buying and selling residential property. But while selling houses is enough of a challenge for real estate professionals, the home inspection process does not have to be, according to Rich Matzen, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Matzen discussed the many ways that home inspectors and real estate professionals can work together to provide maximum benefits to the homebuyer during a recent interview for the newest in a series of educational CD-ROMs distributed by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors©. The CD was distributed to more than 40,000 agents nationwide.

Matzen's interview is part of a concerted effort by ASHI to become synonymous with home inspection to both consumers and real estate professionals alike. During the coming year, the organization will be rolling out new programs developed to ensure that ASHI members are providing the standard for customer service - known as The ASHI Experience - within the industry. The goal is to educate consumers, in partnership with real estate professionals, so they have the information necessary to make a confident home buying decision.

In particular, Matzen recommended that home inspectors and real estate professionals develop long term relationships to make the home inspection process more comfortable for all parties.

"Some of the most successful agents that I work with are those with whom I have done business for many years," said Matzen, whose organization represents nearly 6,500 professional home inspectors nationwide. "In this process, everybody is able to better understand the needs and working style of each party."

But Matzen cautions both the buyer's agent and the inspector to adhere to a high level code of ethics and standards of practice, to ensure there is no conflict of interest. He advises real estate professionals to provide clients with a list of local members of ASHI, who are among the most experienced in the industry, and can help reduce the agent's liability through more buyer disclosure.

"ASHI Members are required to follow the Society's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which have become a benchmark in the home inspection industry," Matzen added. "These are elements that underpin the home inspection process to provide unbiased data and assist the homebuyer with one of their most important decisions."

ASHI has made both the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics accessible to the public on its Web site at

Preparing the Client

Matzen also encourages agents to prepare buyers for the home inspection process, especially first-time buyers, to make sure they understand the procedures and to help ensure a smooth transaction.

"It is important to prepare the buyer and help them take a proper look at the overall home. Let them know that wear and tear is normal, and some defects will most likely be there, since there are few perfect houses," said Matzen. "But if there are areas of the home that come under concern, I think it is entirely appropriate for the agent to request that the home inspector review these areas and discuss them in practical terms with the buyer, particularly if there are issues that might involve many dollars."

Matzen concluded by stating that the easiest way for real estate professionals and homebuyers to locate a list of professional ASHI members in a particular community is by visiting

For More Information

Formed in 1976, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. ASHI's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the recognized guidelines for the home inspection profession. For more information on the American Society of Home Inspectors, contact the association at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visit the ASHI Web site at


The Real Estate Buyers Agent Council, REBAC, was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer representation skills and services. An affiliate of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS© since 1996, REBACs membership now numbers well over 40,000 and is the world's largest organization of real estate professionals concentrating on buyer representation. For more information on REBAC, visit, or contact the organization at 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611