Home Inspection Provides Peace of Mind
ASHI's Tips for Hiring a Home Inspector



Sheena Quinn
Public Communications, Inc.

According to a 2003 survey conducted by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) homeowners believe that the most important benefits of a home inspection are 1) the peace of mind provided by lowering the risk of potential problems and 2) the ability to make a fully informed purchase decision.

The study also showed that technical knowledge and high level of inspection experience are qualities homebuyers seek in a home inspector. 

"ASHI's commitment to consumer education and customer service is what ASHI commonly refers to as The ASHI Experience," said Joe Corsetto, president of ASHI. "What clients learn from an ASHI Inspector ultimately enables them to realize the value, and prolong the life of their home."

To help ensure that customers receive exceptional service, ASHI Inspectors must meet the following requirements:

  • Pass two written examinations, including the National Home Inspectors Examination;
  • Perform at least 50 fee-paid inspections to qualify as a Candidate and 250 fee-paid inspections to attain full Member status;
  • Have his or her reports reviewed as a part of the initial membership process; and
  • Meet continuing education requirements in technical fields related to home inspection. 

ASHI also provides resources for homebuyers and owners on its Web site at www.homeinspector.org.  The Find an Inspector tool allows homeowners or homebuyers to quickly place a call or send an e-mail to an ASHI Inspector in real time, and the Virtual Home Inspection offers a narrated tour of the 10 main areas of the home that should be inspected in accordance with ASHI's Standards of Practice.

ASHI's Tips for Hiring a Home Inspector

According to Corsetto, it is important to interview inspectors before hiring one to understand what the inspection will cover and to verify the inspector's experience. Corsetto advises homeowners and buyers to ask their prospective inspector the following questions:

Is the inspector a Member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?
Working with an ASHI Inspector is a homebuyer's best assurance of an inspector's qualifications and professionalism.

What does the inspection cover?
Make sure the inspection and the inspection report meet the customer's needs and complies with the ASHI Standards of Practice (available online at www.homeinspector.org).

How long has the inspector been practicing the home inspection profession and how many inspections have been completed?
Full ASHI Members are required to have completed at least 250 paid professional home inspections and pass two written exams that test the inspector's knowledge of competency. ASHI Candidates with logo use privileges have passed the same exams and have performed a minimum of 50 fee paid inspections verified by ASHI to be in substantial compliance with the Standards of Practice.

Is the inspector specifically experienced in residential inspection?
Related experience is helpful, but is no substitute for training and expertise in the unique discipline of home inspection.

Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection?
This is a valuable educational opportunity. Purchasing a home is probably the most expensive purchase people will make. Taking the time to attend is well worth the time and effort.

How long will the inspection take?
The average for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single family house; anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection. Some inspection firms send a team of inspectors and the time frame may be shorter.

Does the inspector prepare a written report?
Asking to see sample report forms ensures the customer will be comfortable with the style of an actual finished report.

About ASHI

Celebrating 30 years, ASHI is committed to meeting the needs of its membership and promoting excellence and exemplary practice within the home inspection profession. ASHI's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the industry standard, and its Web site www.homeinspector.org is the definitive resource for inspectors, consumers, real estate professionals and the media.

Homebuyers who wish to know more about the American Society of Home Inspectors may contact the organization at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visit the ASHI Web site at www.homeinspector.org to locate a home inspector and for valuable consumer information regarding home inspections.