There are no federal laws governing home inspectors. We are regulated only by the individual states. Since the laws vary from state to state – and some states don’t even have home inspection regulations – how can you be sure that your inspector is qualified, experienced, and trustworthy? One way is through home inspector associations. Some of them require minimum training, education, experience, and adherence to ethical standards. Be sure to check out the individual associations to see their individual requirements.
As a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), you can be assured that not only am I qualified, but I also adhere to the association’s standards of practice and code of ethics. You can find more information about NACHI at their website, www.nachi.org.
Is your home inspector blind? If he's not a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), he might just be!
— Article courtesy NACHI, www.nachi.org/blind.htm used with permission
Other home inspection associations have no entrance requirements. Blind people, children, psychics (who claim to "sense" if a house is ok) and even pets have joined other associations. NACHI is the only association that front-ends its membership requirements. We turn down more than 1/2 the inspectors who want to join because they can't pass our exam or fulfill our membership requirements.
- Have to pass NACHI's Online Inspector Examination every year. (This general, not association-specific exam is open and free to all).
- Have to complete NACHI's online Ethics Obstacle Course. (This open book Ethics course is open and free to all).
- Have to take NACHI's online Standards of Practice Quiz (This open book Standards of Practice quiz is open and free to all).
- Have to sign and submit an Affidavit.
- Have access to NACHI's free visual aid inspection frames to help them learn.
- Have access to NACHI's free library for improving their inspection skills.
- Have access to NACHI's message board for exchanging information and tips.
- Have access to NACHI's What's New section so they can keep up with the industry.
- Have access to NACHI's specific-topic advisory boards.
- Have access to Dear NACHI for detailed advice.
- Have access to a time-tested Agreement which keeps them (and you) away from lawsuits.
- Have access to NACHI's Report Review/Mentoring service.
- Have to submit passport photos for their membership I.D.
- Have access to NACHI's free online inspection courses.
- Have to have mock inspections reviewed before performing their first fee paid inspection.
- Have to carry E&O insurance (if their state requires it).
- Have to abide by NACHI's Standards of Practice.
- Have to abide by NACHI's Code of Ethics.
- Have to fulfill NACHI's Continuing Education requirements.
- Have to maintain an Online Continuing Education Log (free) as per the Continuing Education Policy.
- Have to periodically attend local Chapter meetings.
- Have access to a real estate agent hold harmless clause.
- Have access to NACHI University.
- Have access to NACHI's Consumer Recovery and Legal Defense Funds.
- Have a consumer hotline for their clients.
- Have access to an Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Service.
- And coming in 2005: Have to complete NACHI's Occupant Hazard Recognition Primer.
So the next time you need a home inspector, make sure they are members of NACHI and never use a candidate or associate of any association. NACHI,