Posted by: Doug Hastings, ACI
Updated: January 15, 2019
As an instructor for the past 26 years, I have seen many students that want to become home inspectors…but in the end, few do. A career change can be exhilarating, but there is degree of risk that goes along with this rush of adrenaline. Everyone knows something about houses; so, home inspection seems like a natural path to follow, particularly if you have been a real estate agent, appraiser or contractor. A prudent professional will begin assessing the pros and cons prior to jumping off the fence. Training to be a home inspector is exciting; however, succeeding as a small business person may be another thing. Before investing your time and money, you should answer the following 3 questions.
1. Do I understand what an inspection involves?
A home inspector’s task is to represent the voice of the house. A good inspection report will tell a person precisely the condition of the house at the time of writing. A well-written report will direct an owner, buyer, or seller to any action that is required to bring a house up to good condition relevant to its age.
2. Do I have the right stuff?
A home inspector is not an engineer and does not have a crystal ball. A good inspector cannot predict what is going to happen in the future or what the value of the house will be down the road. Assessing value is the task of the appraiser and life expectancy comes from plumbers, window suppliers, and other specialists. However, the home inspector should be an expert in understanding exactly what is happening to the house at the time of the inspection. In fact, a good home inspector needs to have a solid understanding of all the elements and systems of a home.
3. Do I live in a suitable market?
These days, most realtors realize that a home inspection is necessary at time of sale. Today, more than 90% of buyers have a home inspection, so that they know exactly what they are buying. Sellers are also learning the value of a home inspection. A good inspection will tell them what they are really selling and help overcome the surprise of being asked for concessions. Talking to real estate agents in your location, as well as having a general knowledge of your market, can determine the opportunity where you live.
I’m still interested...What’s next?
Home inspection training ranges in cost from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on the level of expertise you desire. Before making the investment, a wise person would explore this industry further. The Kaplan “Transition into Home Inspection...Full or Part Time” course does an excellent job of laying out all the good, bad, and ugly aspects of being a professional home inspector. Upon completing this online class, you will know exactly if this is the right fit for you. You will now be in the best position to either move forward and succeed or abandon your consideration of a career in home inspection.
Doug Hastings, ACI
Kaplan Real Estate Education