Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Top Ten Traits of a Home Inspector

Top Ten Traits of a Home Inspector

Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: August 30, 2018 


Home inspectors play a critical role in the real estate transaction. Before the signature hits the bottom line, home buyers turn to you for a thorough assessment of the condition of the property they intend to purchase.

Like any career, there are common traits that the most successful home inspectors have in common. Here are the ten characteristics most commonly held by home inspection professionals:

10. Timeliness

You’re constantly working on someone else’s schedule. Your clients may have taken the day off from work to be present at the home inspection. It’s important that you show respect for their time by arriving promptly at the agreed upon time, and making the best use of your time with your clients.

9. A Desire to be Your Own Boss

If you’re craving a career that puts you in the driver’s seat, a career in home inspection might be the perfect choice. Home inspectors set their own hours and enjoy the freedom that comes with calling the shots. It requires commitment and hard work, but the rewards are yours to reap as a home inspection professional.

8. Willingness to Help

You are providing an essential service. Your clients are about to make the single biggest purchase of their life, and they have chosen you to provide the information that will help them decide whether or not to move forward with that inspection. That’s a lot of responsibility. You will be most effective as a home inspector if you approach each job ready and willing to help your clients make that decision.

7. An Open Mind

As a home inspector, when you arrive at a home with an aging roof, or damaged siding, you will likely start painting a picture in your mind of what you expect the rest of the home to look like. Preconceived notions have no business in a home inspection. It’s important to treat every home inspection as a clean slate, and not judge an entire property based on the condition of a single system or your first impression.

6. Ethics and Integrity

People want to do business with someone they trust, and trust is earned. Successful home inspectors carry and demonstrate strong moral character, honesty, and integrity daily. One way to demonstrate your commitment to ethics is by joining a professional home inspection association like American Society of Home Inspectors or The National Association of Home Inspectors.

Thinking about a home inspection career? Download the Launching Your Home Inspection Career eBook.

5. Attention to Detail

As a home inspector, you can’t afford to have an “off day.” Attention to detail is critical for home inspectors. Be thorough, even when it means getting your hands and knees dirty. The success of your business relies on referrals. The best way to ensure good referrals is to conduct good, thorough inspections every single time.

4. A Network of Connections

Growing your home inspection business will rely on your ability to network with real estate professionals. Real estate agents are encouraged to have a list of home inspectors they trust, and you want to be on that list. No matter how good of an inspector you are, as part of knowing your local market, you need to get to know real estate professionals who will refer you to their clients. People work with real estate agents they trust. As a result, the opinion of their real estate agent is likely the largest deciding factor when choosing a home inspector. 

3. Working Knowledge of Residential Systems

Needless to say, if you are going to be successful in home inspection, you need to understand what you’ll be inspecting, and how it works. Because home inspection is a largely unregulated trade, the responsibility for getting your home inspection education lies with you. Choose a reputable home inspection school whose course offering works with your schedule and budget.

2. A Teacher’s Mindset

Think of the best teacher you’ve ever had. Chances are, that teacher was effective because they knew how to present the material to you in a way you would understand. As a home inspector, you will deal with complicated systems every day, and your construction vocabulary will likely be extensive. That’s important. But it’s even more important that you are able to clearly communicate the results of your inspection with clients in a way they will understand.

1. A Student’s Mindset

Like everything, construction practices and residential systems are constantly evolving. As a result, it’s a home inspector’s responsibility to stay on top of the latest trends and developments in home construction. A career in home inspection is a commitment to lifelong learning.


Every home inspector has a different approach to the profession. But for every person looking to start a home inspection career there is a certain level of investment (time, energy, and money) needed to make the leap successfully. If you are passionate about becoming a home inspector and have similar traits as outlined above, you have a great shot at a long and successful career. If you are not completely sold and are still wondering what it is like being a home inspector or is home inspection right for me, we have additional insights to help you make a decision regarding your plans for entering the home inspection industry. 

To learn more about becoming a home inspector in your state, simply select your state from the list on the home inspection training landing page.