How To Become a Home Inspector: A Complete Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide

Are you interested in becoming a home inspector? Do you want to move into an in-demand field with strong growth potential? If so, this guide will be your one-stop shop for everything you need to know! Starting a career as a home inspector can open new doors and bring many rewards. Not only does it give you the opportunity to get an inside look at different types of homes and help people ensure their properties are safe and up to code, but it also provides stable job security with potentially lucrative income opportunities. 

Before you jump into this new profession, it’s important to know what’s involved in the process and have a clear plan of action. In this comprehensive step-by-step guide, we’ll break down all the steps necessary for becoming a certified home inspector; discussing things like certifications, continuing education requirements, business start-up costs, resources, and more. Read on to learn how to become a home inspector.

What is a home inspector and what do they do

What is a home inspector and what do they do? 

Home inspectors are an essential component of the real estate transaction process. A home inspector is a qualified expert with the duty of evaluating the safety and condition of residential properties. Their main responsibility is to offer an in-depth evaluation of the heating and cooling systems, structural integrity, and general safety of a house. During a home inspection, the inspector identifies immediate and potential problems with these systems and writes a detailed home inspection report for the prospective homebuyer or seller.  

This report is a crucial resource for homebuyers in their quest for a new home. It provides an objective assessment of a home’s health and safety, serving as a valuable negotiation tool. Armed with this knowledge, homebuyers can confidently request repair allowances or price reductions. 

Home inspectors also assist sellers by conducting pre-inspections, which highlight potential issues and repairs that sellers can address before listing their homes. Inspectors also conduct regular seasonal inspections and assess homes after natural disasters. Additionally, many home inspectors offer add-on services such as termite and radon inspections, mold assessments, and indoor air quality evaluations.

Some of the duties of a home inspector include: 

  • Examination of a home’s foundation, roofing, plumbing, HVAC system, and, insulation.
  • Evaluation of the general quality of the building and make suggestions for enhancements or important repairs.
  • Identification of potential issues, safety hazards, and areas in need of repair or maintenance.

How to become a home inspector: step-by-step guide 

If you’ve been looking for a  step-by-step guide on how to become a home inspector, look no further. Our guide will walk you through the essentials, training, practical experience, licensing, and certifications you need to excel. 

1. Research State Licensing Requirements

Training and certification requirements to become a home inspector vary from state to state. There are many states where you can simply go to the courthouse, pay $25 to get your business license, and immediately go out and do inspections. Although this approach seems easy, it’s highly risky because not only is it unethical, but it would put you in a position for huge liability if you’re inspecting homes without the proper education. 

To see state requirements:

State-specific guides to becoming a home inspector:

2. Find & complete a training program 

A home inspection training program will benefit you as a home inspector and help prepare you to succeed. Even if you live in a state without licensing requirements, you can still benefit from a training course to learn the ins and outs of home inspections.

There are several schools across the US that teach how to perform inspections. If there are none in your area, try searching Google for “home inspection schools online” to see what type of online training is available. Look for training from interNACHI or ASHI, or at least institutions that have an affiliate membership with large organizations, such as InterNACHI, ASHI, or NAHI.

Another option for training is to learn yourself and then find a local mentor that you can shadow for on-the-job training. It’s a very good idea to join an association that has a very active forum such as interNACHI. Their forum is packed with information and you can always ask other members if you’re unsure of something.

3. Pass licensing exam (if required in your state)

One of the most important steps toward becoming a licensed home inspector is passing the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). The NHIE is an in-depth exam that measures your skill and understanding in the field of home inspections.

The 200 multiple-choice questions that make up the NHIE cover a broad spectrum of topics related to home inspection, including roofing, HVAC systems, plumbing, and structural systems. It also evaluates how well you understand industry regulations and standards.

The fee for the NHIE exam typically costs between $200 and $250, plus additional costs for study materials, and the average time it takes to finish the exam is 4 hours. This window of time ensures that you’ll have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your competency. 

4. Get insurance  

As a home inspector, making sure that you have insurance coverage is necessary to protect yourself and your home inspection business from potential liabilities. The two key types of insurance you’ll need are General Liability (GL) and Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance.

General Liability insurance provides coverage for various situations, including:

  • Third-party bodily injury: If a visitor to your job site has an accident during your inspection, GL insurance covers medical expenses and legal costs.
  • Damaged property: If you accidentally damage a client’s property or the property being inspected, GL insurance can cover repair or replacement costs.

Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance: sometimes called professional liability insurance, is specifically made for professionals like home inspectors. It can provide protection for things including:

  • Negligence claims: Should a client suggest that your inspection failed to identify issues at a property that resulted in financial losses, E&O insurance offers protection against legal fees, defense costs, and monetary settlements.

For more information, visit: 

5. Choose home inspection software 

Regardless of where you are in your home inspection career, home inspection software is a game-changer for streamlining your entire process. With features that enhance the efficiency and accuracy of inspections, home inspection software makes it easier for inspectors to conduct thorough evaluations of properties.

Able to help home inspectors create digital home inspection reports on-site and add photos and videos, home inspection software eliminates the need for paperwork and allows for real-time sharing with clients. Home inspection software also offers templates and checklists that can reduce the risk of leaving out crucial details.

Since home inspection software easily connects with mobile devices and cloud storage, inspectors can access information from anywhere. Even scheduling, invoicing, and client management is a breeze, leaving you to focus solely on your home inspection work. 

EZ Home Inspection software offers a student discount of 50% off for 6 months. Not only can it speed up a future home inspector’s learning process, but it can also equip them with the skills needed for a successful career.

6. Network & promote your business  

No matter how great an inspector you are or how many fancy tools you have, the success of your business will be significantly influenced by two things — your marketing efforts, and how well you work with people. The very minimal requirements that you’ll need for marketing are a business card and a home inspection website. When people are looking for a service they don’t go to the phone book anymore, they go online or ask a friend.

Once you have your business cards and website, it’s time to get to work promoting your business. A good place to start is a networking group like BNI and local Chambers of Commerce. Go out, network with people, visit real estate offices, offer classes, and try to get known in the community. 

The most important thing to remember is you need to be consistent with your home inspection marketing efforts. A few huge marketing blasts do not have the same effect as short consistent marketing over a long period of time. Take advantage of social media marketing to promote your brand and connect with people. It’s much more effective to be consistent and to do good business.

7. Continuing education (CE) & license renewal 

Obtaining your license as a home inspector is just the start of your career. It’s important to keep expanding your knowledge. To improve your skills and remain current with industry innovations, continuing education (CE) and training programs are necessary.

In order to broaden your scope of services and satisfy customer needs, home inspectors should continue to pursue additional qualifications. Radon measurement, mold inspection, energy audits, and pest inspection are just a few of the extra certifications that can expand specialist credentials.

Home inspector licenses are typically good for a set amount of time, frequently one to two years, depending on where your business operates. Though renewal procedures differ by location, they often call for completing a predetermined number of CE hours and paying a renewal fee.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions 

Let’s take a look at some of the commonly asked questions home inspectors have while building their home inspection business. From training requirements and certification to building clients, future home inspectors can gain a clearer understanding of what to expect.

How much do home inspectors get paid? 

According to Glassdoor, home inspectors usually make between $53,000 and $60,000 per year. However, home inspector salaries can differ depending on several factors, including where you live and your experience level. 

Home inspectors in areas with higher costs of living or more available housing can charge more. Those in rural areas tend to make less and have less consistent business. 

When determining a home inspector’s salary, it’s also important to consider your experience level. More experienced inspectors with a solid track record and specialized credentials are on the higher end of the pay scale. These could include historic sites or commercial inspections.

How long does it take to become a home inspector?

There is no hard and fast rule about how long it takes to become a home inspector. Most people complete certification, licensing, and training in around four months. However, there are many things that can vary from person to person, including: 

  • State Requirements: Your state’s requirements for being a home inspector will be different than the state next door. 
  • Education and Training: If you opt to take a formal training course, you may be able to move through the training and education phase in a matter of weeks or a couple of months. 
  • Exam Preparation: Everyone learns differently, and the time you spend preparing for the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE) can increase or decrease the amount of time it takes to become a home inspector.
  • Your Ambition: The time and effort you put into your studies and training can also play a role in how quickly you can become a home inspector.

How do I succeed as a home inspector? 

Success as a home inspector needs a balance of business skills, communication skills, and technical knowledge. To build your credibility, it’s important to get the right training and certification. It’s also essential that you stay current on industry regulations and standards.

To connect with potential clients, you must have a professional online presence with social media and a website. Your client base can grow by networking with real estate agents and other professionals.

To develop a solid reputation, focus on thoroughness, integrity, and punctuality. Long-term success in the home inspection field will be supported by dedication and consistency.

How much does it cost to become a home inspector?

Depending on your area and the degree of training and certification you take on, the cost of becoming a home inspector can vary. The average cost is between $1,000 and $5,000. These costs cover training courses, textbooks, and test fees. Many states require formal schooling, which can cost between $200 and $1,000, from future house inspectors. The cost of obtaining a license or certification varies from location to location but is often between $200 and $500. 

How should I price my home inspections? 

Home inspectors base home inspection costs on a number of different factors that take into consideration the degree of detail and the competitive nature of the inspection market. Property size, kind, and location are the main factors determining inspection fees. Due to the longer inspection times and greater inspection effort, larger homes or properties usually draw in higher costs. Fees may go up if you add in extra services like radon testing, termite inspections, or thorough reports. 

Additionally, reputation and qualifications matter; seasoned inspectors often charge extra for their knowledge and proven track record.

What skills should a good home inspector have?

To succeed, home inspectors need a variety of skills and character traits. Technical expertise is essential since inspectors need to have a thorough understanding of building systems, codes, and rules. To identify possible issues and ensure accurate assessments, attention to detail is important. 

Other skills that home inspectors need include: 

  • Organization
  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Business Management
Wrapping Up Our Step-By-Step Guide on How To Become A Home Inspector

Wrapping Up Our Step-By-Step Guide on How to Become a Home Inspector  

Becoming a home inspector doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. By following this step-by-step guide, you can be up and running as a home inspector in no time. Remember to always stay on top of the requirements necessary for your state, and make sure to continue with your CE investments and license renewal when necessary.

If you’d like to streamline your workflow with the best home inspection software, so you can create professional reports with ease, look no further than EZ Home Inspection Software! With our powerful suite of tools, it’s easier than ever before to start running a successful home inspection business. With a user-friendly interface, intuitive features, robust reporting templates, photo storage and more, EZ Home Inspection Software provides the tools necessary to jumpstart your career in the right direction. Ready for success? Get started now with EZ Home Inspection Software.

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