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Home Inspector Business Idea

If you’re a contractor looking for a line of work that’s a little less physically demanding, why not learn how to become a home inspector?

The American Society of Home Inspectors (homeinspector.org) estimates that 77% of homes in the United States and Canada are inspected before being purchased. Home inspectors are used by the seller to find out what needs to be repaired before putting a house up for sale.

Buyers also use home inspectors to identify any problems in their dream home before they finalize the deal.

What a Home Inspector Does

An inspector will examine the exterior and interior of a home, checking out the home systems. Areas to examine include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Roof, including the chimney for leaks, damage and wear
  • Basement for leaks, mold, ventilation
  • Plumbing systems for water pressure, distribution
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Outside and inside for condition of materials, i.e. siding, shelving, banisters, walls, etc.
  • Appliances such as refrigerator and stove

Once the inspector has completed the review, he (or she) will write out a detailed report outlining the findings and give a copy to the customer.

How To Become A Home Inspector – Experience Needed

A thorough knowledge of and a keen interest in home systems are essential to be a home inspector. People with a background as general contractors often have very transferable skills. However, if you don’t have that background, there’s still hope.

A number of organizations offer home inspector training. You could start with a home inspection course through ASHI. Courses are a great way to learn how to become a home inspector.

Depending on your state, you may need to get a home inspector license. Regulations vary, but many require you to pass a licensing exam, to have a set amount of experience working with a licensed contractor, and/or to complete a certain amount of inspections.

To find out the licensing requirements in your state, go to the American Home Inspectors Training Institute (ahit.com) and click on the state regulations tab.

Your Home Inspector Business

In addition to sharpening your technical expertise, you’ll need to make sure your business skills are just as good. You’ll need to be able to schedule inspections and write reports (look at home inspector websites to find the best online forms) promptly, be able to put technical jargon in layman’s terms, establish a billing system and market yourself.

Customer service and marketing are the softer sides of the business, but they are the ones that will give you the most growth. Being on time, professional, helpful and polite will go a long way in getting you word of mouth recommendations.

Market yourself by joining professional organizations and your local chamber of commerce. Make sure your name is in every phone book in your town. Establish a website that outlines your services. Advertise your fast response time and attention to detail.

As your business grows, consider adding a specialty of a particular type of inspection, such as for radon, mold or termites.

With your knowledge of housing systems and some well-placed business savvy, you can uncover success as a home inspector. Start learning how to become a home inspector today!

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