In Colorado, general home inspectors are not regulated – they do not have to be licensed, registered, or certified with the state. However, there are several professional organizations to which they can belong which might hold them to high standards of practice and ethics. A couple of the bigger ones are the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspections (InterNACHI),
Some things to think / ask about when selecting a home inspector:
- Are they a member of one (or more) professional organizations in their field?
- If so, which one(s)? Then look for and read the standards of practice for the organizations to which they belong to find out what they will inspect and, just as important, what they will not.
- If not, why not? Then ask for a list of what they will and will not inspect.
- Do they carry Error & Omissions Insurance (E&O)?
- If so, how much?
- If not, why not?
- Do they provide a warranty after the inspection?
- If so, what’s covered and what are the terms?
- If not, why not?
- What are their area(s) of expertise? Can they do all of the inspections you require, or will you need to engage multiple inspectors?
- “One-stop shopping” is nice, but might not be what you need in a given situation. e.g. you probably don’t want your general home inspector to perform an in-depth structural engineering inspection so two or more inspectors might be needed in that scenario, but a general home inspector might well be qualified to include a radon test, sewer scope, or roof inspection.
- Do they also have experience looking for things for which your particular loan (e.g. FHA, VA) appraiser might focus?
- Do/will they provide references?
- What’s their Better Business Bureau rating? What are the sorts of complaints they receive? Do they address those complaints?
The presence or absence of any these items does not equate to the inspector’s skill level, professionalism, or reliability. These are merely things to think about, consider, and weigh as part of the whole decision-making process.
In short: inspect your inspector before they inspect your current or future home!