May 2003 (Palm Springs, Calif) — The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) offers the following tips on retaining the services of a professional home inspector.
- Talk with three or more inspectors before making your decision; question them as to their training, how long they have been performing inspections, and how many inspections they have completed. Check references.
- Ask for a sample home inspection report.
- Find out how knowledgeable and familiar the inspector is with your neighborhood and similar homes.
- Make sure the inspector will allow you to attend the inspection and provide time for you to discuss the report when it is completed.
- Don’t confuse a background in construction trades, general contracting, engineering or other building fields with the qualifications of a properly trained and experienced home inspector.
- Make sure the inspector has access to the entire home and that all the utilities are turned on.
- Ask questions before, during and after the inspection to gain a full understanding of your home’s systems and components.
- Compare the inspection report to the seller’s and real estate agents’ disclosure statements; differentiate whether problems listed are material defects or cosmetic issues.
- If an inspector offers to repair any problems that are discovered, it is a violation of state law.
- Inquire if the inspector is a member of the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA).
Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a comprehensive written examination of property systems and complete 30 hours of continuing education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances affecting the profession of real estate inspection. CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you, call CREIA at (800) 388-8443, or visit the CREIA website at www.CREIA.org