A home inspection is an independent, unbiased review and report on a home’s systems, components and conditions. Consumers and real estate professions should expect no less than full professionalism, education, competence, credentials, knowledge, courtesy and an adherence to CREIA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. See QUICK LINKS below.
The State of California does NOT license home inspectors. CREIA takes the lead in requiring adherence to CREIA's Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. CREIA members have been successfully setting the standard – in the field, in the courtroom, and in the legislature – for more than a quarter of century.
CREIA's 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.
Section 1 of Stats.1996, c. 338 (S.B.258), provides:
“It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to assure that consumers of home inspection services can rely upon the competence of home inspectors. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in ascertaining the degree of care that would be exercised by a reasonably competent home inspector pursuant to Section 7196 of the Business and Professions Code, the court may consider the standards of practice and code of ethics of the California Real Estate Inspection Association, the American Society of Home Inspectors, or other nationally recognized professional home inspection associations.”
CREIA is the oldest and largest nonprofit state inspector association in the country…and we are California-specific in our education and consumer outreach. Since 1976, CREIA has been dedicated to enhancing consumer protection and promoting public awareness.
CREIA requires its certified members to successfully pass the National Home Inspection Examination, the CREIA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics Examination, complete 30 hours of education per year, attend two chapter meetings per year, take two ride-alongs and submit written reports to be verified that the reports are in accordance with the CREIA Standards of Practice, Ethical Standards, and California Law.
Ask to See the CREIA Badge
The name that appears on the badge identifies the inspector as a qualified and certified Inspector Member of the California Real Estate Inspection Association. It is a badge of distinction as it identifies the inspector as having successfully passed CREIA's rigorous certification and master certification requirements.
The badge assures REALTORS® and consumers that the Inspector has been tested and qualified in accordance with CREIA’s Standards of Practice. Additionally, the CREIA’s Code of Ethics requires a high degree of professionalism and integrity, requiring the member to act fairly and impartially. Any conflict of interest activity must be avoided in order to assure the consumer a completely objective inspection.
Specifically, CREIA members may NOT:
- (a) use the inspection as a vehicle to obtain repair or related work on the building;
- (b) reveal the contents of an inspection report to anyone but the client without the client’s consent;
- (c) be involved in any real estate activity from which they might benefit financially as a result of their inspection work;
- (d) offer an opinion or evaluation on any subject which they are not sufficiently familiar and experienced.
Many inspectors claim to be CREIA members or claim their reports meet or follow CREIA’s Standards of Practice. However, these individuals may not have been properly tested. Ask to see the CREIA BADGE. Only inspectors who meet CREIA’s rigorous professional and educational requirements may qualify as members. The badge will also provide a membership date. Since members are required to obtain continuing education per renewal period, be sure that the badge indicates a current date. Ask your inspector to SHOW THE CREIA BADGE. Click here to verify a CREIA certified inspector in your area.
Preparing for a Home Inspection
"Seller shall make the property available for all buyer investigations. Seller shall have water, gas, electricity and all operable pilot lights on for Buyer’s investigations and through the date possession is made available to Buyer.” (Excerpt from: Paragraph 9B of the California Association of Realtors® California Residential Purchase Agreement)
Having everything ready for the inspection can prevent unnecessary delays. For liability reasons home inspectors do not move personal belongings. Most home inspectors will charge an additional fee if they must return to the property to inspect item which were not accessible.
The seller should verify that:
- All utilities are on
- Pilot lights are lit (The gas provider will usually light pilots at no cost to the owner)
- Attic access is clear of clothing or stored items
- Crawl space entrances are not blocked or nailed in place
- Water heaters are accessible
- Furnaces are accessible
- Sinks, showers and bathtubs are clear of dishes or personal items
- Built-in appliances are free of stored items and can be operated
- Electrical panels are accessible and not locked (Electrical sub-panels inside the home are often painted and removing the cover will mar the finish. The seller’s agent should ask the seller to grant permission to the inspector to remove the panel cover to look for life/safety issues)
- Areas or items to be inspected are freely accessible
- Pets are secured (Unsecured animals should be removed from the property or secured in an area that will not need to be inspected if the seller (or occupant) will not be present)
Click here for the printable version of Preparing for a Home Inspection Checklist.
Click here for inspection FAQs.
Click here to search for a certified CREIA inspector.