Licensing Helps HIs/Yes or No?

Your thoughts.

Perception is often times more “valuable” than reality.
The perspective of the buying public, regarding state mandated minimum standards, can be more important to our business, than an individual HI’s perspective of state mandated minimum standards.

I don’t think that conservative organizations like banks are going to start requiring a HI with every transaction until we are licensed by the State. I also think that our E&O insurance would go down in price if the State took on a little liability by licensing us, and allowed us to limit our liability in our Inspection agreement. I also think it would give the rest of us a way to weed out worthless Inspectors who give the whole industry a bad name.

At the same time, I find it almost impossible to enforce, and I don’t want the additional expense that licensing can bring. I don’t want some dumb *** State employee drawing up a model that I have to use for my Inspection report.:???:

Just what we need to add credibility to the $199:00 Home Inspector .
John Q will say to me Why should I pay you $399:00. Can Do Inspections is Licensed and only charges $199:00.
I am not sure if it would be good .
I do know it will put the Closed door associations out of Business.
That would be a BIG PLUS
Roy Cooke .RHI… CAHPI-ON. A Happy NACHI member

Licensing weeds out the “shotty” inspectors. The low-ballers.

My opinion, licensing should be required in every state.

Brian I wish you where correct but from what I understand it seems to work the other way.
Roy Cooke


Electricians and plumbers perform repairs, modifications, and installations which can kill. Many states have absolutely NO licensing requirements for electricians, plumbers, remodelers, and builders. Let’s start there…

As to the HI industry, I beg to differ. IMO, licensing of our industry does absolutely NOTHING to keep out the low ballers. In many cases, it GUARANTEES otherwise incompetent inspectors a licensed profession. You know… shoddy inspections are routinely performed by the most experienced of inspectors…

As to market share and marketing practices (including low ballng), it all depends on demographics and local RE markets. For instance, an inspector who can afford to, can pretty much give inspections away, while spreading his name out there. He will gain exposure, and experience. He will build a client base. Eventually, he may become the inspector of choice for many. When his competition is run out of business, he raises his prices.

Where there are problems in an industry, licensing rarely guarantees anything. One thing is DOES provide, however, is an official method for registering a profession and provisions for sanctions against unscrupulous operators.

The rest is all hogwash. Licensing, where statistics cannot prove JUSTIFICATION for such measures, were dreamed up by a certain association hell-bent on control of this industry. Any group that pushes “model legislation” is out in left field as far as legitimacy of said legislation is concerned. The fact is that one size does NOT fit all.

thanks Joe well said .
Roy Cooke

Back many years ago the FCC required all types of licences – You had to be licenced to look at a transmitter and it went up hill from there.

They deregulated almost everything. Main pressure was from the phone companies among others

— Back to the HI profession – Do you think we should licence home buyer consultant companies that would work with a buyer to evaluate a property as to if it had any issues that should be addressed etc. etc.

License says that government knows enough about our profession to regulate it.

They can’t regulate the inspecting of new homes – what makes you sure they have the knowledge to regulate the sale of homes period.

If we do not self regulate as a profession – thrust me the government will step in

This is one reason that I put my name in the CMI hat – one I qualified and still do under the new rules and two THEY DID A BACKGROUND CHECK

This is self regulation –

Next step – expand what and how we do things faster than the government can regulate us.

Example – IR surveys – Inventory checks – site surveys – air quality checks – photo documentary services – code checks (yes Greg I said it)

In short anything that is not regulated

When the Gov starts putting the hooks in areas that they know nothing about the tax payer (our clients) gets screwed


If licensing were the panacea or the guarantee of quality work that many think it is, most of us would not be working. Much of the problems we find and document were installed, performed or repaired by licensed tradesmen and inspected and passed by state & county inspectors. We have licensed barbers in Florida but I can guarantee you I will get a bastard haircut better than 75% of the time if I don’t go to my regular shop where they know me. Licensing in most States has had the exact opposite effect than what most believe. Sudden increase of 90 hour wonders with zero experience but licensed by the State. As far as the State picking up part of the liability for E&O…Don’t believe that.

To bad there is not some way of knowing how long a person has been doing inspections .
It is my feeling that the majority of Home Inspectors who has been doing Inspections for some time thinks Licensing will not help the industry .

The newer Inspector feels it will add some creditability to them especially the 90 hour course completer.

Roy Cooke

I see two types of licensing: 1. to ensure one has proof of appropriate background; 2. same as “1.” except this one has an agenda. For example, many new home inspectors are required to have 100, + or -, inspections with approved HI’s AND no minimum wage mandate for the new guy. This serves to further the bank account of existing HI’s. Empire building is great for just a few - it is a damn shame when these few convince an entire industry that “what is best for them” is best for you and I. In the latter it is not enough to be worthy to compete on the basis of competence and experience - isn’t this is when we loose claim to the right to say “Land of the free” “Democracy” and the like? Many professions do not require college degrees - yet it seems that this HI profession is driving itself in that direction when the same amount of money can be made with or without the degree. I suggest that each of you think about your background - ten years from now and if you were starting all over again, would you qualify? Would you have the desire to go back to college?
For today, can we get over trying to prove how much smarter we are than everyone else? As is, I have done about ten inspections and saved one of them more than $60,000.00 dollars on the purchase of their home. Each of the others I have done have exceeded the NACHI/ASHI minimum standards AND each customer is thrilled and recommends a home inspection to everyone they talk to(…) Some of you have heard, when the customers says “YES” then STOP SELLING. Gentlemen & Ladies, it is time to STOP SELLING. (NOT only that, needless effort is the root of big government, socialism, communism … is there some way to get Hitler in here?)

Good thought Roy but I do well, and did well on my first one - wouldn’t an individual’s background and effort to ‘learn and find’ what is needed for the customer be most important?

It’s just a matter of time before every state has licensing requirements, might as well plan on it, and try to make your state licensing the best.

I agree and it sounds like you where properly prepared not 90 hours .
I too from the get go have done well .
For my opening my first inspecton I charged more then all other HIs in my area and still do to this day.
Unfortunately many are not ready to do inspections when they start.
In My area about 90% are not in business in three years .
Roy Cooke

The 90% - Wow! I imagine that some of these were prepared technically, but failed on the business side - two very different worlds.

Licensing will not reduce the number of home inspectors, nor will it get rid of marginal, poor or doggie inspectors. It does not get rid of low-ballers. Those are myths and fallacies that many newer inspectors naively believe. Its false. You end up with licensed low-ballers or dogs.

You may loose a few weal sisters - BUT - In all but 1-2 states the number of new home inspectors SOARED by 150% - 300% or more within the next 2-3 years AFTER licensing came in. In many of the states once the home inspectors wrote what they thought was a really top flight bill - a few months or a year later other organizations with more man-power, more money and more political influence (almost everybody) started changing the rules and pulling the HI’s chains.

Your insurance rates will not go down - they’ve gone up (as lawsuits go up) in most areas, especially if you get mandatory E&O Insurance put on you.

We gave women the vote, we put restrictions on drinking ages, drivers licenses, etc, etc. We’ll all die sometime but it might not be for many years if you work a little at prolonging the process. Banks, lenders, etc are not going to make home inspections required - if anything you’ll start seeing lenders, appraisal companies, realtors, etc start getting their own Inspectors that are on their payroll. Wake up and smell the dog poop.

Don’t be a cash cow for realtors, builders, trial attorneys and insurance companies.

We tracked the BBB and state attorney office’s complaints against HI’s over a 3 year time span and florists had more complaints than we did. You don’t even want to think about contractors, builders and real estate professions.

How does state licensing add credibility to $199 home inspector?
On the other side of the coin, how does not having state licensing produce better home inspectors?
It is agreed that there are licensed home inspectors that don’t deserve to be licensed.
We all didn’t show up here as expert home inspectors on day one.
Was licensing required to produce this group of expert home inspectors? No.

Licensing is not going to get rid of a low ball home inspector, at least not right away.
Having a license that sets a specific fee is called “price-fixing”. That’s illegal.
What most are referring to is how easy it was to watch an infomercial at three o’clock in the morning and decide to become a home inspector because the unemployed individual nailed a few shingles on a roof one year and feels they understand the concept of the construction trades.

Why is there a 200% increase in home inspectors after licensing becomes effective?
Is it because now it is a licensed field? Is it more attractive to the upcoming entrepreneur?
I know that my personal perception of being a home inspector was not very good because of the substandard work I would hear about. Why did I think this? It must be from my own personal perception that I was doing a job that most home inspectors were perceived as doing substandard work. I would hear nothing but complaints about home inspections.

Now you’re calling new home inspectors “90 hour wonders”!
Is this not enough education? Are you proposing stricter licensing requirements here?
How many formal hours of education did you have when you came into this business is a new home inspector?
Nick seems to feel that the testing for home inspectors is too easy. I hear a lot of complaints that the NACHI testing is a joke. Are we proposing tougher licensing requirements here? Or, should we just leave it up to the individual home inspector to decide when they have enough experience to go out and do a satisfactory job? I would prefer the latter, but am I just dreaming here? Can we ensure that folks coming into this business will cover all the bases before going out there and potentially hurting a client. Why do doctors have Ph.D.'s? Why do they have insurance? Why do they have a licensing board? We are not doctors, but we have the potential to seriously damage our clients. Home inspection licensing may be a joke today. That is because it is just starting. The intent of licensing is not to put people out of business as some folks hope it will. It is designed to set a standard and a vehicle where there can be enforcement of the standard.

I must say, it was not until I became affiliated with you folks at NACHI that I realized there are home inspectors out there that are worth their salt. I would stand on the sidelines of ASHI and just shake my head. Isn’t being affiliated with NACHI, where you had to achieve a goal before being listed as a member similar state licensing?

It’s like having a diploma from school. There are a bunch of people out there that are very well-educated and do not have a high school diploma. But having the diploma shows people that don’t know you, that you did your time and that you achieved a minimum standard and got that piece of paper. I hated school, I had to learn how to run and operate an artificial kidney machine in my home to keep my mother alive when I was in junior high school. I graduated 298 out of to 306 in my graduating class. I grew up in a construction Corp. with my dad and four brothers. My dad wanted me to go to college. I didn’t want to. I didn’t qualify to either, because I hated school so much. In eighth grade I designed and engineered a safety device for the artificial kidney that kept people from bleeding to death in their sleep while attached to the machine! But I barely finished high school. I have two college degrees today, and neither one is making me any money.

Which impresses you the most?
The two college degrees that hang on my office wall? Or, my personal achievements in life?
As you are judging me, so shall ye be judged by your clients!

Maybe we should be asking our clients if they would prefer to have a licensed or unlicensed home inspector?
Having a license does not guarantee a good home inspector. But maybe it is perceived better to choose from a group of licensed inspectors rather than someone that holds no credentials whatsoever. It would be prudent for the client to interview all perspective home inspectors regardless of licensing status.

How is it perceived that an unlicensed, uncertified tradesperson who voluntarily adopts a trade association is going to produce a better home inspector? I think it is totally absurd to think that a licensed home inspector is qualified just because they have a license.

I did not support or propose licensing when it came to my state. One day I woke up and it was there!
I do feel a lot better as a professional home inspector being licensed, as viewed by my clients.
I feel more secure in my business activities now having what is expected of me being put in black-and-white and regulated by a governing body who can enforce the standards upon me but also protects me from lawyers who think like other trades persons that “your inspector should have found that”!

All the numbers being thrown around really has little basis in my opinion. The fact that fewer home inspectors are sued than anybody else is because of the most part home inspectors are professionals doing a good job. Most home inspectors that get sued are being sued for frivolous matters that are outside the scope of home inspection. Licensing will not change this. I certainly do not see it increasing the number of lawsuits as reported here. If there are more lawsuits, maybe it’s because there’s 200% more home inspectors working now.

Anyway, licensing is inevitable. That’s the way our society is. There will always be people with an agenda regardless. If licensing bites you in the a$$ it’s probably because you didn’t comply. I don’t see licensing changing anything in my business life. I still do the same inspection. I still do the same reporting (just some different wording). The number of home inspectors has not gone down. The home inspection fees have not changed yet. It’s just the cost of doing business.

Keep an eye on your licensing boards. There are people with other agendas out there. There are states putting home inspectors needlessly out of work. By joining NACHI, you voluntarily accepted the code of ethics and standard operating procedure. Make sure your licensing board adopts the same operating procedures. Don’t let outside influences from Realtors and contractors control you. Yes they do have an agenda. Everyone does! You can’t shoot down licensing just because you don’t like licensing. You must have a reason. Eventually the reasons will run out. Hopefully by then, you will then have a good licensing law to work with.

Not from what I have seen .
I get many phone calls from those who wish to become HIs and most talk for a long time and seem to listen.
Then I get those who phone but aready know what they are going to do they tell me ( I am not with out much knowledge ) and away they go.
Others do put in a long learning time and do listen and continue to comunicate with questions as they go along .
These just might make it.
Roy Cooke

Exactly. In that sense, licensing is very similar to other sexually transmitted diseases.

Protect yourself.:wink: