What inspection schools and the various companies’ selling Home Inspection courses won’t tell you is how difficult it is to be successful in this business.
Some National schools make it sound so easy to get started. They explained how easy it would be to start doing one or two home inspections a day with little or no effort.
This business is like any other. It takes dedication, strong finances and time to become successful.
Do you think you’ll get started with no money up front?
Many schools do not tell you about the liability side of the home inspection industry. The home inspection industry is a very high liability profession. Every home you inspect is a potential lawsuit. It doesn’t matter that you may be the most thorough inspector in your area. Inspectors are sued over things that the homeowners thought they should have found whether or not you could see the defect or not. There’s an old saying in this business. It’s not IF you get sued, but WHEN you get sued.
If you can’t live under this pressure, you’d be best off looking elsewhere.
All it takes is a ladder and pickup truck…right?
Well, here’s more bad news. Like most legitimate businesses, it takes a little more than that.
A new inspector is going to need about $5000 worth of tools just to start. Then there is the issue of insurance. Errors & Omissions Insurance will cost a new inspector (if you can even get it) anywhere from $2500 to $4000 per year. Then there’s General Liability Insurance that will run you from $500 to $1500 per year.
In some states, you can’t even get started without this insurance.
Do you have a rainy day fund? I hope so Brother ’cause it will rain on your parade! Just like any new business, the 1st year will be a rough one. It may take you from anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to get to the point where you’re bringing in a steady income.
Many inspectors came into this business by doing home inspections on the side or part time. That is the approach I would advise any new inspector to take. Don’t quit your day job just yet!
What about the Real Estate Agents?
The schools make it sound like there’s an agent behind every tree just waiting for you. Odds are they have their favorite inspector already and they’re not likely to use a new inspector because they do not know what to expect from you. It will take you many months up to a year or more before you’ll be getting regular referrals from real estate agents. Don’t count on them to feed your family when you first start.
This industry can be very rewarding in many ways. However it’s likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth if you enter thinking that it’s a pushover to get started. I’ve seen way to many good people go broke trying to get started in this business because the home inspection schools left them unprepared for what they were about to face in the real world.