The State of the Home Inspection Industry

The Home Inspection Industry has many challenges, but the biggest challenge in my honest opinion is trying to convince clients that we are professionals and as professionals we demand and expect fair fees. Sure we all do a great job of inspecting and I hope that we don’t act like children when communicating with clients like we do here, but I have to say if any of our clients were to visit some of the threads on this and other MB’s, they would think twice about giving us the fees that we consider fair.
I know that the “Professional” status for HI’s will never be totally achieved in my lifetime,but we at the very least have
to lay the foundations for future generations of HI’s.We owe this both to ourselves and to the founders of this industry.

My opinion only;

Our common goals [not in any particular order] should be as follows:

  1. Education-We should all be raising the bar in this dept.
  2. Marketing-Not only our own business, but our Industry as a whole.
  3. Ethics-Get offended when Realtors/Homeowners ask for a soft report,or an Home Inspection for $199.
  4. Work with, not against other inspectors-Even Raymond Wand has given me an Inspection.
  5. Join NACHI-This is a no brainer
  6. Strive to be a CMI-I will be qualified next year!
  7. Mutual Respect-You all know what I’m talking about.
  8. Do the best inspection that you can-Do it like your mother was purchasing the home.
    *]Opinions-We are basically in the “Opinion” business therefore we will have different opinions on most everything, including Associations,tools best practices etc.[see point 7]
    I challenge all to add to this list or to add to the existing list! Maybe we can get Nick to tweak it and make it mandatory reading for all!

My comments may initially sound seditious, but I think that you are prescribing the need for a new home inspector association that would provide itself and its members with new priorities.

NACHI and ASHI have stagnated while the smaller groups are fading into obscurity.

The “dumbing down” of the profession through state licensing is virtually ignored by NACHI and actually endorsed by ASHI, so that they can sell the NHIE that…(ahem)…they have no financial interest in (wink-wink).

The control over the fees and other factors by the real estate salespeople and their associations is an embarassing conflict of interest as well as a hinderance to growth as an industry.

Nick is pandering to what inspectors want as members…being “free” benefits by virtue of membership and…if your reason for joining an association is for the “party favors”, I’m hip. I enjoy them too and they are worth the price of admission…but…there is room in our profession for an association of home inspectors that will take the reigns of leadership and pull us up a notch.

Unfortunately, this association I am referring to has yet to be formed. Where is Bowman with his NUPI when we need him.:wink:


You sound depressed.

Give Nick a break.

There was nothing in my post critical of Nick. We have used email for that purpose over the years on those few occasions where appropriate.

My criticism is to the current state…the stagnated state…of our industry, our profession and our leading associations.

I am not suggesting some new “elite” group of inspectors setting a new minimum standard. God knows, we have enough of them in both of our countries popping up all over the place.

What I am referring to is the need for leadership. We have none.

I’ll try to be more clear so that I sound less “depressed”.

Our industry is presently “every man for himself” with no clear leadership being provided at any level.

Whether it be the lowballer and his $99 inspection for any size house, the inspector who pays the $2500 “advertising” fee to be on the RE salesmen’s concierge list, or the advocate for legislation who wants to set the bar at his own level of expertise and quickly pull up the ladder to keep others out ---- we, as a profession, suck.

In the midst of the cut throat activities are a few people who quietly enter with honest intentions who, within three years, will find 90% of themselves doing something other than home inspections.

Vendors of various products…be it education, tools, tests, insurance…are meeting with legislators (and connected inspectors) to attempt to write laws requiring their products.

It is a clusterfluck of conflicting and self serving interests. The associations and their various relationships with these vendors and various interests do little to help and much to intensify the existing conflicts.

Mario has touched on the very tiny tip of a huge iceberg. Our profession needs help…not a bandaid or tetanus shot…but a major operation. That will take strong leadership.

And that leadership would do exactly what above and beyond ? tools took many years and millions of dollars to develop. Hardly “party favors” IMHO.

When I look at I think we are doing quite a bit for the industry, no?

Of the leadership that is present…NACHI is second to none.

"What I am referring to is the need for leadership. We have none."

I couldn’t agree more. If this industry had unity, direction and leadership all the other points on the wish list would fall into place. At present we are all too busy fighting with each other and each other’s organizations to ever see this industry progress to something that could be called a profession.

Correct…and then some.

I sure agree that the home inspection industry is one big cluster****. The laughing stock of the real estate industry. I had a wealthy agent call me today for an inspection. The first thing she said was “I have a client buying a home but they don’t have a lot of money for an inspection.” We are still viewed by most as guys and gals with tools and a truck - not professionals.

Oh, I turned down the job…

I think that a big part of our problem rests within our own ranks…the dependency of some upon the real estate salesmen for their daily handout. That keeps the fees low, the efforts of others to control us through legislation high, and the public image of the inspector at its present low level of prestige.

At the very thought of the idea of losing future referrals many otherwise good home inspectors will quake in their boots and flee from a confrontation that would bring them to the next level.

Uh, I disagree and will keep fighting other associations as long as those associations…

  • Permit their members to offer repair services to correct defects they find on their own inspections.
  • Permit their members to bribe REALTORs with preferred vendor schemes.
  • Push for low bar, minimum standard licensing that wrecks our markets and harms consumers.
  • Refuse to adopt any entrance requirements whatsoever and operate their associations like diploma mills with 30 second online applications
    I apologize in advance for being a warmonger, but I choose to keep fighting them and won’t stop till we or they die (preferably the latter).

There, I said it.

I’ll gladly “work with” OAHI, CAHPI, and several other good state associations. As for the rest of them, I will fight them until the day I or they die.

No entrance requirements, no peace.

Is there anything that can be done to set minimum fees? In my opinion they should be part of the standards. Lowballing is unethical. It screws the rest of us who want to make money.

I’m a warmonger too, Nick. You know that.

I am not talking about the competition between associations, this time. I am talking about the state of the profession and the inability for it to be addressed by any of the national associations.

Perhaps the issues are too diverse to attack, nationally. Still, they are there and we are going no where in addressing them.

Lowballers are a way of life in every industry.

Yes that’s true. Just pisses me off. I get upset when I see the industry like it is running around chasing it’s tail. Licensing solved nothing and perhaps has made things much worse.

…and the RE sales continue to spiral downward (along with property values), but our profession does not have to go down with it. Or does it?

Where is the leadership going to come from?