What steps do I need to take?

Hello, I’ve completed a HI course, and passed the state licensing exam, but what do I do next? I know I need to get bonded to get my license in SC, but I have no OJT (I do have some construstion experiance). I’m not yet set up to perform HIs yet either. So how did any of you start out?

Shut your TV off (unless of course it is www.nachi.tv :stuck_out_tongue: ) and read every word of www.nachi.org/success.htm … twice… no, 3 times.

Every word of every link in www.nachi.org/success.htm too.

OK, is there anyone out there that does an apprentice type deal or would like to? I’ve taken and passed the state exam, all I need is to get bonded and pay for my license. But, I would like to get some O.J.T. before I just try to jump in without a heads up. I’m in South Carolina.

Daniel,
You should contact friends and family and perform “mock” inspections (free) of their homes (your’s included). Don’t forget to submit 4 of them to InterNachi for review (member requirement). After you’ve performed them, do them again. Practice, practice, practice. Post any questions (with photo’s) you may have to the MB.

Don’t forget… JOIN InterNachi !!!

And do as Nick posted above !!! www.nachi.org/success.htm

Jeff

Jeffrey, thanks for the info. I’ve been working on doing what Nick suggested. That takes a while! one question I can’t seem to get an answer for is, what is first thing I need to do before an inspection? Say I get a call to inspect a home Friday. What is the first step in the process?What do I need to do to find out about the home; age, water connections, size, layout, lot size, underground utilities? This was not addressed in my course. Do I go to the county records office? What do I ask for if I do?
I want to be a home inspector and I want to do it right and give my customers what they pay for. There are already too many crooks with contractors licenses here that do halfassed work for big money. I want to do honest work for honest pay.:neutral:

Some of these questions will be answered with experience.

Just keep studying, and learn to enjoy seclusion.

To throw you a bone , type in an address of a home that you know is for sale on your SE.

I usually try to get as many answers for these questions from my client on the phone. After that I get a listing sheet from the realtor and the disclosure sheet. Usually will get you pointed inthe right direction.

It is best to find a mentor, an experienced InterNACHI inspector, in your area or just outside your area. I learned everything the hard way (without a mentor) and it was not fun.

Thank you! That’s what I’m trying to do. I just need to find one in my area willing to do so.

Another question; What supplies do I need? Should I start with carbon forms, or get a palm pilot? Does that Palm Tech software work good? Sorry, I’m very, very green here.

Daniel,

Welcome to iNACHI. You’ve got a lot of reading to do in order for you to make the right decision.

For tools, a lousy flashlight and screwdriver will not get you anywhere but in court. You’ll eventually need the following…

**A ladder

A 4-battery mag flashlight

Tick tracer

Nut drivers 1/4"- 7/16" and screwdrivers

Receptacle tester ( 3 bulb min). A Suretest can be purchased later.

Water pressure gauge

Gas sniffer

2 mil. candle power light for atiics and crawls.

High quality dust and vapor masks.

Cover alls.

MIN. 500 volt HOT gloves and some good goggles or a shield.

Binoculars.

Infrared temp gauge

Extra shoes or booties for rain (and snowy days in my area)

Mini level
**
As for the reporting software, there are literally hundreds of HI reporting software packages out on the market today. I suggest you read through the following thread and make a decision from there. Some manufacturers offer sample software CDs.

REPORT SOFTWARE

Seen as you’ve already got a lot of reading to do, let me give you some practice. Here’s additional advice…

Getting started in the home inspection business will always be slow and gradual, especially with today’s R/E mess and our financial bailout situation. Many newcomers to this profession get very frustrated during that first year and some finally throw in the towel and return to construction work or to their previous occupation (yours being Heath Care). Selling your HI services to R/E agents before you have actual field experience is not easy, but it has been performed by nearly everyone who is an experienced home inspector today.

Instead of worrying about your lack of inspection experience, your better off telling people about your related knowledge and experience – such as contracting or whatever it was you did previously that relates to Home Inspections. Tell them about your certifications and any other professional credentials that might apply to Home Inspections. Tell them about your commitment to do excellent work. But don’t say you are a “continual learner” because that infers that you have not yet sufficiently learned about Home Inspections. And don’t ever tell them that you’re an “overachiever” because many agents are afraid of home inspectors who might “kill the deal” by being overly zealous. But when someone asks you how many inspections you’ve performed, just tell them the truth and let the chips fall as they will. Most people, however, won’t even ask if you act professional enough to make them think you’re GOOD.

R/E Agents are used to newby inspectors coming into this field all the time. At first, you may be dismissed as just another home inspector. But gradually, if you’re GOOD, you’ll get inspection orders – a few here, a few there. And if the R/E agents really like your work, they’ll call on you and refer you again, and again. And little by little, you’ll become an experienced Home Inspector.

But while you’re gaining that valuable experience, you’ll be missing property defects that would be discovered by a more experienced Home Inspector. These undisclosed conditions will result in callbacks, monetary claims and possibly a major lawsuit. So be sure to carry Errors-and-Omissions insurance, and do all you can to continually advance your HI education. The more you know and the more you practice, the more effectively you’ll serve your customers, the more protected you’ll be from liability, and the more often you’ll be recommended to home Buyers on a continuing basis.

If you make the wise decision of attending a professional home inspection school, you will see many ads that say you can make hundreds of dollars a day as a Home Inspector. The home inspection schools always print many of these ridiculous ads and what they claim is simply not true. They paint a bright rosy picture about the HI profession and how easy it will be for you to make a ton of money virtually overnight. Bullshi+… If you believe that story, I’ll tell you another, if your gullible enough to listen.

What these HI schools and the various companies’ (selling Home Inspection courses) won’t tell you is how difficult it is to be successful in this business, especially with today’s real slow R/E market. Some National HI schools make it sound so easy to get started overnight. They simply explain how easy it would be to start doing one or two home inspections a day with little or no effort. Don’t allow then to fool ya. The HI business is like any other professional business. It takes dedication, strong finances and a lot of time to become very successful.

Many HI schools do not tell you about the massive liability side of the home inspection industry. The home inspection industry is and always will be a very high liability profession. Every single home you inspect, is a potential lawsuit for you. It doesn’t matter that you may be the most thorough home inspector in your area. Home Inspectors are sued over things that the homeowners thought they should have found whether or not you could actually 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. So if you can’t live under this sort of pressure, you’d be best off looking elsewhere for a different profession.

All it takes is a ladder, a flashlight and pickup truck…right?

Well, guess what? Here’s more bad news, and I apologize but it’s the absolute truth. Like most legitimate businesses, it takes a little more than a few simple tools. A new home inspector is going to need about $5000 worth of tools just to get started in this business. Then there is the issue of insurance. Errors & Omissions Insurance will cost a new inspector (if you can even get it) anywhere from $3,000 to $4500 per year. Then there’s General Liability Insurance that will run you anywhere 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, because it will absolutely rain on your parade! Just like any new business, the 1st year or two will be very rough. It may take you anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to even get to the point where you’re bringing in a hefty steady income. Many Home Inspectors came into this business by doing home inspections on the side or on a part time basis. That is the exact 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 a R/E agent behind every tree just waiting for good ole’ you. Odds are that R/E agents have their favorite Home Inspector already and they’re not likely to use a newbie Home Inspector because they do not know what to expect from you as of yet. It will take you many months up to a year or more before you’ll be getting regular referrals from your favorite real estate agents. Don’t count on them to feed your family when you first start your HI business. 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 in this industry. I’ve seen way to many good people go broke trying to get started in the HI business because home inspection schools and trainers left them unprepared for what they were about to face in the real world.

I really wish you all the Luck in your career decision and whatever your goals may be. After hearing me tell you the real truth about this industry and you are still truely thinking of dedicating yourself to become an HI, the first thing you should do is join iNACHI and then participate in this MB on a daily basis. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in a single day.

Seen as you’ve already got a lot of reading to do, let me give you some practice. Here’s additional advice…

Getting started in the home inspection business will always be slow and gradual, especially with today’s R/E mess and our financial bailout situation. Many newcomers to this profession get very frustrated during that first year and some finally throw in the towel and return to construction work or to their previous occupation. Selling your HI services to R/E agents before you have actual field experience is not easy, but it has been performed by nearly everyone who is an experienced home inspector today.

Instead of worrying about your lack of inspection experience, your better off telling people about your related knowledge and experience – such as contracting or whatever it was you did previously that relates to Home Inspections. Tell them about your certifications and any other professional credentials that might apply to Home Inspections. Tell them about your commitment to do excellent work. But don’t say you are a “continual learner” because that infers that you have not yet sufficiently learned about Home Inspections. And don’t ever tell them that you’re an “overachiever” because many agents are afraid of home inspectors who might “kill the deal” by being overly zealous. But when someone asks you how many inspections you’ve performed, just tell them the truth and let the chips fall as they will. Most people, however, won’t even ask if you act professional enough to make them think you’re GOOD.

R/E Agents are used to newby inspectors coming into this field all the time. At first, you may be dismissed as just another home inspector. But gradually, if you’re GOOD, you’ll get inspection orders – a few here, a few there. And if the R/E agents really like your work, they’ll call on you and refer you again, and again. And little by little, you’ll become an experienced Home Inspector.

But while you’re gaining that valuable experience, you’ll be missing property defects that would be discovered by a more experienced Home Inspector. These undisclosed conditions will result in callbacks, monetary claims and possibly a major lawsuit. So be sure to carry Errors-and-Omissions insurance, and do all you can to continually advance your HI education. The more you know and the more you practice, the more effectively you’ll serve your customers, the more protected you’ll be from liability, and the more often you’ll be recommended to home Buyers on a continuing basis.

If you make the wise decision of attending a professional home inspection school, you will see many ads that say you can make hundreds of dollars a day as a Home Inspector. The home inspection schools always print many of these ridiculous ads and what they claim is simply not true. They paint a bright rosy picture about the HI profession and how easy it will be for you to make a ton of money virtually overnight. Bullshi+… If you believe that story, I’ll tell you another, if your gullible enough to listen.

What these HI schools and the various companies’ (selling Home Inspection courses) won’t tell you is how difficult it is to be successful in this business, especially with today’s real slow R/E market. Some National HI schools make it sound so easy to get started overnight. They simply explain how easy it would be to start doing one or two home inspections a day with little or no effort. Don’t allow then to fool ya. The HI business is like any other professional business. It takes dedication, strong finances and a lot of time to become very successful.

Many HI schools do not tell you about the massive liability side of the home inspection industry. The home inspection industry is and always will be a very high liability profession. Every single home you inspect, is a potential lawsuit for you. It doesn’t matter that you may be the most thorough home inspector in your area. Home Inspectors are sued over things that the homeowners thought they should have found whether or not you could actually 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. So if you can’t live under this sort of pressure, you’d be best off looking elsewhere for a different profession.

All it takes is a ladder, a flashlight and pickup truck…right?

Well, guess what? Here’s more bad news, and I apologize but it’s the absolute truth. Like most legitimate businesses, it takes a little more than a few simple tools. A new home inspector is going to need about $5000 worth of tools just to get started in this business. Then there is the issue of insurance. Errors & Omissions Insurance will cost a new inspector (if you can even get it) anywhere from $3,000 to $4500 per year. Then there’s General Liability Insurance that will run you anywhere 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, because it will absolutely rain on your parade! Just like any new business, the 1st year or two will be very rough. It may take you anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to even get to the point where you’re bringing in a hefty steady income. Many Home Inspectors came into this business by doing home inspections on the side or on a part time basis. That is the exact 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 a R/E agent behind every tree just waiting for good ole’ you. Odds are that R/E agents have their favorite Home Inspector already and they’re not likely to use a newbie Home Inspector because they do not know what to expect from you as of yet. It will take you many months up to a year or more before you’ll be getting regular referrals from your favorite real estate agents. Don’t count on them to feed your family when you first start your HI business. 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 in this industry. I’ve seen way to many good people go broke trying to get started in the HI business because home inspection schools and trainers left them unprepared for what they were about to face in the real world.

I really wish you all the Luck in your career decision and whatever your goals may be. After hearing me tell you the real truth about this industry and you are still truely thinking of dedicating yourself to become an HI, the first thing you should do is join iNACHI and then participate in this MB on a daily basis. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in a single day.

David, Thank you! great advice! Honestly, I didn’t know it was so hard to get started.
I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but, I took a HI course from one of those schools(correspondance). I do have a little experiance in the construction biz. I’ve helped differant family members build homes and garages(shops down here). Two years of vocational school where we built a full scale house(3brm,2ba.), that was auctioned off at the end of each school year. I feel I’ve got a good basic knowledge of home construction.
My wife and I have already discussed starting out part time. I agree, I think it’s the best way to go. It’ll give me time to build my business little by little. I’m going to go ahead and get my state license before my eligibility runs out, and I’m going to do like Jeffrey suggested and perform some free inspections for family and friends. I’ll also keep studying and reading on here.
I’ll be on here daily, thanks again for the advice from you all.
Daniel :wink:

Good Luck, Daniel. If you have any further questions, please don’t be shy. We are all here to learn from each other.

Great advice! I’d be willing to bet most HI’s do not have those in their bag of goodies.

Me too.

This is all the info I need to book an inspection:

BOOKING QUESTIONS

  1. House Square Footage?
  2. House Age?
  3. Crawl Space?
  4. Foreclosure? Is the home in distress or poor condition? (If so, add $25.00)
  5. Location? (Add 25 if in town A, B, C or D etc.)
  6. EIFS siding?
  7. Is the house occupied?
  8. Do you want a termite inspection?
  9. Do you want a home warranty (90 day for buyer / 120 for sellers) $25.00
  10. Do you want water or radon sampled?
    (Water $50 extra if at lab after 3:00 on Thursday.)
  11. Give Price Quote
  12. Client Name and phone number?
  13. Realtor name and phone number?
  14. Give instructions on obtaining Agreement.
  15. Will client be in attendance?
  16. How will inspector gain access to the property?
  17. Set date and time.

A tip…join a local organization. I know there is a local NACHI group in Greenville. You’ll learn a lot from meeting other inspectors.

P.S.

Spartanburg is a “price conscious” market. Meaning, everyone wants a $200 home inspection.