At the present time, not all states require that home inspectors be licensed. It is because of this lack of licensure, that it is so important for you to choose a home inspector who adheres to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. The NAHI Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection and all NAHI members agree to conduct their home inspections in accordance with the NAHI Standards of Practice/Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NAHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.
Before a home inspector is hired, we recommend that the consumer, "check him or her out." Check to see if the inspector is licensed in your state (if applicable), see if the home inspector carries a membership with a national non-profit trade association, such as the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) and if so, call to verify that the individual is a member in good standing. Call the Better Business Bureau, Department of Consumer Affairs, and your local municipalities to see if the inspector and/or Inspection Company have had any complaints registered against them. It may take a few minutes to check out the individual, but by doing so you are making a better decision in choosing an inspector.
In addition, we recommend that you interview the Home Inspector. Talk to the home inspector and find out their background. Can they give you references? Do they carry Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance? Are they members of a national non-profit trade association for home inspectors? Membership in a non-profit association is a sign that the inspector is serious about his or her job. In addition, a home inspector must abide by the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the Association. Find out what type of report the inspector uses. Will it be a hand-written checklist? Or a computer-generated report? Will it contain digital pictures?
NAHI encourages consumers to attend the inspection and ask questions - this provides them with the opportunity to learn more about the home and about any visible defects that might be found.