Notice to homeowners: Choose your inspector wisely | Company

In this hot housing market, home inspectors are in high demand. Their work is a crucial step in the buying process.

Only a thorough and professional inspection of the physical structure and mechanical condition of the home, from roof to foundation, can reveal issues that you as a homeowner will need to watch out for and possibly discuss with the seller.

Building inspectors can be architects, structural engineers or building contractors. They may receive training or certification from a professional association. While structural engineers must be licensed by the state in which they operate, home inspectors themselves are not federally regulated and state regulations vary.

In Missouri, building inspectors do not need a license or training, although structural engineers and other professional engineers are licensed by the Missouri Division of Professional Regulation. In Illinois, building inspectors and structural engineers are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPFR); building inspectors must complete a 60-hour pre-licensing course, while structural engineers must meet education and experience requirements and pass licensing exams.

“The lack of consistent licensing and certification requirements among home inspectors means the onus is on buyers to choose their inspector wisely,” said Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​regional director Don O’Brien ​Quincy. “Consumers should seek the knowledge and experience of inspectors before making a decision about this crucial part of the process.”

BBB received 388 complaints and over 303,000 inquiries about home inspection services in 2021. Common complaints included inaccurate or incomplete inspections and billing issues.

Tips for finding a building inspector:

● Review all businesses on bbb.org before agreeing to pay. BBB has thousands of BBB company profiles on home inspection services. These profiles include the company’s complaint history and how they were handled, customer reviews, and an A+ to F rating.

● Ask for recommendations from your friends and acquaintances.

● Find someone who knows the type of house to inspect. Does the inspector specialize in residential or commercial property?

● Ask potential inspectors questions about their professional training, relevant experience and/or years of service. Check if the inspector belongs to a professional association. Look for structural engineer licenses from the Missouri Division of Professional Registration or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Registration.

● Look for building inspectors who are committed to avoiding conflicts of interest, who refuse to get involved in any real estate transaction or deliberately obtain work in another field that could benefit them financially as a result of their inspection work, and who hold the safety, health and welfare of the public paramount in the performance of their professional inspection duties.

● Be present during the inspection. Most inspectors will allow you to tour the home with them and ask questions during or after the inspection. The inspection can last from two to five hours.

● Ask how soon after the inspection you will receive a copy of the final home inspection report. Carefully read your home inspection report and list the items that need to be fixed; this will help you determine your future expenses for repairs and maintenance. The report will contain useful information for your reference in the future. A home cannot fail an inspection; Understand that the home inspection report records the condition of the home, both positive and negative.

Michael J. Chiaramonte