Tips on How to Find a Tampa Home Inspector…

Watch out for the red flags!

You just found out your offer has been accepted so you look to your agent because you don’t know a “good” inspector. Your agent provides you with three they recommend or they give you a list of 50 or so in the area. Only until you’re in the building will find out if you chose a good inspector. The most important thing you can do is to become a knowledgeable consumer. Hopefully, this page will get you started.

#1 rule:  Don’t ever let your agent get involved in this process.  Don’t let them recommend, don’t let them suggest, don’t let them call for a price, don’t let them compare and don’t let them schedule.  Their job is to find you a home.  Your job is to find a certified licensed inspector that will represent your interests.  Many local inspectors actually list real estate agents they work for and link them to their website.  If you see this it is a huge Red Flag! They work for those agents! Don’t rely on a real estate agent to Find a Tampa Home Inspector.

#2 rule: Read your real estate contract before you sign it.  If you do not understand it hire an independent real estate attorney. 

When searching for an inspector there are several areas of required expertise and conditions you should insist on and there are also several questions you should ask. 

If you have made it this deep into our site you know our stand on real estate agents (they should not be recommending inspectors).  So do your homework, DO NOT rely on your real estate agent for an inspector!  Red Flag!

Here is some enlightening information about local home inspectors, they are all Red Flags!

 

Stay away from INTER-NACHI or NACHI “certified” inspectors.

The following paragraph was found by another inspector on the NACHI website and forwarded to us.  The article speaks for itself.  It is quite revealing about this organization. This is a bulletin to its membership:

“Note to Inspectors:

NACHI does not make a public distinction between these two levels of membership.  No law requires you to publicly announce what your INTER-NACHI member level is so you are simply a “member.”  This is true for many other professions.  For instance, a lawyer is not required to warn his first client about his lack of experience. Also, no law recognizes experience and knowledge gained outside the performance of inspections (many inspectors were once involved in construction). Since every inspectors experience is different there is likely no correlation between real experience and level of membership. Furthermore, since no laws require a public disclosure of and inspectors experience (or lack of it), INTER-NACHI does not require it either. If you are only a new working member you need not alarm your clients. If you are a full member there is nothing preventing you from touting it.  You must be one or the other though.  INTER-NACHI does not “brand” new inspectors with derogatory terms such as “Associate” or “Candidate” because NACHI has no entrance requirements. Many Agents blacklist associates and candidates. If you are a member you may call yourself a “Certified Member” or a “Certified Home Inspector.” “

 

Stay away from Housemaster Inspectors and the NIBI

This is a link to a lawsuit brought by a buyer (and won) against Housemasters of South Jersey and the parent franchise company HouseMaster of America.  They were found guilty of fraud.  NIBI (National Institute of Building Inspectors), is another entity owned by HouseMaster of America.

Housemaster Lawsuit

We find this amazing!  It also proves our point; not all inspectors are created equal!

SEC Inspections

This is a flyer from SEC to realtors: “Our inspectors convey their inspection findings in a way that Doesn’t Kill Your Deal”. We have become very frustrated by unethical inspectors in the Tampa Bay Area. Not all inspectors are created equal. No one does anything about them so we have decided to post their message to realtors. This is one of the most unethical marketing flyers I have ever seen. Not sure what SEC stands for. Would you hire these clowns?

Sec Inspections

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR INSPECTOR:

Have they ever been sued? Check with your local circuit court records.  Most offer this service online.  Major Red Flag!

What are the Inspectors Qualifications?  The inspector must be licensed in the state of Florida and should be certified by at least two of the following three: 

ASHI – 1st and foremost the most nationally recognized certification. If they don’t have this don’t even think of hiring them. (The American Society of Home Inspectors)

FABI – This is the state recognized certification. There should be an equal in your state. Most courts require a second state certification to be considered as an expert witness.  (The Florida Association of Building Inspectors)  

IHINA – The Independent Home Inspectors of North America – This separates the inspectors that are in the pockets of real estate agents from those that are not.  99% of the inspectors in the business rely on real estate agents for their livelihood.  Ask them why they do not belong to the IHINA.  (The Independent Home Inspectors of North America)

If your state requires licensing, verify the license. 

The inspector should have some building experience in the home industry somewhere in their construction career and have at least 10 years of onsite building experience.   So you’re not choosing some kid 20 years old or someone who had just purchased an inspection franchise. 

They must have a minimum of 10 years in the inspection business.   This reduces the field of candidates but increases your chances of getting a more experienced inspector.

How long have they owned the company?  Companies are bought and sold every day.  The company may have been around for years but under new ownership. Red Flag! SI.com has been owned and operated by Chris Miller since 1992. 

How many years experience in the construction industry do they have and to what capacity? Chris owned and managed his own construction company.

What did they do before they got into the building inspection business?  Did they wait on tables? Chris Miller has an extensive construction background dating back to the early 1970’s.

Where do they get the bulk of their business?  How is it generated?  If it is from real estate agents… does Red Flag ring a bell?!  We believe this selection process is flawed and have taken an oath not to solicit real estate agents for work.

Do they solicit Real Estate Agents for work?  If so, where does their loyalty lie?  With you or the agent that sends them work?  Red Flag! We are the longest running member of IHINA in our market area.  Others have latched on because of our success. 

Do they do the inspection or do they hire inexperienced people off the street to do the inspection? Red Flag!  We do our own inspections.

If they hire out help what are the helps qualifications?  Make sure the help has the same amount or more experience as the lead inspector/owner. Red Flag!  Beware of large inspection firms.  They typically solicit and hire marginal inspectors that are not capable of standing on their own. 

Do they provide life expectancy of major components like roof, air conditioning etc.?  If not, why not? We provide life expectancies as we feel it is important for our clients to know how much more life there is in the roof, A/C system etc. 

Do they provide you with a cost estimates of the repairs?  Real Estate agents hate this, some real estate offices require only licensed contractors to give estimates.  The problem is most buyers only have five to 10 days from the inspection date to respond to the inspection results.  Good luck getting contractors out to do estimates.  We provide estimates in every inspection unless asked by our clients not to.

Get a quote or Order an Inspection Online Today!

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Contact Us
Phone: (727) 420-8993
Fax: (727) 736-8822
Email: chris@suncoastinspections.com

 

Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Problem Prevention Advice: In-depth research & advice on diagnosing, testing, correcting, & preventing building defects & indoor environmental hazards. Unbiased information, no conflicts of interest.  We perform Residential & Commercial Construction Inspections in Tampa.