What Makes A Complete Home Inspector?

     A complete home inspector, and therefore a complete home inspection, consists of four different parts.  Each is important, and none can be ignored or eliminated.  A home inspector with a mastery of each of the parts would be a complete package.  This package is important in Virginia or anywhere in the country - no matter where you are.   The package consists of:

  • 30% - A very important thing to look for in a home inspector is experience and construction knowledge.  The best way for him to gain inspection knowledge is through prior construction experience.  The best home inspectors are the guys who have been in the business, like to wander through hardware stores, buy tools they don't now but might need one day, and have home work shops.  The home inspection business they conduct is an avocation in addition to being a profession.  There are companies out there which teach the home inspection business in a classroom setting.  I suppose this would be okay if an attendee came to the class with prior construction experience.  But the problem I have encountered with these class graduates is that they typically lack that experience and think they will do home inspections part time.  They pass a test, and become "home inspectors."  I am often asked to clarify or even clean up problems created by such part-timers.  They don't have their own systems.  They are using someone else's.
  • 30% - The quality of the report generated from the inspection.  It should be legible, easy to understand and very comprehensive.  The computerized and printed reports typically fit this criteria.  Even better if it cross references into a home owner manual.  Your home inspector should be a member of at least one industry-related association.  All home inspection associations have criteria they demand from the inspection report generated by one of their members.  The best reports do not simply identify problems, but instead include a whole array of information that touches on the good aspects of a house, its systems and components and a summary that can be given to everyone, including the realtor.
  • 30% - A complete home inspector has the ability to clearly explain and educate a buyer as to the home and any deficiencies.  Most home owners are not that home savvy and this may be their first purchase.  A command of the language is essential.  An inspector should not try to impress with his vast knowlledge.  Simpler is better -  if nothing else the inspector should be a teacher.  Clarity is everything.  And the essence of communications is understanding.  And any post-inspection counseling should be cheerfully provided.  The buyers become clients, and should be treated as such.
  • 10% - People skills!  The inspector should be clean and well-groomed, dressed appropriately, personable and cheerful.  Hopefully the home inspection experience becomes an enjoyable one.  Buyers should be comfortable with asking questions and engaging in friendly interaction.  They should want to call this inspector again!

     All this makes for a complete inspector!  Certainly everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  But a command of all the above makes for a great inspection experience.  And if you are looking for a great inspection experience you will certainly want to call a complete package.  You will want to call Jay Markanich.  In fact, call your realtor, and INSIST on Jay Markanich!

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Comments

Dominic (not verified) | Fri, 04/04/2008 - 23:18

Nice write up on explaining what makes a good home inspector!

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!