ATI Newsroom

The best home inspectors are licensed, educated, and in the know with the latest legislative changes. Our ears are constantly to the ground. We keep you up to date on the latest news & developments in the regulation of the home inspection industry. 

  • 07 Oct 2019 5:29 PM | Anonymous


    Being new to any industry can be a challenge! As a new home inspector, it is important to set a marketing plan in place so that your name comes to mind when people are looking for a home inspector. Following these some basic steps right away will create a foundation and help your business grow exponentially.

    Build a website

    Having a website allows you to appear as an established business in the minds of customers. This is somewhere they can learn about you and contact you. It also allows you to pop up in Google searches when someone who doesn’t know where to start goes looking for a home inspector.

    Network and make connections

    Starting a new business is a lot like the first day of high school in some regard. If you don’t make friends, it will be a bumpy ride. Make the right friends and connections and things get much easier. Business networking is not much different. It can help you reach more clients and eventually the business growth and community of referrals you need to reach success. Networking plays a vital role in business growth today. It provides an environment where people can share their success and mistakes with each other. Ultimately giving you an answer key before the test!

    Bonus question answer: Realtors can be your best friend in this industry. Building a strong network of realtors can lead to a long list of referrals.

    Marketing materials

    Have something to hand homeowners besides a contract. Create business cards and potentially flyers that explain your service and quality. This will help you to stand out amongst other home inspectors they might meet with.

     Join an association

    Being a member of a home inspector association allows you to share tips, learn about new tools and opportunities, as well as ask questions.  Associations give you an environment of support, growth and opportunity you don’t get standing on your own.  They are amazing resources for continuing education, information, and connections. Do not underestimate the value these add to you as a professional and your company.

    Don’t stop learning

    Training to become a home inspector is essential, but it is just important to grow your business after you are established. 

    If you are a home inspector who is required to be licensed by your state, it may be necessary to acquire continuing education credits to keep your license active. Not all states have these requirements though, and this could lead to a decline in the quality of work within the industry. Continuing education is essential to staying on top of current regulations, client’s needs, and what’s going on in the industry.



  • 23 Sep 2019 5:26 PM | Anonymous


    Home sellers are usually looking for a simple, straightforward home inspector’s report. However, if that simple home inspection report has bad news, it is highly likely they will have more questions and expect solid documentation. A professional home inspector utilizes science-based technology in their inspection process. This keeps opinions at bay and the bad news in perspective.

    Technology speaks in facts, not opinions

    In truth, your “opinion” as a home inspector isn’t what a home buyer is looking for. Using technology, you can provide real evidence to back up your professional opinion. Instead of getting into an argument built around your personalities, you and the seller can confront the hard, empirical evidence together.

    Science and technology are designed to help us in everyday matters. For instance, using a microwave tester to demonstrate that the magnetron is working. When a home inspector utilizes this fancy little gadget, they will likely receive no argument on the merit discovery.

    Breaking the bad news

    The home inspector’s job can also often pin you between two homeowners and their real estate agent. When you have an arsenal of technology at your side, you are leveling the playing field.

    Most home sellers are not keen on hearing they may face thousands of dollars in repairs to bring their home up to salable condition. Meaning, you, as the home inspector, will need more than just your highly trained, educated opinion. You also must show convincing evidence in a cool, calm, professional manner.

    But which tools should you use?

    Think beyond the essential hand tools a professional home inspector carries. Building your business means devoting greater financial resources to better equipment. Investing in more sophisticated technological tools will help make stronger reports. These hi-tech tools will help build a scientific, unemotional case for your inspection report:

    • gas leak detector — Avoid depending entirely on your nose to detect the Mercaptan added to natural gas; again, the homeowner is left to argue with your tool, not with you.

    • An infrared camera — Able to detect temperature changes, it sees beyond human sight. This takes opinion and guesswork out of tracking water and air leaks, as well as finding overheating electrical and mechanical systems.

    • pin-probe moisture meter — Provide the homeowner with precise, decimal-place values for the moisture in structural timbers, concrete, drywall and anywhere else moisture is suspected to be a problem; a superior model will allow contact and non-contact readings.

    • A combustion flue gas analyzer — Accurately assessing the performance of a furnace, wood stove, gas burner or oil-fired boiler is challenging to the most experienced home inspectors; using technology that provides fast, accurate readings takes the guesswork (and homeowner challenge) out of the equation.

    What about software?

    Establish your credentials early on with each home seller. Present a highly professional appearance by using software scheduling tools. These allow customers to schedule their inspection times during hours convenient to them (and you). Consider a program like Captera or Gigabook.

    Using software in the field puts you at a higher level of expertise and keeps you ahead of the game. An added bonus - there will be increases your efficiency while boosting your professionalism to the home sellers. Consider using a home inspection reporting software like Horizon Inspection Software, which lets you create brilliant reports, provide great service, run a smart business, market for growth — and spend less time doing it all!

    Moral of the story - avoid getting into clashes with homeowners by providing them the concise, precise data they need to realize your findings are accurate.



  • 09 Sep 2019 5:22 PM | Anonymous


    Ideally, home inspectors and real estate agents would work together to help home buyers make knowledgeable decisions about what properties to buy. 

    Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, ultimately causing the homebuyer to lose out.

    There is a common misconception that real estate agents want inspectors who will turn a blind eye to problems with a home to help them make the sale. In truth, honest and reputable Realtors want inspectors to deliver the facts. If there are honest issues with the home to consider, they should relay that to the home buyer. At the same time, agents aren’t too keen on inspectors who exaggerate findings or make a buyer feel like they are buying a lemon – except when that is the case. If the inspector makes his or her findings seem like the end of the world, the buyer may go running from a perfectly acceptable home.

    Buyers, particularly first-time buyers, are trusting the inspector to tell them if the home is worth purchasing. 

    Perspective Matters

    From the perspective of a real estate agent, the main difference between a good or bad home inspector is in the delivery of information. Real estate agents want honesty, but they also want perspective.

    Most home buyers are on a budget, and there are plenty of quality homes on the market that would make great purchases for the budget conscious buyer.

    Home buyers are putting their faith in real estate agents and home inspectors to guide them to these homes. They want to own a home, and they need to buy something that will serve their needs, which almost always means compromise.

    An experienced agent and a skilled home inspector have a realistic perspective on homes in their respective markets. They understand that almost every home has issues, and they know how to tell the difference between serious problems and minor to moderate problems, which many buyers can deal with to own a home. 

    Most real estate agents have no desire to see a client buy a home they will regret and will work hard to avoid such a situation. A good inspector obviously feels the same. An inspector is approaching the situation from a different angle and needs to be ready to explain the results of an inspection in a way that helps buyers make an informed decision. Not explaining issues in a way that sends them running immediately because they think the home is going to fall down around them (unless of course it actually is).



  • 29 Aug 2019 10:53 AM | Anonymous


    With the shift to a greener and energy conserving world, it is important that your home inspection business also shifts. People who are looking to make their home more energy efficient, might be looking to you for advice. With that in mind, it is important to be educated and prepared on what makes their home more green. 

     

    Provide the home owner with a Home Energy Score. This U.S. Department of Energy rating was created to give people a simple understanding of just how efficient their home is. The scale ranges from 1 to 10. 10, being the highest level of an energy efficient home. This allows your customers to have a full understanding of where they currently stand and how many more adjustments need to be made to improve their efficiency. In order to do this, however, you will need to get certified by the Department of Energy. 

     

    Give home owners a list of ways they can be more energy efficient. Include things such as install low-flow shower heads, seal windows, add insulation to your attic, install a storm door, install solar panels, and anything else that could benefit the client. These adjustment suggestions will leave them feeling content. 

     

    Bringing energy conservation into your conversations with customers will show that your business is evolving with the times. You will be seen as more dependable and will hopefully be recommended to others for your initiative. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  • 07 Jan 2019 9:44 AM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    Gov. Kasich signs home inspector licensure into law on his way out of office

    Jan 7, 2019

    By Scott Williams, Ohio REALTORS Chief Executive Officer

    The top legislative priority of Ohio REALTORS for more than a decade -- home inspector licensure -- becomes a reality later this year, after the measure was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich late last week.

    The effort to establish a home inspector licensure system in Ohio, which was amended into Senate Bill 255 in the waning days of the 132nd General Assembly, will bring critical consumer-focused oversight to the last remaining unregulated aspect of the home buying process. Ohio will become the 31st state affording home buyers the assurance that the inspector they hire is properly trained to evaluate and assess the home's condition prior to finalizing what is likely the largest financial transaction they will make in a lifetime.

    The measure established a regulatory board that includes representation from the home inspector profession that will adopt standards of practice, requirements for education and create a pathway for consumers to have their complaints addressed. Additionally it:

    • Requires home inspectors to have 80 hours of pre-licensure education including classroom instruction, online instruction or in-the-field experience.
    • Establishes a three-year license, with a requirement for 14 hours of continuing education annually.
    • Ensures that consumers have access to qualified inspectors by creating grandfathering criteria that closely match current practices and standards.
    • Stipulates that a real estate licensee is not required to give a home inspector referral. However, should a licensee choose to refer they must give no fewer than three names.
    • Finally, the law establishes a Home Inspector Recovery Fund. Consumers who obtain a final judgement against a licensed home inspector may seek payment from the fund (up to $40,000). 

    Click here to Read the Full Story

    *Source:  Ohio Realtor's Association

  • 18 Sep 2018 3:36 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    What the Defect

    Wis. Act 338, effective July 1, 2018, modified the home inspector statute, Wis. Stat. Chap. 440, to create consistency between the offer to purchase and the home inspector’s report. 

    Offer to purchase

    The 2011 WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase defines a “defect” on lines 182-184 as: “a condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the Property; that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of the Property; or that if not repaired, removed or replaced, would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the premises.”

    Home inspector definition 

    The definition of “defect” in the inspection report is now substantially similar to the definition of “defect” in the offer to purchase. Wis. Stat. § 440.97(2m) “Defect” means a condition of any component of an improvement that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of a property or that, if not repaired, removed, or replaced, would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the component of the improvement.

    Therefore, as of July 1, 2018, when a home inspector calls something a defect in the inspection report, the condition must meet the definition contained in the home inspector statute of Wis. Stat. § 440.97(2m).

    Discrepancy in the rules and statute

    As of July 1, 2018, the home inspector administrative rules of Wis. Admin. Code § SPS 131 are inconsistent with the statutory changes of Wis. Stat. Chap. 440. However, even though the rules use different regarding verbiage and terminology that are inconsistent with the new statutory language, the statutory language supersedes administrative rules. The home inspector administrative rules will be updated, but until then, note the statutory language of Wis. Stat. 440 controls the practice. Home inspectors are also required to be educated about the statutory changes. 

    Wis. Stat. § 440.975(3) After completing a home inspection, a home inspector shall submit a written report to a client that does all of the following:
    (a) Lists the components of an improvement to residential real property that the home inspector is required to inspect under the rules promulgated under s. 440.974(1) (b).
    (b) Lists the components of an improvement to residential real property that the home inspector has inspected.
    (c) Describes any condition of an improvement to residential real property or of any component of an improvement to residential real property that is detected by the home inspector during his or her home inspection and that, if not repaired, will have a significant adverse effect on the life expectancy of the improvement or the component of the improvement. *
    (cm) Describes any defect that is detected by the home inspector during his or her home inspection. A home inspector is not required to use the term “defect” in describing a defect in the written report required under this subsection. A home inspector may not use the term “defect” in a written report required under this subsection unless that use is consistent with s. 440.97 (2m).
    (d) Provides any other information that the home inspector is required to provide under the rules promulgated under s. 440.974(1) (c).
    * The strikethrough represents the removed statutory language, while the underline represents new language added by the legislation to the home inspector statute.

    *Source WRA, Cori Lamont https://www.wra.org/WREM/July18/Defect/


  • 17 Sep 2018 7:18 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    www.atirecommendstsiworkshop.com

    Do you have your SAVVY INSPECTOR WORKSHOP Tickets yet? Here's what you are going to get when you attend The Savvy Inspector Virtual Workshop…

    ✔️ Eight 90 minute business-building presentations on How To Reduce Your Dependence On Real Estate Agent Referrals!
    ✔️ Two-panel discussions with Marketers Of Home Inspection Services who will share their hard-won secrets with you!
    ✔️ The video and audio recordings of all of the presentations from the Workshop.
    ✔️ All of the handouts and other materials that accompany each presentation.
    ✔️ 90 Minute Q&A Webinar To Follow Up On All Unanswered Questions From The Workshop
    ✔️ A Private Facebook Group That You Can Access As Soon As You Purchase Your Ticket

    So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets NOW!

    www.atirecommendstsiworkshop.com


  • 17 Aug 2018 10:45 AM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    Buy a ticket to The Savvy Inspector’s 2018 Virtual Workshop before August 31 and get a chance to win special prizes!

    Home inspectors willing to take the next step to success are welcome to join The Savvy Inspector’s 2018 Virtual Workshop!

    Not only will you learn valuable knowledge on marketing your home inspection business, you’ll also receive special bonuses like your very own Reputation Commercial and more!

    On top of all the bonuses you’ll get, you also get a chance to win other valuable prizes like your very own Website and Blog worth $997.00!

    What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot in The Savvy Inspector’s 2018 Virtual Workshop today! Click the link below to get signed up!

    http://www.atirecommendstsiworkshop.com



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