A Subsidiary of W.A.R.I.E.S. Ltd.

Training and Certifying Home Inspectors Since 1993

A Washington Corporation


"the ARIES Co."

Architectural Review, Inspection, & Evaluation Schools 

Home Inspection Training & Certification  Services



September 12, 1999


By Michael W. Pederson, President, NARIESä

National Association of Real-estate Inspection and Evaluation Services

Training Home Inspectors since 1992

The Real Estate Industry and smart homebuyers know the importance of a "Professional Home Inspection." Smart homebuyers want to know what the physical condition of their potential home purchase is. They want to avoid buying the proverbial "Money Pit."

The home’s location and visual appeal are what motivates buyers, and they may believe it appears to be in excellent condition. However, unknown, costly deficiencies often exist, which the buyer should know about before purchase. Therefore, they should hire a trained and qualified Home Inspector. The Inspector can detect any problems, and convey the true condition of the property in the form of a written report.

I suggest considering the following points to help you maximize the benefits of your next home purchase and that, "Home Inspector."

  1. Get a 5 to 10 day time period for the inspection written in the offer, purchase and sale agreement, giving you time to obtain a good inspection, and think about the report after you receive it.
  2. Points to look for can be found in a sample of the inspector’s report or in communicating with them. With the report, is it presented in clearly written, easy-to-understand English? With the inspector, is the person clear, easy to understand, and comfortable to talk to? The report should include all of the independent parts of the house. (see NARIES Standards of Practice) Each part should be presented with findings and conclusions that are easy to understand. Any recommendations should be simple, and may often refer you to other professionals, specialists and technicians who are more qualified in a particular field. Look for these things in your report later.
  3. Does the inspector have formal training? The inspector could have been formally trained over a period of time in a classroom setting and in the field. Others have been trained through correspondence and self-help seminars including field training. Some have on-the-job training. That is good, but can also be a false credential. To properly inspect and communicate, the individual should have some evidence they can do so. Having worked in related fields does not assure you of this ability.
  4. Call and interview the inspector. They should be easy to communicate with, and in a professional and business like manner. Mature and conscientious inspectors give you the feeling of genuine empathy and are sincerely interested in you getting the most for your money. You are paying for quality inspecting and communication, orally and in writing.
  5. Ask if the inspector will take you along on the inspection, and are they comfortable with your presence, at least for part of the time. The inspector should explain everything either during the inspection or afterwards. All of the inspector’s time should be yours for this part.
  6. Inspection experience is important, and so is other work in related fields, but the most important points are communication, and the care taken in preparing a report. This can be properly done either during the inspection, through the use of a preprinted form, or as a  written narrative report prepared later on a computer. On-site reports are more than adequate for many home inspections, but for more elaborate explanations, a full narrative report with more detailed reviews, are best for a clear understanding with selective  recommendations. If this is what you purchased, the written narrative inspection report is better prepared within 24 hours or more of midnight of the day of the inspection, . The "report"  is the "product" you are paying for. So, get one which is carefully written and easy-to-understand, either using a organized form done on site,  or a full narrative style of report prepared later. 
  7. Shopping by price is usually a disaster. Search for the most qualified inspector you feel most comfortable with, and pay the requested price. This is probably the most important and largest purchase of your life. Do not blow it using less than the best because of price. Good business like inspectors know what they are worth and so should you.
  8. Meet the inspector at the house. Do not worry, everything you discuss and take a note about (and more) will be seen in the report. The report, or any notes you may take, help you think in advance about work orders you may include in the purchase.
  9. Membership in an association is a good point, but not any assurance of the quality of the inspector or their inspection. None of the associations have a disciplinary board to police their members. They do of course look into complaints, but basically are hindered by law from doing much more then reviewing complaints with the Inspector.  Some associations have entry training requirements, but this does not assure you of the quality of services. However, most of the associations require their members to agree to follow their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Otherwise they are not allowed to be members of the association. You should be able to get a copy of these before the inspection if you like.  Just remember, that all of the titles and memberships have merit, but nothing to do with the ability to personally communicate, and the integrity of the home inspector. 

REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:                                                                         

a. Did you like reading the sample report, or communicating with the Home      Inspector?                                                          

b. Do you like the inspector?                                                                                  

c. Does the conversation seem business like and professional?                      

d. Are you comfortable?

Michael W. Pederson is a Washington state licensed Architect who has been providing Building Inspection Services since 1986, training Home Inspectors since 1993, and is President and Founder of NARIESä , the National Association of Real-estate Inspection and Evaluation Services. This membership is open to Building and Home Inspectors, Appraisers, related Real Estate professionals, and the public. Executive members are trained and professionally qualified Building Inspectors.

NARIES  Application
NARIES Agreement
NARIES Standards 
NARIES Code of Ethics
NARIES L & I Training
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Washington Classes
Washington Certification 
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Washington  State Standards
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Washington Regulations
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Training Modules
Training Syllabus
Training Binder Index
Schedules of Classes



December 25 2009

Michael W. Pederson

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WARIES Ltd. A Washington State Corporation


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