A property inspection is an independent, non-invasive inspection of the current condition of a property, usually in connection with the potential sale of that property. Property inspectors are trained in a variety of fields including structural, electrical, plumbing, and indoor air quality. They are also trained in determining the presence of harmful conditions, such as radon, and ensuring that safe practices are observed while the property is under construction or renovation. Home inspectors are licensed by states in which they operate their business.
Property inspectors are used by sellers and/or buyers to investigate and detect problems and defects in homes. Most inspections are performed by individuals who have the proper training and certifications to do such inspections and are often employed by realtors, whose job it is to find and present properties to buyers. Many state laws mandate periodic inspections of residential structures by qualified inspectors to ensure compliance with building and construction regulations. In some states, home inspectors are required to purchase a state certification to conduct such inspections; however, this is not the case in all states.
An inspection is usually done by an individual with the appropriate training and certification. When conducting a visual inspection, the property inspector will use his or her eyes to see everything that is visible to the naked eye. This includes interior and exterior structures, roofing, insulation, windows, doors, fixtures, equipment, utilities, and the like. Such inspections can be performed in person, using specialized equipment, or virtually, by using special devices (such as cameras or computer programs).
The main purpose of visual inspections is to ensure that there are no safety hazards in place when a buyer or seller plans to purchase a house. Safety hazards can include improper foundation footings, structural defects, exposed wiring, missing or cracked foundation walls, damp walls, and other similar safety hazards. Such inspections are also often used before home sales to ensure compliance with building regulations.
In the US, there are many private property inspectors who can be hired to inspect houses for buyers and sellers. Home buyers and sellers can get free initial consultations from property inspectors, who have the proper certifications. During the consultations, the home inspector explains what should be found and how serious the issues should be. They may suggest specific upgrades or repairs to address the problems. A buyer or seller can hire a property inspector after the consultation, if he or she wishes to do so.
Property inspectors with various degrees of education have their own professional qualifications. Some possess a high school diploma, while others have only a high school degree. Still others have college degrees and master’s degrees. Property inspectors with advanced degrees earn higher salaries than those with only a high school degree. Property inspectors with a professional qualification in hazardous environment exposure earn higher salaries.