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The home inspection industry in Ohio has a major problem and that problem is a complete lack of oversight. The Ohio home inspection industry also has absolutely zero regulations. Typically businesses flourish with minimal regulation, but most industries do not cater to people making purchases over $100,000 that literally involve finding and identifying dangerous aspects of a home.
This complete lack of oversight means that anyone can call his or herself a home inspector in Ohio. I am not exaggerating; a convicted sex offender, violent felon, or a middle school dropout can be a home inspector in the state of Ohio. Last but not least, there is no education requirement to be an inspector in the state of Ohio. So anyone with a enough time to make a business card can go around telling people that he or she is ‘qualified’ to help educate you regarding decisions that will effect both your safety and finances.
Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to verify that a home inspector is legitimate, trustworthy, and qualified.
To verify the qualifications of an inspector, you merely need to visit their website and click on their credentials. Much like my credentials below, a reputable inspector will have a certification seal that can be clicked on that will link to the website of his or her certifying organization. Having a picture of a certification seal that does not link to a website of a certifying organization is major red flag that may indicate that this inspector is not currently certified.
The second thing you should do to verify if an inspector is reputable is check sites that handle reviews. Yelp and Google are great at cataloging reviews but they also do very little to verify anything. So while they are helpful, they only provide a limited view of the inspector.
When it comes to reading user reviews, the best place to check is Angie’s List. It curates real reviews from real customers. However, Angie’s List does something that most other sites don’t do. Angie’s List does background checks. You have to be signed in to the website, which is free by the way to join, but once signed in you can see if the business provider is Angie’s List Certified. For example, if you click the Angie’s List badge, it will take you to the page of my company and you can clearly see that I have passed the annual criminal background check.