Home inspectors across the country utilize the CMI or Certified Master Inspector designation to imply their skill set or knowledge is superior to those without the designation. Is this true – is there such a thing as a true CMI?

Actually no. The CMI designation is an alternate designation that is bought from InterNACHI for a one-time fee of $2500.00. In reading the website, they list things like must have performed 1000 inspections or have a total cumulative of 1000 hours in education, training, and hours. For the average inspector taking 2.5 hours per inspection and another 2 hours to write the report this equates to a nine (9) hour workday. The training to become a home inspector is 90 hours using InterNACHI’s online training program which is recognized by LLR as a satisfactory means allowing an individual to sit for the state test. So, let us look at the math…

Experience               Hours
Training                    90
101 Workdays          910 (3.8 months based on 26 workdays/month)

In other words, your Certified Master Inspector who pays a one-time fee of $2500 can have has little as 4 months of experience. Does this make them a Master at their trade? Likely, not…

I routinely go back and look at reports I did starting out, and frankly find myself very blessed to still be in business. The quality of our reports is constantly being refined, reviewed, and improved. Much of this improvement comes from experience gained every day, including today some 5 years later. We never stop learning.

So, what does this mean for you as a Realtor or prospective client? Basically, do not get lured in by purchased designations. Talk to the inspector, review a report, ask for references (and call them). Google and Facebook reviews are a start, but even they can be loaded for the inspector’s benefit. See how many are Realtors versus Clients. One action we take is we do not send Realtors review links. They have left a few, but only as Clients. Simple, Realtors who use us do so for a reason, and it would be easy to get all five-star reviews if that is the only folks who reviewed us. It is kind of like using a home inspector who also owns a home repair company.

The CMI implies a certain level of knowledge that frankly is bought and unproven. Realtor reviews flooding the inspectors google and Facebook pages are misleading. And a Superior home inspector should never own a home repair company or do any repairs on property they inspect. Each of these things, in my opinion, demonstrate the integrity and ethics of the home inspector. I will accept a review point of .3 less and do fewer inspections rather than misleading a Buyer into thinking we are something we are not. That is why we continue to grow and enjoy success, because of our honor and standing behind our word.