Home Inspections General Information

What is a Home Inspection?

Generally speaking, a home inspection is a visual evaluation of a home’s many systems (roofing, electrical, plumbing, etc) and structure, typically completed for home buyers before the finalization of a home purchase in order to spot deficiencies. It is best to think of a home inspection as a ‘picture in time’ of the visible conditions of a home.  Per the Standards of Professional Practice for Home Inspectors: “inspections performed to these standards shall provide the client with better understanding of property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.”

A home inspection often takes place after an offer on a home has been accepted, but the home has not yet been purchased. If a home inspector is hired, it may be done so by the prospective buyer, however, the seller may sometimes cover the inspection in compliance with negotiations of the purchase, or a seller may have their home inspected before listing if they wish.

After the inspection is completed, the home inspector will populate a report providing detailed information as required by statute on various aspects of the home.  Additionally, the report may provide recommendations to contact appropriate professionals to determine if repairs are needed. Home inspectors are generally not licensed contractors (electricians, roofers, plumbers, carpenters, etc.), and they are limited in their ability to opine on the condition of certain systems and structures. As a result, home inspectors will often recommend having a contractor or another professional look at specific system and structural issues and it is up to the client to decide whether to follow any of the recommendations.

Home Inspection v. Appraisal

Although it may be combined with other services, a home inspection itself will not provide any information regarding the value of a home: it will simply provide information on potential deficiencies.  In order to get a value estimate on a home, you may consider having a home appraisal performed by a professional appraiser. The Board does not license or have jurisdiction over home appraisers though, and cannot make any recommendation or reference regarding whether to have one performed or by whom.

How do I look up a Certified Home Inspector on the Board’s website?

All active licensed home inspectors can be found on the Board’s Registered Professional Search.

Home inspection firms and branches can found on the Board’s Registered Firm/Branch Search.

What certification is required of Home Inspector’s in Arizona?

In order to be a licensed home inspector in Arizona, pursuant to R4-30-247[1], a home inspector candidate must pass the National Home Inspector Examination, submit a fingerprint clearance card, submit evidence of successful completion of 84 hours of classroom training, and submit evidence of the successful completion of 30 parallel home inspections (home inspections conducted with a supervising home inspector present).

Additionally, pursuant to ARS § 32-122.02, a home inspector must retain proof of financial assurance in the form of an E&O insurance policy or bond. Home inspectors renew their certification annually and Board staff conducts a criminal background check on every renewing home inspector and periodically verifies the home inspector’s financial assurance is current.

[1] All statutory and rules references are to the Arizona Revised Statutes and Arizona Administrative Code in effect and current upon the date of publication of this document.  For the most current version of the statutes and rules that apply to home inspection, please see the Board’s website.

What is covered/not covered in a Home Inspection?

Pursuant to R4-30-301.01(A) “...a certified home inspector shall conduct a home inspection in accordance with the “Standards of Professional Practice” adopted by the Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. on January 1, 2002…”

A home inspector is required to meet the minimum standards as outlined in the Standards of Professional Practice for Arizona Home Inspectors. 

The Home Inspector Standards of Professional Practice and Pool and Spa Standards can be found on the Board’s Standards webpage. It is important to read through the Standards to understand the breadth and limitations of a home inspection.

I don’t think my home inspection was conducted properly, what can I do?

Any issues you have with your home inspection may be provided to your home inspector to seek an amicable solution. If communication breaks down, you may wish to ask the home inspector for a copy of their financial assurance to make a claim. You may also submit a complaint to the Board.

If a home inspector is unwilling or unable to provide you with a copy of their financial assurance, you may submit a public information request to the Board requesting a copy.

You can submit a complaint through the Board’s Complaint Webform to initiate a complaint against the home inspector. Information regarding the Board’s complaint process can be found on the same webpage. Any questions you have regarding submitting a complaint can be answered by our enforcement team staff members. Please note that the Board cannot award damages to you as a result of an improperly conducted home inspection.