See also: IMPORTANT LINKS
It's impossible to tell if a Home Inspector is competent and qualified or just a good salesman in a 5-minute phone call. You should ask these important questions (save as PDF):
1. How long have you been doing Home Inspections? Experience counts.
2. What professional associations to you belong to? ASHI and State certification are the only two you should look for.
3. What did you do before becoming a Home Inspector? A background in the building trades speaks volumes. If their last job was selling office supplies then call another Home Inspector.
4. Do you carry a ladder and walk roofs? This is extremely important and provides a much more thorough inspection. Some roof types should not be walked and sometimes weather/roof pitch prevent access but using a ladder to view from roof level is still very important.
5. How long does an inspection take? Even the smaller homes should take approximately two hours. Inspection time increases with age and size of the structure.
6. Can I tag along? Yes, you will never have a better time to learn about your new home.
7. Do you take the covers off the HVAC systems? All the working parts are in the casings, performing a thorough inspection without doing so is impossible.
8. What is your price? This should not be the most important question. If you have asked the questions listed above and compared answers form different Home Inspectors you will find that a qualified, thorough, experienced Home Inspector is well worth the expense. Purchasing a home is the largest single investment you will ever make and using the best Home Inspector can help you protect that investment.