The first and best way to select a home inspector is to ask your real estate agent. Their expertise and experience is an invaluable asset during the entire home buying process, and you can benefit greatly from their professional contacts.
Choosing a home inspector is a very important decision. As it is a relatively new profession, comparatively speaking, many states do not currently regulate home inspectors with licensing and certification.
Because of this, many homebuyers are tempted to select a handyman or a contractor to perform a discount inspection. This is not recommended. Because the inspection process is highly detailed, it is important to select an inspector that is thoroughly knowledgeable and experienced.
There are some other things to watch for when selecting an inspector. Ideally, your inspector should be associated with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Membership in this organization requires that your inspector adhere to the professional standards outlined by this association, and participate in continuing education.
Next to professional affiliation, your inspector should be experienced in the inspection process. Competency at home inspection is developed from years of hands-on experience. A contractor's license is important, but not nearly as important as inspection experience itself.
Your inspector should be knowledgeable, thorough, meticulous, competent and detailed. Knowledge of contracting and building code certification is also helpful.