Building a solid relationship with your home inspector
It may seem overly dramatic to compare your search for a home inspector to dating, but there are actually quite a few similarities. You need to have the same goals, a similar view of what's important and good communication is key.
If you and your home inspector are on the same page on a few basic principles, you're well on your way to a mutually satisfying relationship.
Know what you're looking for
Know thyself – very good advice for all areas of life, but especially in your search for a home inspector. Put simply, what are your biggest concerns? Are you a "big ticket items only" enthusiast (Roof, foundation, plumbing, mechanical and electrical)?
Maybe you have a fear of replacing a bad sewer line. Do cosmetic imperfections drive you nuts? While a complete home inspection will focus on several important areas, the clearer you are about what is important to you, the better your inspector can focus certain areas of the inspection to give you the information you want most.
A good reputation is important and is the result of a significant amount of time performing quality work. Just remember: you will always be able to find someone who is not fond of your home inspector.
Anyone who has been in this business for a substantial amount of time will have performed an inspection that may have made someone involved in the transaction unhappy. An inspector's reputation as a whole is the important thing. Reliable customer reviews are worth a lot, as are personal referrals and continuing education.
Be there for your inspection
I cannot tell you in strong enough terms how much I recommend that you attend the inspection, if at all possible. Seeing your inspector's thoroughness and professionalism in action will tell you a lot about your inspector and the work that he or she has done on your behalf.
Also, you have a much clearer picture of the items that were inspected and to what degree. If you are not familiar with the home inspection process, be sure to acquaint yourself with scope and limitations of the inspection in advance. Any inspector worth hiring will be eager to discuss this aspect to help avoid misunderstandings in the future and ensure your comfort with their work.
It may take a little more of your time, but a small effort in the right areas can help you find the inspector that's right for you.