When you’re looking to get a clear picture of what kind of repairs your home may need, you will likely hire a home inspector. These individuals are instrumental in the homeowner’s insurance process because they can reveal the vulnerable areas of a home so that you can make the extremely important decision about coverage. Home inspectors are also instrumental to making an informed decision about buying a home.

But as you may have heard, there are just as many scam artists in the home inspector world as there are reputable professionals. In fact, there are many stories about homeowners who still ended up with a host of problems due to a faulty home inspection, even though they did all of their homework.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you from doing your own investigation for a reputable home inspector. And by reading on, you’ll find many tested solutions to avoiding becoming the victim of a home inspection scam.

Understand Licensing
The most important thing to understand before you hire a home inspector is that nearly anyone can become licensed to become one. In fact, depending on the state you plan to buy a home in, home inspectors may not even require a license, or may only need minimal qualifications to obtain one.

What’s worse, home inspection isn’t currently being regulated by the federal government. But you can still get the information you’re looking for from a prospective inspector by doing something old-fashioned: asking them about their experience as well as listening to your gut.

Questions to Ask
An inspector’s qualifications will tell you a lot about them. For example, an inspector who’s spent most of their working life in restaurant kitchens may not be the best person to inspect a home. What you should be looking for is some training and experience in related fields, such as construction.

The inspector should also have some kind of history of inspections under their belt, as well as be able to tell you what is and isn’t included in the inspection. Asking questions in an open-ended manner will allow you to gauge the reaction of the inspector and watch their body language as they answer you. Once you’ve gotten their contact information – and hopefully, they have email – you can begin the second phase of the interview process.

Information To Request
Unless the home inspector brought this information with them, you will need to request these, as they will be crucial to your decision-making process.

The individual should be able to provide you with a sample report. This report will either be in the form of a checklist, or will be an actual report. The report should be detailed, outlining all of the potential safety issues of a home, as well be well and clearly explained and presented.

You will also benefit from asking the inspector for their references. These should be homeowners who have hired the inspector in the past. You will ideally get in touch with each homeowner on the list and ask how satisfied they were with the report as well as the service.

Red Flags
If an inspector tries to pressure you into hiring them, tells you that they don’t have key pieces of information or just rubs you the wrong way, chances are they aren’t as professional as you’d hoped.

As well, any inspector who uses their meeting with you to rave about a particular contracting company or their own skills at doing repairs should be avoided. Your home inspector should be focused on just that: inspections. Someone that is trying to sing the praises of a particular company or state their willingness to perform repairs has the potential to lie about repairs being needed when they are not.

Knowing exactly what needs repairs in your home, or understanding what a home will need before you buy it can help to bring you much peace-of-mind. Hiring a reputable and competent home inspector will ensure that you are satisfied with all of your home repair and purchasing decisions.