When you set out to buy a house, your three new best friends are going to be your real estate broker, your lending officer and your home inspector. In that group, your home inspector might turn out to be the most valuable. That’s because his findings could help you negotiate a charge back on the offer or prevent you from buying a money pit. How do you pick a good home inspector? Consider these insightful factors:

Check Their Credentials

There are a handful of accredited organizations that your home inspector should be certified by. These include the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologies (AARST). The more extensive their list of certifications the better the home inspector. That shows they’ve taken the time to be properly trained. That’s exactly the kind of inspector you want evaluating your home.

Check Their Experience

We all have to start a job someday but that doesn’t mean you should put your home inspection into the hands of a novice. Along with those certifications and training you want to find out how long your inspector has been in the business. How many houses have they inspected? What type of properties have they explored? It would be great to find someone who has made this their full time profession. If they are hard to book, then all the better! That means they are in demand.

Check Their References

Every home inspector should provide you with references. Don’t hesitate to call them up to see how well that inspector did on the job. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Thanks to online resources like Yelp and Angie’s List you have the opportunity to get unbiased reviews of the inspector. Those could be the most informative.

Check the Price and Time

Hiring a home inspector is not the time to look for a bargain. They will usually offer a flat rate that could be several hundred dollars. The inspection might also take several hours to complete. Let them have that time!

Check the Written Report

You should receive a written report at the end of your inspection. Ask to see a blank form from the inspector as part of your evaluation process. The more detailed their report will be the better it will be for you. Generally speaking, you’ll be presented with an overview, a list of maintenance issues and major repair items. That same inspector should be able to provide you with a range of costs to handle those repairs. This is the amount you can ask for as a charge back. Or you can request the home owner make the repairs before closing. Either way, it will be your inspector who uncovers those problems and can save you a lot of financial headaches.