When you are buying a house, you may be dealing with a whole lot of people who want to get a sale. The homeowners have staged the home, so it looks great. The real estate agent wants his or her commission. It is difficult to know who to trust in these situations, and that is why home inspections are so necessary.

You can find a good home inspector by asking your real estate agent. You should probably make your contract contingent on a good report, and you should plan to be present during the inspection. They usually take a few hours and cost less than $1,000. Here are a few other tips about home inspections:

1. Insurance

Home inspectors do have some liability, but they can legally limit their liability to the cost of the inspection. If they miss that your furnace needs replaced, the amount of the inspection is not going to cover the cost of the furnace. That is why you should not hire a home inspector that has this in their contract. Instead, look for home inspectors that have insurance. They can purchase Errors & Omissions insurance that covers them for up to one million dollars.

2. Professional Inspectors Group

Formal training is not always a specific requirement for home inspectors, so it is nice to know whether or not your inspector has it. Ask if your inspector belongs to any professional groups, and then look up those groups to see what they require for membership. This will tell you a lot about their ability.

3. Ancillary Testing

If you need ancillary testing, it is nice to know if your inspector can do it. This is for things such as mold or radon. Your inspector may do it for a fee, or you may have to hire a specialist.

4. Reviews

The internet has made it hard to hide if you are a bad home inspector, so use this tool to evaluate your potential inspector. Check out sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, and find out what people are saying about your inspector candidate.

5. What Isn’t Included

Lastly, find out what won’t be included on the inspection. You may want to look at a sample report to find out what will be inspected, and ask questions.

You may want to call your potential home inspector and give him a quick phone interview. If he or she seems shady, go with somebody else! There is something to be said for intuition, and feeling good about your home inspector choice will likely yield better results.