Make certain it is! That's the only way to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Many independent inspectors only work on a part-time basis to supplement their real businesses as contractors, roofers, etc., and their report findings might be suspect. Plus, you can find a good inspector by getting a referral from a satisfied customer. Avoid referrals from anyone who has a financial interest in the sale going through. When considering a particular inspector, ask for at least three references and check them out.
Make sure they have the proper insurance coverage when inspecting the property involved.
A professional inspection of the average house takes about two to three hours. Be skeptical of home inspectors who don't want you to tag along. Inspectors who invite the home buyer along will often offer valuable maintenance tips.
A good inspector will have the most updated equipment available to him or her and to be proficient in its use.
There are various types of reports given by professional inspectors, including typed narrative (sent to the home buyer within a week) and on the spot written reports for those who need or want the information as soon as possible.
Don't accept a verbal report without a written backup, since you will have no record of the inspector's findings for future referral.
With no official government regulation of the home inspection industry, certification by one of these organizations ensures that the inspector meets strict guidelines set forth by the largest and most reputable home inspection organizations in the country.