Finding a new home can be a stress-filled experience. There are parts of home-shopping that can be straightforward, though. One part that should make your experience better is finding a reliable home inspector. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best home inspector.

Interview Several Candidates

You do not need to pick the first home inspector that you meet. In fact, you should interview a handful of candidates. You want to make sure that you hire someone who is experienced. The home inspection is instrumental in your home decision-making process.

Reconsider Accepting Real Estate Agent Referrals

Real estate agents can at times provide home inspector referrals. You should be wary about accepting referrals from your agent. However well-intentioned, these referrals could result in some conflicts of interest. Only accept a referral from your agent if you have a strong, trusting relationship with them. Otherwise, a real estate agent wants to close the deal. Alternatively, a home inspector gets paid for the report. An inspector working through a referral may go easy, which is not in your best interest.

Ask Other People

There is no harm in crowdsourcing for home inspector referrals. Ask a friend who recently bought a home about their home inspector experience. You can also get referrals through visiting local online communities. Members of NextDoor or Patch offer their experiences. HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and Angie’s List members may also provide strong referrals.

Research Home Inspector Qualifications

You should find a home inspector with a general knowledge of homes. You do not want an inspector who has a specialized field. These fields can include electricians or plumbers. A quality home inspector should know about the entire house’s systems and structures. Also, make sure to verify your inspector’s license. Some states regulate inspectors and the state agency will provide you with a record of complaints. Alternatively, some states do not regulate home inspectors. Find out if the American Society of Home Inspectors certified the inspector.

A good home inspector can identify problems that you might overlook. Therefore, a home inspection is not when you should try to take shortcuts.