When contacting a Home Inspector, there are several important questions to ask before you agree to do business together. Probably the most important issue is experience level. Ask how much experience the individual has. Even if he has not been in the home inspection business very long he may have related experience. Many inspectors have been or still are contractors with years of experience constructing and remodeling homes. This all counts as good practical training towards being a Home Inspector.
Another important issue is whether or not the inspector is insured. A good inspector should carry Errors and Omissions insurance and general liability insurance.
In the state of Ohio there is not any type of licensing system or requirement. However, you can ask if the inspector has any type of certification. Having passed the National Home Inspectors Examination is an important prerequisite.
Membership in Home Inspectors professional organizations such as National Society of Home Inspectors (NSHI) or American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) indicates that the individual has completed a certain level of training and professionalism.
References are always good to ask for. If the Home Inspector can give you contact information for several individuals that are not immediately family members that can be contacted for verification that will also help the home buyer to become more confident and at ease with the skill level of the inspector.
Time and price. Asking how long an inspector will spend on a certain size (square feet) home and what he will charge is always important. However this is not an area to scrimp on cost. It is better to hire a Home Inspector that takes more time, does a thorough job and provides you with more facts than it is to hire a Realtors buddy or an inspector that is at the lowest end of the price range.