The home inspector works for whomever is paying for the inspection. As a buyer, it makes sense to pay for your own home inspection, you want the report to go to you, not the seller.
Here are some questions to ask home inspectors you may be interviewing.
1) What are your credentials? Are you licensed if required by the state (some states like FL do require home inspectors to complete an education course, pass a test and keep a current license)? What professional home inspection associations do you belong to (such as ASHI)?
2) How experienced are you? How many home inspections have you completed during your career?
3) What do you charge for an inspection? (Keep in mind cheapest does not equate to best when it comes to home inspections.)
4) How long will your inspection take? A home inspection for a typical home should take 2 - 3 hours .
5) Are you familiar with the style/ age of home I am buying? How many homes similar to this one have you inspected?
6) What type of report will you provide to me after the inspection? How detailed will it be? Do you include photos of issues you find?
As to finding an inspector, ask several of your friends who they used. Your agent may also be a source, but keep in mind that not all agents will recommend home inspectors that have a reputation for being thorough. There are sites on the Internet such as www.ashi.org that offer the names and information for affiliated members located in your area. You can also look for reviews of home inspectors on various Internet sites.