Should I use my realtor's home inspector or choose one myself?

Friday, July 27, 2018

“If you were charged with a crime, would you ask the prosecutor who to hire for a defense attorney?” That’s the way one long-time home inspector we know sees this issue. “And, you know, sometimes real estate is a crime,” he always adds.

    But it really depends on how much you trust your realtor’s advice. We often get hired by people who were recommended to us by their realtor. Then again, we also do inspections for customers whose realtor wanted them to use someone else. And sometimes we find out later that we weren’t chosen specifically because the realtor gave us a glowing recommendation. It does make us a little uncomfortable when someone calls us to do a home inspection, and says that their realtor wanted them to use another company, but they don’t trust the realtor and, instead, found us online. Are they going to end up being suspicious of us too?

    If you like your realtor, and believe that she or he is acting in your best interest, we suggest that you call the person they recommend and do a brief phone interview. Then call another inspector or two, interview them too, and decide.

    Actually, most realtors we know never recommend a single inspector. They have a list of three or four that they give to their customers, with their phone numbers and websites,  and suggest that they pick one from the list. The only time I would be very careful of a recommendation list is when the realtor states that only the “approved” inspectors on the list are allowed to be used. That’s a bad sign.

    Also, see our blog post The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector?

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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