So your buying a house and your Realtor advises you to get a home inspection, or, you've been through the process a few times and know that you need one, just to avoid the "sorry' part of the old phrase, "Rather be safe than sorry".
So how do you go about choosing a home inspector? Should you take the recommendation of your trusty Realtor? Or, should you wing it on your own and start frantically going through the Internet? Should you have a twinge of suspicion because your Realtor suggests one or two inspectors? After all, your Realtor has a financial interest in seeing that the house doesn't present too many issues.
Well in 99%+ of the cases, your trusty Realtor is exactly that. He really doesn't want a sloppy inspection and for you to call him on a daily basis for the next 15 years, complaining about something that the inspector missed, and now you are going to have to repair it, all the while hinting, not so subtly, that he should pay for, or at least contribute to the cost. Also, he/she wants you to refer them to potential new clients. So, it's really a no brainer as your Realtor will know and trust a few inspectors whom she has worked with and whose sole ambition is to do a good job for you. (There are a few guys who will walk through the inspection muttering something like, "My God" - avoid those types at all costs)
What happens after the Inspection? Well, you as the buyer gets the opportunity to be totally anal, or reasonable. Remember that in most cases you are buying a resale and no house is perfect. I have had inspections done on very pricy new construction, and because subcontractors will be subs, who in turn sub out to other subs et al, even the best builder will occasionally be embarrassed by what the inspector finds. No big deal, folks. Very often its a little tweak here or there. In the State of Georgia we have a grace period in the contract called "The Due Diligence Period". This is when the inspection should be done, and before it ends, both parties will need to come to resolution on what items the seller will repair at their cost. Remember, if you are buying a resale, it is totally unreasonable to expect the seller to retrofit the house as though it were new. After all, the price you paid reflects the wear and tear on the house. I just had a case where the inspector made a remark that the ac compressor was about 70% through its anticipated life but was functioning well. Well the buyer jumped on this and wanted the compressor replaced with a new one. Is it only me, or can the rest of you see the silliness of this?
So an inspection is a must - even on new construction, and no, I do not have a friend or relative in the business! But it is definitely a time for all parties to be reasonable.