Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry: My agent told me that, for legal reasons, she was not able to recommend a home inspector. She said I would have to find one on my own. Is this a normal practice for agents? Shirley

Dear Shirley: Some agents are afraid to recommend home inspectors for fear of being liable if the inspector they recommend does not do a thorough job of disclosing defects. But not all agents take this approach. Some avoid liability by giving their clients a list of home inspectors from which to choose. The best agents, however, recommend only the most thorough home inspectors. In this way, they serve the interests of their clients, while limiting their liability. On the other hand, there are agents who increase their liability by recommending marginally qualified home inspectors — ones who are not very thorough.

If you need to find your own home inspector, call several real estate offices in your area and ask who are the most thorough and experienced home inspectors available.