I recently read an on-line article about how to select the best home inspector. One of the writers tips was to talk to several Realtors in the area and find out from them which inspectors have the reputation for killing deals. The name that comes up the most is the one you should choose because, evidently they are the best at what they do. The basic premise is, if a home inspector kills the most deals, he must be the best inspector. They are somehow equating killed deals as success, much like the statisticians in a sports league determine the best players based on who has the best numbers.
Personally, I have some issues with that.
First, when asking for advice from Realtors, you should not talk to your own Realtor because they are going to suggest the worst inspector just to ensure that they will receive their commission check in a timely fashion. To assume that Realtors and inspectors have some secret, and possibly unethical or illegal agreement, is a disservice to both professions. Realtors have a job to do, as do inspectors, and most do it with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism. To assume that either would risk the safety or well-being of their clients just to cash a paycheck is just plain wrong.
Second, a home inspector who kills deals is not necessarily better than any other, this would assume that our main responsibility is to stop people from buying property. True, many deals die as a result of the inspection report. Some deals should be put out of their misery, others die needlessly because a home inspector either does not know how to communicate with the buyer, or worse yet, deliberately sets out to scare them off so they can earn their trust for a second and perhaps a third inspection. While it is rare, these inspectors do exist. I know of some personally who take pride in wearing the label of deal killer. Some of them give the industry a black eye by taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers.
Ultimately, the main responsibility of the inspector is to inform the prospective buyer of the current condition of the house and offer tips on how to take care of it to avoid problems later on. The perfect house is a myth, it does not exist, but that does not mean that a flaw should kill a deal. It should simply inform the buyer of what they are looking at so they can make an informed decision on whether to pull the trigger or pull the plug.
American Bulldog Home Inspection
Watchdog for the American Dream