Whose home inspection is most reliable?

Many sellers ordering pre-sale reports; buyers wonder who to trust

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Home sellers increasingly are ordering pre-sale home inspections to make reports available for buyers to review before they make an offer. By doing so, they hope to avoid renegotiations that can occur if the buyer's inspections reveal defects that weren't disclosed to them before they made an offer. Knowledge is power. However, many buyers wonder if it's wise to rely on reports that were ordered by the sellers. The answer depends on the reliability of the inspectors, how recently the inspections were done and the completeness of the reports. Some inspectors take a more critical look at a property when they inspect for a buyer than they do when they inspect for a seller. However, if the inspector is reputable, it shouldn't make a difference who hired him. HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Ask your real estate agent for a candid opinion of an inspector's reliability. If some of your agent's past clients used the inspector, ask for permission to call them for a recommendation. Call the inspector an...