Should contractor perform home inspection?

Despite cost savings, both buyer and seller could get burned

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DEAR BARRY: We're selling our home, and the buyer wants his brother, a contractor, to do the inspection, instead of hiring an actual home inspector. We've never heard of this kind of inspection and are not sure if we should allow it. What do you think? --Amy DEAR AMY: If your buyer chooses an inspection by someone who is not a professional home inspector, he is the one on the short end of the stick -- not you. Many people assume that home inspectors are merely contractors who inspect homes instead of building them. That idea is about 10 miles short of the truth and needs to be reconsidered. Those who liken home inspectors to contractors might just as well equate a police detective with a patrolman on the beat. The detective probably began as a patrolman but then attained the specialized skills of a crime investigator. Patrolmen are skilled in law enforcement, not in criminal forensics. In the same way, most home inspectors began their careers in the building trades but the...