Agent

When home inspectors need outside help

Don't mix professional activities with personal concerns

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DEAR BARRY: I've been a home inspector for many years and have inspected more than 6,000 homes. For the first time since becoming an inspector, I'm shopping for a home of my own and plan to inspect it myself. A friend has advised against this. He says I should hire another home inspector. I feel totally confident to do my own inspection but would like your opinion. --James

DEAR JAMES: There is a saying in the legal profession that an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client and an idiot for a lawyer. This axiom was born from bitter and costly experience and can be applied to a number of professions. Medical doctors, for example, seldom have family members as patients.

The wisdom of this rule applies as well to home inspectors, for one simply reason: Objectivity is essential when evaluating the condition of a home, and emotional involvement reduces objectivity.

To be objective, an inspector must be unconcerned ...