Buyer suspicious of home inspection duo

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DEAR BARRY: My agent recommended a pair of home inspectors who work together as a team. At first, this seemed like a good idea. But another inspector I talked to argued against having a two-person inspection. He said I’d have trouble getting answers to questions after I buy the home because I’d have to determine who inspected what. How do I decide? Maybe this two-person deal is all about saving the Realtor’s time. –Karen

DEAR KAREN: There is no black-and-white case to be made for or against tandem inspectors. In fact, two inspectors working in concert can be better or worse than a single inspector. It all depends upon the knowledge, experience, thoroughness, and professional integrity of the individuals performing the inspection.

On the positive side, home inspector teams typically work in a coordinated manner that enables them to focus on predetermined aspects of a property and to discuss their findings jointly, during the inspection and at the conclusion. When the final report is verbally reviewed with buyers, both inspectors are usually present. Thus, both are fully aware of the findings and concur in their final interpretations of reported defects.

Additionally, there are the benefits of combined expertise — two pairs of eyes rather than one — and the overlapping backup that each inspector provides the other. Conditions that might be missed by one are less likely to escape the attention of both. If one inspector is evaluating the electrical system, the other might say, "Hey, did you notice that damaged outlet in the garage?"