: First Time Home Buyers - Trust a Home Inspector

First Time Home Buyers - Trust a Home Inspector

First Time Home Buyers - Trust a Home Inspector

I realize the excitement, putting in an offer on your first home!  After that offer is accepted, PLEASE let the home inspector make the calls!
A Home Inspection - Money Well Spent
Unless your Mom, Dad, brother, sister, cousin or best friend is a licensed home inspector in New Jersey, take their comments about a bad sheetrock taping job or a sloping plant bed and mention those concerns to your home inspector.    

If you, as a buyer, want your Dad or Mom to come in and check out the home that you're buying that's fine.  It's exciting!  But realize, although they're parents, they are not home inspectors.  They might have purchased a few homes, but again they are not experts. 

So tell your parents, brother, sister, cousin or best friend  to take notes when you show them the home you've decided on...Share the seller's disclosure with them and then invite them to the thorough home inspection, where most of their questions will be answered!


Comment balloon 55 commentsLaura Giannotta • January 16 2013 02:21AM


Laura, excellent post! Many friends/relatives think they can "save" the buyers from making a horrendous decision, yet have no basis from which to be the "expert".
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 6 years ago

Who know what family dynamics are going on when a first time home buyer, especially a young one, is involved in their first home buying adventure.

Agents are wise to be very friendly towards family members.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Carol I find that some just think they're helping, when in fact their comments tend to weigh heavily on the home buyers mind.

Lenn it is sometimes a fine line we walk as agents.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Laura!! how true this is,  keep up the good work and good luck with your business in 2013,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 6 years ago

Laura, I hope buyers will read this post.Buyers should hire a quailfied inspector.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 6 years ago

Ed, it sometimes makes buyers, particularly young buyers, very nervous when comments are made.

Gita, a home inspection is well worth the cost.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Laura, family members especially the parents can kill a deal for a first time buyer. Taking notes and discussing them with the home inspector is a very good plan of action to get those questions answered.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 6 years ago


Every buyers should understand the need of home inspection. Good post to share. Thanks.


Posted by John Cochran, Real Estate Agent (Homebackers.com) almost 6 years ago

Great post about the importance of a home inspection.  I've had meddling parents involved before.  It's very frustrating, but sometimes a part of the game.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 6 years ago

Laura,  What do they say, "A little bit of knowledge is dangerous".  Good Post.

Posted by Vince Chinell almost 6 years ago

I just went through this with a family member and everyone had opinions going every which way...Exciting at times

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 6 years ago

Tooo many hand spoil the soup...leave mom, dad and everyone else out until after the inspection..unless they seen the other homes on the market! If they have nothing to compair to they will say negative things like did you look at this one what about that one..

Posted by Kathy Dowd, Consider it SOLD (RE/MAX Realty Team, 239 220 4133) almost 6 years ago

When "Uncle X" gets in the mix things can go awry quite quickly! Great post!

Posted by Amy Westerlund (Keller Williams Premier Realty) almost 6 years ago

I think operative word is "trust" or even another good word is "BELIEVE!". I had a buyer where the inspector told him it was the worse house he's seen in years. I advised and lawyer advised him against it, but he insisted on putting in an offer. I cannot begin to tell you the problems that developed along this way to an imminent  closing next week. Each step, we tell him..if need to get out because xyz happened, now is time. But he marched on. Then when had to go back to scrape/paint ceilings for FHA (seller would not do anything), he realized how bad of condition the house is he had that zero hour panic. Too late unless he wanted to forfeit his whole deposit which would mean he wouldn't qualify to buy another house at this price point.   So....we are "supposedly" closing next week.  If he had only BELIEVED and TRUSTED the inspector at the beginning, I wouldn't have had to take Tums for the last 3 months!

Posted by Barbara Bartell-Kamp, Westchester County NY Rentals, Condos, Coops, Home (Keller Williams NY Realty) almost 6 years ago

Friends and family mean well, but just need to be realistic about their fields of expertise!

Posted by Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN! (HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578) almost 6 years ago

So very true! Great post!


Posted by Shannon Novella, Your Realtor (ReMax Real Pro's ) almost 6 years ago

Michael, it's staying quiet and politely saying the home inspector could  tell you more about this is the part I have difficulty with!!

John, home inspections are necessary, even if the home is a short sale, and being sold as is!  You want to know what you're getting into!

Team Christiansen I prefer to tell those buyers that their parents will watch their back, and the home inspector will give them the details.

Vince there are a lot of quotes I can think of when this happens at a showing!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Richie my Dad was a general contractor in NJ before he retired, and he often advised me after seeing the property and then in private to raise certain points to the home inspector!  But that's the way to do it! 

Kathy that's a hard thing to do, every kid wants the hear they 'Done Good Kid'!

Amy...I think I'll call him Uncle Ernie, because I love The Who!

Kimberley, and while they think it's their area the buyers should take it with a grain of salt.

Thanks Shannon!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

The back yard inspector will get you in trouble most of the time.  They may be good to get you started, but trust the professional.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 6 years ago

All the miscellaneous "advisors" are usually quite detrimental to the sale process, especially for first-time buyers. 

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Laura - It is important to do a good inspection when selling a home. Thanks for the information about first time home buyers, trust a home inspector.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 6 years ago

Great post!! Of course I think every buyer should have the house looked at by a through Home Inspector. Even new homes can have some issues. It is money well spent and as professional lookers we see things others don't. When it's a first time buyer and I'm aware of it I offer up some additional info on how things work and maintenance tips. I also make sure to put pictures of the shut offs in my report for future reference. 

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 6 years ago


Great post!  Family will always change the dynamic in any transaction.  Good luck!

Posted by Robert Haynes (Robert Haynes & Associates) almost 6 years ago
Laura, first time home buyers and buyers with a couple of home purchases under their belt need to have and trust their home inspector...so very important.
Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) almost 6 years ago

Very good advice.  Often these other "experts" have their own agenda/ego involved and they may not be the best experts to rely upon.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 6 years ago

William - Those off handed remarks by family and friends can create a whole lot of drama!

Olga first time home buyers have enough on their plate, and don't need more things to worry about that might not be valid problems.

John I agree!

Rob Ernst that additional information you provide to home buyers in Reno NV, is a great additional service in the home inspection process.

Robert - We as real estate agents are sometimes also family counselors.

Nick - I even ask my investors to get a home inspection!

Joan, I couldn't agree more!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

We love tours with the whole family.....after the ink is dry on the offer !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 6 years ago

Hi Laura,

I post about this all the time. New homes first time buyers or even seasoned veterans buying a home. All need to get a home inspection.

Have a great day and congrats on the Featured post.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 6 years ago

Sally & David...after the ink has dried, and in NJ after attorney review!

Clint, absolutely, and they shouldn't listen to someone that is not trained to evaluate the situation!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

We dread seeing the whole family come through with the buyers. We just KNOW someone will be an armchair inspector or, as once happened, a REAL home inspector, albeit a retired one. He was clashing with the inspector the whole way through, even though we pulled the buyers aside and asked them to try to keep him on a short leash. They tried, but to no avail. Longest 3 hours I've ever spent in my life.

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) almost 6 years ago

Thanks for the post, Laura!

As an insurance broker for real estate firms, I advise my clients to do the same thing you are proposing in your post - to force your buyer-client to get an inspection.  I have seen a few cases where the agent did NOT require their client to obtain a home inspection and something turns up later that the new homeowner is none to happy about.  Enter lawsuit!

Thanks for the risk management posts - I love them!


Posted by Jonathan Schildt (Calculated Risk Advisors) almost 6 years ago

My father and brother are both Architects, and even tho I grew up going to building sites during construction, I would STILL hire a Home Inspector for MY house.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) almost 6 years ago

The inspectors I work with are very thorough and do not allow anyone to interfere with their inspection. They are very quick to point out what is code and needs to be brought up to code. I usually open the house up unless the inspector has his own active key to get in. I do not stay for the inspection process as it can create a bias (and a law suit). I had one inspector call me and said the buyer got mad and wanted to fire him because his father and the inspector had a difference of opinion. Had to do some talking to the buyer and told him and his father to leave or let the father leave and pick him up after the inspection. Only had a 5 day option which involved a weekend. No time for stupidity. Buyer realized dad didn't know as much as he thought he did. Buyer moved onto purchase different property eventhough dad was against it. Inspector-1, buyer-1, dad-0, Dad didn't go to the next inspection. Used same inspector. Closed

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) almost 6 years ago

We all have stories about inspectors and every agent handles the inspection differently.  I for one insist the buyer(s) be present for the inspection, as the home inspection is an introduction to the house.  The inspectors that I recommend also prefer the buyer(s) be present as they explain their findings and concerns as they proceed and also offer an encyclopedia full of useful information about the mechanics of owning a home.  This information is useful when we discuss the report as they now have a working knowledge of any deficiencies and if they are truly something to be concerned about or just aware of.

Posted by Bill Morrow, Bill Morrow, Associate Broker (Keller Williams of Central PA) almost 6 years ago

Home inspections are an important part of the buying process.  This is especially true for first time home buyers, who  learn a great deal about the property they are purchasing from their inspector.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 6 years ago

So true. I have had clients bring in "dad" to do a home inspection. "Dad" is an accountant. When I ask the buyer to sign an inspection waivier they got testy, as in their mind, they HAD a home inspection. Sheesh.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) almost 6 years ago
I love comment #36....in their own minds, huh!
Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) almost 6 years ago

Pat & Wayne, thank everyone up there, I haven't experienced a nightmare like that...it offers the question DID YOU CLOSE???

Jonathan I wish that home inspections were mandatory...wait nothing should  be required, but for insurance purposes you're right.

Travis that's how this blog started, my Dad has been there and done that, he's a Carpenter, draws plans to have signed by an architect, but he's said to me after seeing property I wanted to purchase 'why don't you bring these things up to  a home inspector.  Real professionals know their limitations!

Theresa you faced a difficult problem and made a hard call.  When my buyer hires a home inspector I always go...just to raise the questions the others have.!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Laura, we did close, and it was one of the most stressful closings we've ever done! The whole transaction was one big PITA!!

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) almost 6 years ago

Bill I can't insist any body do anything...but the great home inspectors I've worked with at the Jersey Shore, get the buyers there if I can't!

Liane- all I can say is woof..and wow!

Michael  I'm glad I'm not 'in their mind'!!

Pat & Wayne...they don't pay us enough for those PITA sales!  Congrats on getting it done!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

I frequently have friends and family accompany my clients and I welcome them.  Of course, they are fair game to be teased, but even the non-professionals bring a unique perspective.  As a result, the client gets a better education.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) almost 6 years ago

A home inspection can be a very important part of a home purchase.  But even with a home inspection, things can go wrong later, or be missed. 

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 6 years ago

How often do I hear "I have a friend who can look at the house?" Or, "I have a relative who's a contractor in XYZ state?" But nothing subsitutes for a top, local inspector who knows the local code and local housing. I keep telling my clients it's cheap insurance for the future. But if they don't use an inspector, I have them sign off on a document saying I recommended they do so. Nothing worse than having them come back to you in the future with house problems trying to say you never told them to get a professional inspection.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) almost 6 years ago

Rafi, I welcome them too, after explaining to the buyer that a home inspection should answer their questions.

Karen things can be missed, but I feel a home inspection is well worth the money.

Nina - I haven't thought about having them sign a waiver but that's a really good idea...thanks that's going in with my buyer's package!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

In fact, bring all those 'relatives' with you so they get a chance to see the home if they want. Never miss the opportunity for a home inspection no matter what a family member might say.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 6 years ago

That should be one of the first steps a new home buyer should take.  they need to find a trustworthy home inspector that can give them an accurate report.

Posted by Rob Renk, AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors (Center Street Lending) almost 6 years ago

Lyn - You're correct, but until you speak to a home inspector don't panic over items brought up by anyone else.

Rob - You nailed it!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Hi Laura, we agree.  We cringe when we hear they want to use a relative!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 6 years ago

Bob we get really good at smiling in this job don't we?

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Home inspections by a qualified, trusted home inspector is so crucial and 1st time buyers especially need to understand the importance of using one. I make it clear that this is not an "expense" when purchasing a home but an "investment" when making such a large purchase...Wouldn't you like to know exactly what you're buying especially if you're spending $150k ??

Posted by Sean Williams, Your Louisville Realtor (AcklesWilliams of Semonin Realtors) almost 6 years ago

Excellent advice, Laura!  Home Inspections have become a vital part of real estate transactions, not only for First Time Homebuyers, but most all homebuyers.  We dwell in an era of increased numbers of bank owned properties, with little disclosure.  The money spent on a good home inspection, is well invested.  CONGRATULATIONS on having this blog FEATURED in the Feather Nesters group!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 6 years ago

A quality Home Inspector is something you would not want to pass up on.  First time home buyer or 10th time home buyer.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Sean-how right you are!

Myrl, you're are the best! Thank you!

Gene, you are right on the money...small expense to feel comfortable.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Gene, you're right, and don't listen to anyone til you get an inspectors opinion!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 6 years ago

Always get a home inspection. It's very important. I get my point across when I ask my Buyers to sign an inspection waiver that states that not getting an inspection is contrary to my advice.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 5 years ago