But you know that Greg, as an agent yourself!
First, a good home inspector understands home systems and is skilled at finding problems. A lot of inspectors started off in one trade (electrician, plumber, construction) and tend to be very strong in that one area, but not so good in others. You agent can help you with that.
Second, a good home inspector isn't just going to say a home is OK in order to facilitate the purchase and to keep the agent happy. An inspector will report all legitimate problems.
Third--and this is important, too--a good home inspector isn't going to try to kill a deal even if the house is in good shape. I've seen some home inspections where the inspector has gone on for pages about really minor issues, some of which didn't even merit being included. The inspector understands that the client has paid hundreds of dollars for an inspection and, even if the house is pristine, he's got to find some stuff to justify the inspection. You don't want that, either.
So: The agent can and usually should recommend. The buyer selects.
The important thing to remember is to plan to be there during the inspection and take lots of notes. Any good inspector will be giving you a running commentary all through the inspection. He/she will be pointing out things to you that arent 'bad' or 'wrong', but are informational, so they would never show up on a report. You will learn a lot about your new house during the process that will help you to maintain it in good repair throughout you time there.
The bottom line is: if you trust your agent, then don't worry about taking their recommendation. If you don't, then ask his/her broker for a new agent.
Arlene Trunzo, CRS, GRI, SRES
Licensed Real Estate Broker, Staten Island ,NY
A.T. REAL ESTATE SPECIALISTS LLC
One of my buyers once chose their own inspector who told us that the roof was in dangerously bad shape. Later we came to find out that the roof was 6 years old and in perfect condition.
As in all professions, I believe it is always better to go with someone who has been referred to you.
I also recommend that sellers have their homes pre-inspected prior to putting them on the market.
I wouldn't be worried that the broker picked the home inspector unless you happen to know someone more qualified. A good broker can be great just for their contacts. Does that mean you aren't at risk? NO. This is perhaps the most difficult part of buying. No home inspector assumes much responsibility, and their scope of coverage is almost nothing. Often they dirty up the waters by nit picking to make it seem like they were worth their fee. Read the report carefully with someone experienced in contracting. If you have questions or concerns, the inspector should be able to clarify or go back out. I would also do my own inspection after receiving the report. Something to consider is whether the inspector will reinspect after repairs also. If not, you could expose yourself even more. It's tough, but if you supplement with a home warranty, that will help. I prefer Old Republic.