The buyer should be present at the inspection, after all, they are the one's paying for the inspection and the inspector works for the buyer to protect their interests. Just as you would want to be present if you were the one purchasing the property. The home inspector is selling peace of mind. By uncovering deficiencies in the home, the buyer knows just what they are getting into, and with information comes the ability to manage the risk. Understanding the scope of repairs a house will need by the buyer will make that buyer better prepared for what they will need to do once they gain possession. By minimizing the surprizes, it will make them a happier home owner.
I have yet to be in a basement where there are no cracks. During settlement of a house, there will always be some movement of the foundation, which will cause hairline cracks in a wall. It sounds as if the inspector is trying to cover himself by deferring to someone with more expertise.
The cracks that one needs to be concerned with are the ones that are larger on one end than the other, or if another crack appears on an adjacent wall (indicating that a corner is settling faster than the walls).... more