In recent years the home inspection process has become a bit more complex for buyers. It used to be standard for buyers to do a complete home inspection immediately following their offer being accepted by a seller, which could then be used to negotiate repairs or remedies prior to closing. Then, around 2010, when the collapsed housing market began to improve again after the crash, in an effort to be more competitive in a crazy sellers’ market, buyers began to waive away their right to do an inspection at all. Shortly after, the strategy of doing a ‘pre-inspection’ — or paying for and getting an inspection before making an offer in order to feel confident enough in the home to make an offer ‘as is’ — started to catch on. During this hot sellers’ market, we have seen the above strategy, as well as this relatively new strategy where the seller pays for their own inspection prior to listing in order to share it with any prospective buyers. (Side note… this has been common, if not mandatory in many other states for years). The seller-side inspection report may take on several different forms as well, such as: 1) The seller pays for the pre-inspection and has knowledge of the condition of the house, which is shared with prospective buyers, but the seller may or may not have repaired any defects noted by the inspector; 2) The seller pays for essentially a ‘blind’ pre-inspection, and has no knowledge of the report’s contents, which means the seller does not have to disclose any defects that are unknown to him; or 3) The seller contracts with a specialty inspection company to inspect the home and share the results with prospective buyers who are willing to pay a partial fee for the report. This last form is especially intriguing. Some inspection service companies will give the seller access to the report at either no cost or for a small fee, and some don’t give the report to the sellers at all. Some companies do not employ their own inspectors and instead rely on a rotating group of affiliated inspectors to inspect and create an inspection report. What a brilliant business model! But how much faith should a buyer have in such a report? The buyer does not see the report until after a fee is paid, and as such, the buyer may not know who the inspector was or how thorough they were. And what if there are post-inspection questions? Having some report is probably better than having nothing at all, but it’s worth considering, as a buyer, if it’s worthwhile to save a few hundred dollars by using a shared report from a possibly unknown inspector vs hiring one’s own professional inspector and being present during the inspection to ask questions and perhaps gain a more thorough insight into one’s prospective future home