Every real estate salesperson has a home inspector up her sleeve. "Some un-scrupled agents," upstate New York broker Guichard says, "recommend inspectors who are content to catch small problems and ignore big ones." In fact, home inspectors, as well as those who detect and treat mold and termite problems, consistently complain on Internet forums that they are black balled by brokers if they reliably find and expose problems—despite their own fiduciary responsibilities to their clients.
If you are a buyer, select your own independently recommended, licensed inspectors to go over your prospective purchase with a fine-toothed comb. Seek out experts who know how to recognize problems and can advise you on what it will take to fix them.