Home inspections are still a big part of most transitions when a property is sold. Some inspections go well, some go poorly and others can cause delays, disputes and snags.

The Sun Gazette asked some local Realtors about the role of home inspectors and inspections, whether they are reliable, and how often do buyers and sellers spar over what is in their reports.

Here are their thoughts:

Kelly Tierney, Re/Max Distinctive: “A good inspector is key. On one side, you have an inspector who has a mission to condemn a home or senselessly scare a buyer. On the other side, you get the inspector who gives the buyer a false sense of security about the home, as they might lack experience, hurry through the home and miss items that should have been noted. To find the inspector who can balance the middle, can often be difficult. Once you do, they are hard to schedule as they are booked solid.”

John Mentis, Long & Foster: “I always recommend that buyers think about having a home inspection. But home inspectors can’t look through walls and they can’t find everything. Home inspections are a snapshot in time for the moment of that day. Buyers and sellers will spar over their report about 90 percent of the time, because there are differing opinions over the remedies and for who is responsible for it.”

Karen Close, Long & Foster: “There are good, mediocre and bad home inspectors. Agents really need to do their homework and match a buyers’ personality with a home inspector’s personality. Some have better equipment than others, so that’s another thing to consider. Overall, an inspection is a great educational experience about a house. There is some sparring that takes up time and is an annoyance, usually over a small amount of money. I find that home inspectors don’t get in the way, agents sometimes get in the way. Sometimes it’s OK to let the faucet drip.”

John McNamara, TTR Sotheby’s: “Some are very reliable and very good and some are overly aggressive. The main thing is to find a home inspector who is very balanced. It is important for them to have some leeway, with safety and code violations the most important things. A good home inspection is an insurance policy and gives peace of mind. When buyers and sellers spar over their report, in many instances it goes well, and in others it does not.”

Karen Briscoe, Huckaby, Briscoe, Conroy Realty Group: “I look at home inspections like going to an internist for an annual physical. They identify areas of concern that require further investigation. They give the general conditions of a home and identify those areas of concern. There are no perfect homes. Almost every home has something, like our bodies. There is always something. We think home inspections are necessary and we encourage them. If the requests are reasonable, they can be worked out.”

Steve Wydler, Long & Foster: “I think home inspections are extremely valuable. Half of the value of a home inspection is an education about the home. The most reliable home inspectors know their limitations and are savvy and experienced. They know when to bring in a specialist. They can educate the buyers and sellers and flag the things that really need to be addressed.”

Donna Moseley, TTR Sotheby’s: “We do believe home inspections are a good thing for buyers and educating them about how the system works. A good home inspector is one who has the ability to communicate with the buyer and seller with what are minor and major issues and what is determined as significant and insignificant.”

Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster: “My opinion about most home inspectors around here is they are ones we know and trust. We usually don’t have a problem with them causing a lot of heartache. Usually any sparring between buyers and sellers over what they find is case-to-case and can be solved.”

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Wow! Home inspectors. What can I say? The No. 1 impediment to closing deals. Some can be unbearable. I call them inspection Nazis. They scare buyers for no reason, and I think it is irresponsible. Removing inspection contingencies takes extreme patience, organization and expertise.”

Dee Murphy,  Long & Foster: “I really only use one home inspector, because I trust him. I haven’t had many deals fall apart over a home inspection. But I always warn buyers and sellers the toughest part of a transaction is the home inspection because there is a laundry list of things, especially if it is an older home. A home inspection is a mission to learn more about a home.”

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “A good home inspection will let buyers know how to maintain things and what concerns might be ahead. There are often differences, and getting them worked out really depends if the requests are reasonable or unreasonable. It’s definitely worth having a home inspection. For the quality of a good home inspector, it’s good to shop around.”

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Home inspectors are people. There are good ones and bad ones. Finding a good one who is efficient and can communicate well is important. You have to find a good professional and a person you can have a relationship with. There are times when purchasers and sellers don’t agree on a problem. There are gray areas in houses that are open for interpretation and what the remedy will be.”

Gloria Adams, TTR Sotheby’s: “It’s tough sometimes when buyers and sellers are sparring. You do get confrontations. But generally everything gets resolved and everybody goes home happy. It’s a win-win. The home-inspection process is pretty routine and a good education for buyers. It’s hard to judge home inspectors because there are lots of them. Some think they have to find something wrong in a house to earn their money.”

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “The home-inspection industry is somewhat regulated but you can get all kinds. Like any service business, there are good ones and bad ones. Inspections are very valuable for the buyers and sellers. Every situation is unique and different, because every house has some measure of repair. You try to respond to disputes based on facts and data and approach them in a logical fashion. Get an alternate opinion if needed. There are issues sometimes buyers and sellers don’t even know about. When that happens, it can be fixed by the seller or a credit is given to the buyer.”

Eric Ritland, American Realty: “I now find that home inspectors are part of national associations. So they look for certain things on a uniform check list, and they shy away from giving their opinions and they are not open to a dialog. Inspectors used to be people who knew a lot about houses.”

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “Home inspectors are generalists. They are hired to give a general overview and snapshot of a home. You want to have an inspector who is familiar with all of the different  types of systems. What buyers have to understand is, sellers can say no to fixing a problem or potential trouble area that home inspectors might find. This is such a seller’s market, buyers have to choose what they absolutely want to have done and what they will take on themselves, then negotiate a strategy.”