I would never forgo a surveyor, because I'm not a full-time one either, not to mention that insurers generally want proof of competence in the form of accreditation.
But as you say, if you do the "preface", you put the whole story in context or simply save a lot of time by identifying "deal breakers" early.
I drove 200 miles to see a boat once that it took 30 seconds to see had been T-boned and partially flooded. That was the last time I assumed a broker was anything but a lying whore.
I have since found a couple of truthful whore brokers, mind you...