As a seller, you might be wondering what to expect during a home inspection. It can be a little stressful and nerve racking to think about someone poking around your house trying to find things wrong with it. Also knowing that these things can be used to negotiate against you is just a stressful situation all around.
However, if you take my advice about a pre-listing home inspection (read that article here) you will have very little to worry about. If you didn’t do a pre-listing home inspection, don’t worry. I’m going to walk you through exactly what to expect.
- Some inspectors will get there early and begin on the outside, including the roof. Although some inspectors will actually get a ladder and inspect the roof, many have started using drones to film the roof and inspect it in more detail once they are back at their computer.
- Once the buyer(s) and their agent show up, they will make their way inside. Sometimes the buyers are there with the inspectors, sometimes they are not. I always recommend attending the home inspection for the buyers, but I think it is better for the sellers to leave (go shopping, watch a movie, get something to eat, etc).
- On the inside, the inspector will check the electrical, plumbing and mechanical (heating & cooling) system. They will also check all the windows for leaks and whether they open and close properly. Appliances will be tested, by running the dishwasher and turning on the stove. They will note every minor issue they discover.
- In the attic, they will look for leaks in the roof. They will check for any discoloration and potential mold. They will also check the insulation and determine if it is up to code and note what type of insulation material is being used.
- In the basement the inspector is looking for any evidence of water and potential foundation problems. An unfinished basement is ideal for inspection since everything is exposed and can be expected with the naked eye. This makes it easy to see what type of electrical work and plumbing has been done in the home.
- Inspections can take 2-4 hours depending on the size of the home. The home inspector is documenting everything digitally and taking notes. Afterwards the inspector will spend time generating a detailed report and deliver it to the buyer(s). The buyers will review it and then make a decision on whether or not to move forward with their purchase as-is or not.
Based on the results of the home inspection, the buyer(s) then decides to one of the following: a) move forward as-is, b) ask for repairs/credit or c) kill the deal. If the buyer asks for any repairs or credits, they are literally opening up the transaction to re-negotiation. This is where the help of a professional is the most beneficial!
Hopefully knowing what to expect will ease your anxiety about the whole inspection process. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.