What to Expect From Your Home Inspection
First Things First
When purchasing a home, your real estate agent may give you a few companies to call to schedule your home inspection. The cost of an inspection can vary and is a Buyer cost. If you have an older home that needs a more detailed inspection, you may choose to hire several vendors who specialize in specific areas of the house.
As a Buyer, the home inspection is your last chance to uncover defects with the house. This process allows you to negotiate with the Seller. Potentially, the Seller will pay for some or all of the issues before closing.
As a Seller, you want to know what the inspector will look for. This helps a Seller prepare for the visit and help everything go as smoothly as possible.
What You Can Expect as the Home Buyer
- A home inspector looks at things like a home’s foundation, structural components, roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Based on the inspection report, you may want or need to hire vendors who specialize in plumbing, heating, roofing etc.
- A home inspection generally takes two to four hours, but may take more time depending on the size of the house. After the physical inspection, the home inspector may take a couple of days to send the written report.
- Buyers should attend the inspection so they can explore their new home in detail and ask questions during the process. This gives you much more information than the report alone.
Don’t be too concerned with the number of defects listed on your report – many will be so minor you won’t bother fixing them.
What to Expect From a Home Inspection as the Home Seller
It’s in your interest as a home Seller to provide quick and easy access to everything on that home inspection checklist. Here are some ways you can help:
- Leave keys (for instance, for your electrical panel), and label where the inspector can find them
- Make sure all pilot lights are on for fireplaces and furnaces, even in summer. This allows the inspector to easily check the heating and other appliances.
- Tidy your basement. There needs to be an unobstructed path down the steps and through to your furnace/HVAC unit/water heater.
- Tidy your attic the same as your basement.
- Clean up key areas in your yard so the inspector can easily access your crawl space, drainage access points or septic tank.
- If the home is vacant and the utilities have been shut off, have them reconnected.