So…How Long Does It Take?
There are a myriad of variables that can affect the duration of a home inspection, such as the size of a home, the systems that need to be inspected, and the overall condition of a property. The more issues that are found within your home, the longer it will take for the inspection to be completed. A normal home inspection should take anywhere from 3-4 hours, but it’s essential that you don’t consider this to be a rigid indicator of how long your home inspection will take. Smaller homes may take a lower amount of time to complete, but don’t expect it to take less than two hours or more than six at the very most.
If you’re wondering about whether or not you should be present during the inspection, it’s not a requirement, but it’s highly recommended for buyers and their agents to walk with the inspector as they complete the process.
As for the seller, you may want to make way for the buyer while the inspection is ongoing, unless you have requested the inspection yourself early on in the process. When the inspector shows up at your home or the house that you’re considering buying, they will examine the interiors and exteriors of the home in a thorough and comprehensive manner. Inspectors are specifically searching for issues within the foundation of the home, doors and windows, electrical system, cooling system, roof, structure, and plumbing in order to ensure that a costly problem doesn’t occur shortly after the home is sold.
Both the seller and buyer are provided with a detailed report by the inspector once the entire inspection has been completed, allowing you to take the next step with all of the information you require. If there are several substantial repairs that must be made, you could either back out if the seller doesn’t show a willingness to make these repairs, attempt to have the price of the home lowered, or you could wait until the seller makes the necessary repairs and have the home reevaluated. If you’re the seller, it’s important that you resolve any major issues to have the best chance of selling your property for your asking price.
Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?
In today’s market, home inspections are practically essential to have done prior to a sale. Although these inspections typically identify problems within the house that the homeowner is attempting to sell, they can be beneficial to both parties and will help to ensure a more straightforward process for both the buyer and the seller.
If you’re a seller and are feeling wary about doing a home inspection, you should know that there’s no way to fail one of these inspections, as is the case with a car inspection. The only things that an inspection indicates are about whether any major repairs or equipment replacements are required. As a seller, having a home inspection performed on your property around the time at which you list the house can prove highly advantageous in a competitive market, as prospective buyers will be more confident in purchasing your home knowing that you’ve taking care of the inspection already.
While the buyer will most likely still request an inspection, this typically takes place after they have signed an offer for the home, which is late in the process. By taking care of an inspection right as you place the home on the market, you bolster the chances of receiving bids on the property in question. Many sellers also find that it’s better to conduct an inspection early so that any major and glaring issues can be repaired before the home is shown. You don’t want people who are touring your property to spot problems that you might have overlooked.
On this same note, doing the inspection early as opposed to waiting until late in the process will give you more time to make the important decisions on which repairs should be done and who to hire for this work. If you wait until the buyer does their own inspection, you could be rushed into having major repairs done, which could substantially increase the chances that you select the wrong contractor or spend too much money on one.
The seller also benefits in a number of ways from having a home inspection done. Buying a new home can be a dream come true, but you don’t want to be saddled with costly and frustrating repairs right after you’ve moved into your new property. Save for an unexpected issue, a home inspection will provide you with the confidence and peace of mind necessary to know that you’ve made the right decision. Some buyers will take a thorough look at the property themselves and think that this is enough to spot any issues that are present in a property, usually because they want to save the $300-600 that it typically costs to have a home inspection done. However, there are a wide array of subtle issues and warning signs that an appliance may be about to break that you would invariably miss if attempting to “inspect” the home yourself.
The primary benefit of having a home inspection done on a property that you’re considering is that you will likely save a large amount of money.Many homes have at least one issue with them when placed on the market, which means that the cost of the home inspection would be taken care of if you save $1,000 on repairing water leakage in the basement or $1,500 on a safety hazard that the seller can have repaired before you purchase the property.
If the seller comes back and tells you that they do not have the time or inclination to have these repairs done, you can back out of the deal or have the ability to request a lower price on the property, which is something that you would have never known to do if you didn’t have an inspection done on the home.
See also: Home Buying Process Timeline