When you’re buying or selling a home, one integral part of the process is a home inspection. The inspection helps buyers know if any issues need to be addressed or simply aware of. At the same time, an inspection puts the seller in the hot seat. They might find problems they never knew existed,which could lead to some extra expenses on either side as well.
What you need to know is that no home is perfect. Just about any home will turn up some sort of findings during an inspection. It’s how you handle the inspection and prepare for the inspection that really might help out a homeowner.
Before we dig into how the inspection process works, just know that you have some capabilities as a homeowner. Findings might lead to the necessity to renegotiate terms, but it doesn’t require that you fix anything. The buyer might ultimately decide to walk away so there will be decisions to be made.
Home Inspections Explained
When you sell a home, a home inspection is typically part of the closing process. Some mortgages require inspections and then have certain guidelines in order for a home to be eligible.
A licensed inspector will make an appointment and come to the home. This inspection is usually paid for by the purchaser. The inspector will visually review your home looking for things like health, safety, and mechanical issues. They have specific processes and criteria to follow.
Timing of a Home Inspection
When an inspection is happening at the seller’s request, it typically happens before the home is ever listed. They use this inspection to get on top of potential problems and take care of them before listing.
Otherwise, there is a buyer’s inspection. This will happen after the buyer makes an official offer and the offer is accepted by the sellers. Depending on the results of the inspection, the buyer might use items to negotiate.
The Home Inspection Process
When a home inspection is scheduled, the entire process will typically take 3-4 hours for an average house. It may take slightly more or less time, depending on the size of the house. The inspector will check out the home’s interior and exterior, looking for broken things, hazardous concerns, and deficiencies. They primarily focus on safety issues.
It’s ideal if the real estate agent who orders the home inspection is present when it is inspected. The owners can be present and at times the potential buyers might even be present. There are advantages to both sides if the agent is present.
What is or is Not Looked For?
We talked about what is looked for but here some of the more common or major issues that inspectors specifically watch for. They want to pinpoint health and safety concerns or major defects to be aware of.
- Structural conditions
- Old or damaged roofs
- Water damage
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing issues
- Pest or insect infestation
- Potential HVAC problems
The inspectors are not reviewing your home for cosmetic purposes or looks. Their reports will not state that a bathroom looks outdated, unless there are associated safety concerns.
Most buyers shouldn’t request items that a simple fix or a handyman repair would take care of.
Preparing for Inspection
When you are preparing for an inspection, you can do some things to help both you and the inspector.
- Maintain receipts for upkeep, servicing, and maintenance
- Remove clutter from garages, basements, and attics
- Provide inspector with access necessary
- Keep pets out of the way
- Check all of the light bulbs
- Run some water in every faucet or drain
- Replace your HVAC filters
- Make minor repairs like cracks in screens
- Hire an exterminator to work against bugs proactively
- Trim up trees and bushes
Stillwater Real Estate Agent
It’s up to you as a seller whether you should get a pre-listing inspection. It might open your eyes to some things that should be addressed. Do everything you can to be prepared for the inspection so you won’t have to worry as much about your buyer making demands or even walking away.
Contact Wendy at Wendy Gimpel Real Estate if you are in the market for a new home. She is offering virtual showings to clients with iPhones in the Stillwater area and surrounding communities for everyone’s safety. Wendy’s knowledge and experience in the real estate industry will help you find the perfect home.