It’s time to attend the home inspection! This is highly important when buying a new house – it’s a large financial investment, and you want to do your due diligence so you know what you’re getting into. We always recommend buyers be present for the duration of the inspection, but understand that everyone’s time is valuable. This is why we recommend you arrive in the last 30 minutes. Even though you’ll receive a written report afterward, it’s difficult to determine which issues are major and which are minor without being there yourself. Plus, if you have any questions, they can be answered promptly rather than waiting and relying on written documentation.
Here is our list of tips for attending the home inspection:
- Inspections of single-family homes generally take about 2-3 hours, depending on the size. When we make the appointment for you, we will ask the inspector for his estimate so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Keep in mind that the inspector cannot predict potential issues with a house – he can only identify any obvious defects. As such, even if you get a clean inspection report, this doesn’t exempt the home from having problems down the line. It simply means whatever can be seen is in good condition at the time of inspection.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the inspector, especially if you don’t understand what he is explaining to you. It’s crucial you understand each issue and whether it’s a minor issue or an expensive repair.
- Bring a tape measure with you to take any needed room measurements, as we may not be able to get back into the home until the walk-through the day before closing. In addition, if you want family/friends to see the home, it’s best to bring them to the inspection as well.
- Feel free to bring friends and family with you, especially if you want their input on inspection items, furniture placement, decorating, etc, as we may not be able to get into the property again.
- If you are planning on having any work done to the home, it’s best to arrange for contractors, painters, floor refinishers, etc., to come by sometime during the inspection to give you estimates, as we may not be able to get into the home again until the final walk-through. If you need referrals for service providers, please let me know.
- Bring your checkbook or credit card with you as most inspectors require payment at the end of the inspection if you didn’t arrange for payment beforehand.
- Inspection reports are generally emailed to you within 24 hours after the inspection. We’ll then set up a time to discuss any items we want to ask the seller to fix or give a closing cost credit to repair after closing.
- Remember that the point of the inspection is to:
- Discover safety issues
- See if there are any structural issues
- Discover any needed repairs to the working components. For instance, we want to make sure that all of the appliances are working, that the furnace and AC units are working, etc.
- We are NOT there to nitpick because we don’t like the paint colors, there is a dent in the fridge door, the furnace needs to be cleaned, the gutters need to be swept out, etc. Unless you are buying new construction, no home is going to be perfect. If you want a perfect home, buy new construction. If you aren’t buying new construction, then we need to accept the house with its cosmetic flaws or find a new house. Remember, we are mainly concerned with safety issues and things not working.
- While we encourage you to attend the home inspection, ask questions to the inspector, and bring family, we do ask that you refrain from following the inspector around and hold your questions until the end. This will ensure that the inspector has full attention to what he is doing and doesn’t inadvertently miss something.