Now that your home is under contract, we have agreed to an inspection period outlined in your contract. The inspections usually occur within 3–10 days after the contract is accepted and is typically performed during weekday daylight hours. You must give access to your home during all reasonable hours.
Inspections may include any/all of the following:
General Home Inspection
A licensed home inspector will check every aspect of every system, door, window, floor, faucet, appliance, etc. Keep in mind the inspector’s job is to diagnose, not give opinions. You will see items on the report that will annoy you (e.g. light bulb above vanity does not function, smoke detector battery is dead, etc.), but don’t get mad at the buyer or inspector. It’s not “us against them” here. We want to deliver a quality product as part of the brand you’ve joined with me. The inspectors are supposed to find everything.
The buyer or buyer’s agent will schedule the inspections and will confirm the day/time works for us. Most home inspectors do not work evenings or weekends, so the inspection will most likely take place during a week day.
Sellers should not be present for the home inspection. Instead, it’s a time for the buyer and their agent to be alone in the property with the inspector. I, as your listing agent, may attend the inspections though (if warranted) as part of my duty to you. Plan to be gone for about 2–3 hours, depending on the size of the home.
A licensed pest control company will inspect the home for active termite infestation and/or damage. This is usually performed at the same time as the general home inspection and only takes 15–30 minutes usually. If this is done at another time, you do not need to leave your home during this inspection.
If live infestation is discovered, you are required to treat the home at a typical cost of $0.50 per square foot. If you have a current termite/pest control contract, please alert me prior to the inspections.
If the home inspector questions the condition or future life of the roof, or if the buyer’s insurance carrier requires it, your roof may need a more thorough inspection. You do not need to leave your home for this inspection.
If the home inspector notes cracks in walls and/or exterior brick, a structural inspection may be called for. Also an appraiser may require a structural inspection at the time of his/her inspection later in the process. You do not need to leave your home for this inspection.
It’s important the inspections occur quickly, as it could take 1–2 days to submit the written reports. And we have a finite period of time to negotiate any repairs.
After the home inspection, the report could say, “Inspector recommends a licensed roof contractor/plumber, HVA technician, etc. assess the system.” Nobody knows ahead of time what will be recommended. If something is requested to be reinspected, don’t panic. It’s more than likely a more thorough step to assure everything is functioning well.
Before all inspections, assure the following:
- All utilities are on, even if it’s out of season for the gas to be on, for example
- Keys for every locking component of the house (and any outbuildings) are labeled and on the kitchen counter
- At least one garage door opener (if applicable) is on the kitchen counter with working batteries
- All the little “stuff” is working and minor repairs have been made
- Crawlspaces (if applicable) are free of obstructions
- Fences are unlocked and areas accessible
- All animals are removed from the property or securely in crates
The home should look just like it did for the showings with beds made, dishes put away, etc. NOTE: the home inspector will run the dishwasher through a complete cycle, so you should have it empty (or toss in your dirty dishes with detergent 🙂 ).
After the inspections, the inspector will send the report to the buyer and their agent. This usually takes 0–2 days. The buyer will then review the report with their agent and either ask us for repairs or credits–or nothing. Hopefully the buyer’s agent has done a good job of setting reasonable expectations for repair items that would be deal breakers versus minor wear and tear issues. We’ll negotiate these items back and forth, and hopefully come to an agreement.
If deficiencies are found during the investigations period, the buyer does have the right to walk away from the deal for any reason and be refunded their earnest money deposit. Otherwise, if we’re able to come to an agreement—which we usually do—then we proceed.
Any agreed upon repairs need to be completed prior to the final walk through, which usually occurs the day before or morning of closing. Receipts need to be provided to the buyer showing the required work was completed and paid for in full prior to the final walk-through inspection.