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How Does a Home Inspection Work?

Home inspections can be a nerve-racking part of selling your home. But you can take steps to ready yourself and your home to minimize unwanted surprises.

Here, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about home inspections to help ease the process.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspector is usually hired by the buyer to come to the property and observe it. The inspector will identify health, safety, or major mechanical issues in accordance with the state’s standards. 

When does a home inspection happen?

There can be two types of inspections in a home sale: the buyer’s inspection and the seller’s inspection. A buyer’s inspection occurs after they have made an offer on the home and before the closing of the sale. After the inspection, a buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer or request repairs if any issues were found.

A seller’s inspection happens before the home is listed. Some sellers may choose to get their home inspected when they are preparing to list their home for sale so that they can fix any issues beforehand and save time in the closing process.

Should I get a pre-listing inspection?

You don’t always need to set up a pre-listing inspection, but there are a few scenarios where it would make sense. Those scenarios are:

  • If you have an older home 
  • If you want (or need) the process to be as fast as possible.

Getting a pre-listing inspection allows you to catch things early on and prevent roadblocks later in the process. If you do fix things that are found on the inspection report, you can put the report on the table along with the receipts of service to assure buyers that the items have been taken care of. This also applies if you have an older home, because it reassures the buyer that the home is up to par. 

What happens during a home inspection?

For an average-sized home, a home inspection can take a few hours. Then, the report can take about 3-4 days to complete. The inspector will go around the interior and exterior of the house to check for any broken, defective, or hazardous issues with the home. 

Should I be home during a home inspection?

Whoever arranges the home inspection should be present while the inspector is there. Most inspectors will provide answers to any questions you may have during the inspection, so it’s a good idea to be there to get your questions answered and see their findings first-hand.

What do home inspectors look for?

Home inspectors have a long list of items to check in a home, but here are the seven major things they look for:

  • Water damage
  • Old/damaged roof
  • Structural issues
  • Defects in the electrical system
  • Plumbing issues
  • Insect or pest infestation
  • Issues with the HVAC system

What don’t home inspectors look for?

Home inspectors are typically not concerned with anything cosmetic in a home (unless it poses a potential safety issue). An example of this is a crack or water stain on a wall that could be a sign of water damage. You can learn more about what’s not covered in a home inspection in this guide.

How should I prepare for a home inspection?

There are some quick things you should double-check before your home inspection, like:

  • Make sure clutter is cleaned out of spaces like basements, attics, and garages so that the inspector can easily access them.
  • Make sure they have access to the electrical panel, furnace, and water heater.
  • Keep receipts of any maintenance or routine services you’ve had on your home. 

Learn more about how to prepare for a home inspection in this guide.

How do home inspections affect the sale of a home?

After the home inspection, the buyer and seller can either negotiate the contract or part ways. If the buyer walks away, the home will be put back on the market. If there’s negotiation, the seller will most likely have to foot the bill for any health or safety issues found in the inspection. If the seller denies buyer requests, the seller can bring in their own experts to confirm the issues that the inspector found. 

Home inspections are meant to keep homeowners safe. If you’d like to know more about how a home inspection works and how it could affect your specific sale, speak to your real estate agent about what works best for you. 

Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!

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