An accepted Purchase Agreement will be followed pretty quickly (usually within 10 days) by a Home Inspection. The Inspector will be chosen by the Buyer and he or she works 100% for that buyer. The Inspector has a few jobs. First and foremost the Inspector protects the Buyer from buying a house that has serious structural, or health and safety issues. The Inspector should find any such issues and make them known to the Buyer. Beyond that role, the Inspector also should provide the Buyer with useful information about the age and condition of items in the home that still work but may need to be repaired or replaced in the future. Finally, the Inspector will discuss items of routine home maintenance with his Buyer client.
As the Seller, What Should I Do to Prepare for the Inspection?
Straighten up your house and be sure the Inspector can access items that are routinely part of an inspection. For example, you need to provide access to the attic, the garage, and any mechanicals that may be otherwise hard to reach.
It may be worthwhile, if you have documentation of routine maintenance of items in your home, to place those on the countertop. Also if you keep a binder of manuals and warranties for your appliances or HVAC equipment, put it out as well. Finally if you have a pool or other feature where you pay regularly for service, putting those records out may save you from a second visit by inspectors.
Can I Be Home For the Inspection?
Legally you cannot be required to leave, but we strongly encourage our sellers to vacate the home for the inspection. The Inspector will speak frankly about your home and sometimes this is hard to hear. Your presence also will hinder the buyer’s ability to envision themselves as the owner of the property. Inspection is often the first time the buyer is back in the home after getting an accepted Purchase Agreement- it is a great help to you, as the Seller, if this experience goes very well and it rarely does if they are made uncomfortable by your unwelcome presence during this visit.
After the Actual Inspection, What Should I Expect?
Your home should be left neat and clean after the inspection. If it isn’t, let your Realtor know. While the Seller’s Realtor does not choose the Inspector, the Realtor can certainly lodge a stringent complaint if the house is left damaged or disturbed. You should expect to be absent for 4 hours. It doesn’t usually take this long but this is a safe window. Arrange for children or pets to also be gone for this entire window. Finally, after the inspection you should prepare for the review of the Inspection Report. Again, you will hear things that don’t feel nice- no home is perfect and the Inspector’s job is to point all the flaws out to their client. We will go through that report at length as we decide how to respond when we hear back from the buyer in the next step.
More questions? Feel free to get in touch: