The home inspection process can be summed up in these simple steps.

What is a home inspection, and what are the home inspectors looking for? This process can make sellers very nervous. I get asked all the time to help alleviate sellers’ concerns during this process. Today, I’ll share the information I give to them with you, and hopefully, this will clarify the process a little.

  1. All contracts allow for a home inspection. It’s very rare for a buyer not to do a home inspection. In the prior feeding frenzy, this was a little less common, but now that the market is leveling out, it’s returning to normal. This is just the buyer doing due diligence after they’ve already said “yes” to the house.
  2. The home inspector’s job is to find everything that could be wrong with the house. This could be deferred or soon-to-be-needed maintenance. We have a tendency to think of the worst possible scenario, but frequently this isn’t the case. The buyer is just trying to understand the house they’ve already fallen in love with. Could the roof be leaking? Is the plumbing outdated? The home inspector is merely cataloging all of the things that we don’t typically see.

    “This is just the buyer doing due diligence after they’ve already said “yes” to the house.”
  3. Home inspectors know a little about a lot. They are looking for the basic signs that something might be concerning. If they find something, like signs of settling, they will direct the buyer to hire a specialist in that area. They don’t offer estimates for repair or even the details of a potential problem. It could be, after all, that there is nothing major going on.
  4. The buyer might ask for a repair addendum. After the buyer has hired and dealt with the home inspectors, it is their duty to assess their feelings about the house holistically. When there is an issue they are sensitive to, they might ask for a repair addendum. This could mean that you, as the seller, are to make repairs, or you might be asked to offer a credit towards the cost. This might even mean a price reduction. It’s important to note that the seller is not required to do anything. Their only interest is in what it takes to keep the buyer in the deal.

Home inspections are just another part of the negotiation process with the buyer. If the repairs are reasonable and expected, it may be worthwhile to discuss these with the buyer and come to an agreement. The inspection process is the time for the buyer to come forward with what they would like to have happen with the home after they’ve had a chance to learn more. It’s also a chance for the seller to decide what they are willing to do.

If you have any more questions about how the home inspection process works, including pre-inspections before putting the house on the market, please feel free to give me a call. I’d be happy to help you.