Buyers are understandably ecstatic when a seller accepts their offer, and they’re eager to move forward with the purchase. But before getting to the closing table, your buyers will have a home inspection and a home appraisal.
A home inspection isn’t required, but recommended. If a buyer agrees to an inspection, they can choose a certified home inspector to conduct a thorough examination of the property and check for any problems or hidden defects with the electrical, plumbing, appliances, HVAC system, roof, foundation, etc.
This is an important stage in the buying process. Without an inspection, buyers could potentially purchase a home that needs significant repairs. But even if your buyers agree to a home inspection, they may feel it's unnecessary to be present during the inspection. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
Here are five reasons why buyers should be present during their home inspections.
1. They can ensure they’re getting their money’s worth
A home inspection is a non-invasive, yet thorough examination of a property. The process—which takes longer than a home appraisal—varies depending on the size of the property. Typically, these inspections take anywhere from two to four hours.
Your buyers may have secular and personal obligations, but it’s important for them to be present during the home inspection so they can ensure they’re getting their money’s worth. Buyers pay for these inspections out of their own funds, which can cost between $300 and $500. Therefore, an inspector shouldn’t rush through the process or only spend an hour inspecting a home that requires three hours to complete. By being present, buyers can shadow the inspector and check for thoroughness.
2. Inspectors can explain issues in-person
One benefit of being present during a home inspection is the opportunity to hear explanations directly from the inspector’s mouth. After the inspection, the inspector writes a detailed report about his findings. But sometimes, these reports can make issues seem more significant than they actually are. However, if a buyer is present and talks to the inspector, the inspector can ease some of his concerns.
3. Buyers can ask questions
Being present during a home inspection also gives buyers the chance to ask the inspector questions. Inspectors are available after the appointment to answer any questions a buyer might have, but there is no better time than during the inspection for buyers to express their concerns. For example, buyers may have questions about estimated life spans for certain appliances. Of course, inspectors can't guarantee how long a system in the home will last, but they can offer a professional recommendation. This helps buyers discern whether to ask the home seller to replace certain items.
4. Buyers learn their way around the property
Shadowing a home inspector also gives a buyer the opportunity to become familiar with the home. If he follows the inspector throughout the property, he'll learn the location of shut-off valves, the location of the electrical panel, as well as observe other details about the house with his own eyes. Home inspectors look inside cabinets, pull appliances from the wall, and inspect the attic and basement. Most prospective buyers don’t conduct a detailed examination of properties before putting in their offers, so it’s easy to overlook certain issues with a home. Upon taking a closer look at a property, buyers can then decide whether this is the right home for them.
5. Buyers can bring concerns to the inspector’s attention
Home inspectors are certified and trained, but they’re still humans, and sometimes they can overlook issues in a home. A property may have a crack in the wall that the inspector didn’t notice, or if a room has a slightly different color paint in one section of the ceiling, a buyer might feel the homeowner is hiding a water leak or other damage. Since buyers provide a second pair of eyes, encourage their presence during the inspection, and encourage them to speak up if they want the home inspector to take a closer look at a particular area of the home.
Buying a home is a big commitment, and buyers need to understand that once they sign the mortgage paperwork and take possession of the home, they become responsible for any repairs and maintenance. Now’s the time to voice their concerns.
Now that you know what a home inspection can reveal, you can see the importance of being present as a home-buyer.Still have questions? Check out these 5 need-to-know facts about home inspections and subscribe to the blog below.