What sellers should expect in a home inspection

Home inspector in front of a house to be inspected

Giving a professional home inspector access to your property is one of the most important things you must do before selling your house.

In most scenarios, the homebuyer initiates this process as one of the final steps they need to take prior to closing their deal with you. An inspection is necessary for ensuring that your house’s condition is livable and that what they are paying for the property is reasonable and worth every dollar.

On the other hand, what should the home seller expect from this process? Here is a helpful guide for you.

Yes, you can have your home inspected before you list your house

In case you were wondering, a home seller can also have their property inspected before they put their house up for sale. As a matter of fact, it would be a great way to ensure that your house has no hidden defects or damage that can delay an impending sale, or give a buyer reason to renegotiate toward a lower sale price. Having your property inspected before listing it can help you identify certain areas of the house that need to be fixed, or perhaps can be improved to boost the property’s value and/or appeal.

Having a house inspected as a seller’s initiative, however, does not guarantee that a buyer will no longer initiate their own inspection later on as part of their pre-closing contingency measures. On the bright side, it can be taken as an encouraging sign by the buyer. They know that you are selling the property in good faith and have taken measures to make sure that what you’re offering is a safe and livable home.

What do inspectors look at?

As the seller, it is in your best interest to know what the professional inspector will examine and assess during their visit. This can help you prepare and accommodate the inspector for a quick and hassle-free process.

The common home inspection itinerary includes:

  • The foundation and main structural components of the house
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Roofing (including insulation), windows, and doors
  • Floors, ceilings, and walls
  • Basement and/or attic, if available

Professional inspectors typically do not examine interior wiring and plumbing, so you don’t have to worry about your home getting taken apart during the inspection.

There are more thorough home inspections that aim to detect the possible presence of harmful substances, such as radon, asbestos, or lead piping or paint, but these require the services of specialists.

How long does a professional inspection take?

A professional home inspection can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the size and features of the house. In some instances, the buyer might join the inspector so be prepared to accommodate your potential buyer during the visit, as well.

After the inspection, it may take a couple of days before the inspector sends a written report of their findings.

The results of the home inspection can delay or derail your sale

Home inspection reports will always include a list of minor issues and defects observed by the professional inspector. This is typical and should not be cause for serious concern, especially if you put in the work to update, repair, and clean your home before putting up for sale.

But sometimes, even the most meticulous and responsible home seller can be surprised by serious problems and defects hidden far beneath the surface of their property. Issues involving the structural foundation of the house is one of the biggest potential deal-breakers. Similarly, a current or previous termite infestation could make an interested buyer think twice about the long-term condition of the home. Safety and health hazards such as mold or faulty electrical wiring can also throw a wrench into your home selling plans.

If issues like these are revealed by the buyer’s inspector, be prepared to engage in another round of negotiations—even if you already reached a purchase agreement prior to the inspection. Given the degree of danger or inconvenience that these types of issues involve, you may have to accept a larger concession on your selling price, or otherwise spend additional time, effort, and money to repair or address these problems.

While a home inspection may result in temporary delays and setbacks in your potential sale, working with an experienced and skilled Realtor will help you make sure that the deal does not fall through. A reliable agent will renegotiate toward the next best sale price, making sure that your losses are minimal.

For more tips and assistance as you navigate opportunities and transactions in the Las Vegas real estate market, turn to trusted Realtor and local area expert Loralee Wood. Give me a call today at 702.419.3212 or send your inquiries via email at loralee(dotted)wood(at)cbvegas(dotted)com.