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Who Attends a Home Inspection

Who Attends a Home Inspection

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Who Attends Home Inspection

Who attends a home inspection

A home inspection is an invaluable tool when buying a home. Few buyers have the technical expertise to thoroughly review each major component of a home. Experienced home inspectors follow a rigorous, step-by-step inspection to ensure they check everything. Who attends a home inspection?

Many variables affect who attends a home inspection. In most cases, however, Buyers hire the home inspector as their private consultant, which means the Buyer should have the last word on who should attend their home inspection.

A Home Inspection Should Be Well-Coordinated

Real estate agents usually coordinate who attends the home inspection, but circumstances often override their preferences. In some cases, Buyers are unable to attend because they live out of the area or are not able to get time off from work. In those instances, Home Inspectors may be accompanied by the buyer’s agent or a representative on the Buyers side.

The seller’s agent will gain access to the home and usually supply the home inspector with the seller’s disclosure and/or the listing sheet. This agent then stays out of the picture for the remainder of the inspection. The Buyer agent will accompany the Buyer to the inspection most of the time.

There are situations that arise in which the Buyers agent will send an assistant to answer any questions the Buyer may have. In most cases, Buyers will attend all or part of the home inspection. This may occur with or without his/her Agent, or it may also include contractors and possibly some relatives and friends.

Also Read: Who Pays For the Repair After Home Inspection

Whether Sellers should attend the inspection is more complicated. Buyers cannot forbid the Sellers from remaining during the inspection. Some Sellers willingly leave for a few hours, some remain without involving themselves in the inspection, and still, others become actively involved, engaging the buyers in lengthy conversations or shadowing the Home Inspector on every step. It’s always best to have the Sellers leave for the duration of the inspection, as I’ve run into situations in the past where my clients became very upset because the Sellers remained in the home during the inspection. I (personally) do not like to see Sellers present during my home inspections.

Why Do Some Agents Advise Their Buyers Not To Attend a Home Inspection

The worst of all arrangements is when the Buyers agent advises their Buyers not to attend the home inspection and appoint themselves as intermediaries. Agents who suggest such arrangements are not acting in the best interests of their clients.

As a Buyer, keep in mind that you have hired the home inspector to be your advocate. The home inspection is paid for by you and presented for your benefit. There are home inspectors who have a reputation for thoroughness, and most of them refuse to let anyone else set the rules on their home inspections.

Buyers Should Attend Their Home Inspection

When it comes time for the home inspection, the would-be homebuyer should tag along while the inspector is doing his job. This is a huge investment, and the buyer has a right to be there. Buyers should participate in their home inspection which I’ve seldom done but certainly, agree with after owning a handyman business for several years. Here are hints and tips about who should participate in your home inspection and the role each person plays.

Not only that, but the buyer can likely learn a lot about the house. Here are some specific reasons why:

  • Confirming the state of the heating and cooling system. New heating and cooling units cost thousands of dollars. Some inspectors are reluctant to check the air conditioning in the cold of winter or blast the heater during the scorching summer months. Yet, if this step the inspector skims this over and it is determined the air conditioning or heating doesn’t work by the time it’s needed next season, it could cost the buyer. An inspector might also provide a basic idea of how the system works and the maintenance required each season.
  • Checking up on top. The roof is another biggie. Some inspectors will just do a visual inspection from the ground. But a good inspector should get up on the roof and check for loose tiles. Roof leaks have the potential to be one of the costliest home repairs. If the buyer is there, it’s more likely the inspector will thoroughly check the roof and either mention defects in his report or tell the buyer about little oddities he finds.
  • Looking closely at how some of the things in the house are functioning. The appliances might all be working and nothing significant will make it to the report. But the inspector might offer you some sage advice by letting you know the model of your appliances are outdated and only have a couple years’ life left. The inspector can also offer helpful maintenance tips.
  • Learning where all the shut-off valves are located. An emergency could be averted down the road if the new buyer knows where the gas, water, and electric shut-off valves are located.
  • Asking questions. For first-time buyers, this can be especially important. Owning a home can be overwhelming. If there’s any part of the upkeep or physical components a buyer doesn’t understand, a home inspector can typically clarify things.

Why You Should Be Present During a Home Inspection

It is important that you witness your home inspection. Sometimes people confuse a home inspection with an appraisal, but they are two separate things. An appraisal is the assessed market value of the home. Banks typically require appraisals when determining whether to approve a loan.

An appraisal gives just the value of the house, it doesn’t include an assessment on the condition of the home or what needs to be repaired (although if there are glaring shortfalls, it could reduce the value of the home).

A home inspection gives the details needed when buying, or considering buying, a given house.

What Will Be Inspected?

Generally costing between $300 and $500 and lasting three to four hours, a professional home inspector will examine the condition of the following:

  • heating system
  • the central air conditioning system
  • interior plumbing
  • electrical system
  • roof
  • attic and visible insulation
  • walls
  • ceilings
  • floors
  • windows
  • doors
  • the foundation
  • basement
  • structural components

Once the home inspector examines all these components, he or she will write a detailed report to give to you and the seller. From that point, the buyer can renegotiate if issues arise concerning needed repairs. It’s generally best to hire a home inspector as soon as a purchase agreement or contract has been signed.

Also, the contract should always be written to be contingent on the findings of the home inspection. If it’s found that the house in question needs $20,000 worth of roof work, the buyer might think twice. Instead, the buyer might want to renegotiate with the seller to compensate for the needed repairs.


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