You’ve just had your home purchase offer accepted; congratulations! The search is over, and now you need to have your new home inspected.
You’ll need to schedule this right away as most inspection contingencies have short timelines. Most inspectors work on short notice and most real estate brokers give inspections top priority on their calendars due to the contractual timelines involved. I cannot stress this enough. Once your agent has told you that you’re in mutual acceptance, you should be on the phone with your chosen inspector choosing a date and time. [Click here to read How to Choose a Home Inspector.]
The inspection will typically take 2 to 4 hours (but I’ve seen them run up to 8!) The most common practice is for the seller to be absent during this time. Your real estate broker will be accommodating the inspector’s entry into the home. When you are calling and interviewing inspectors it’s a good idea to have all the information regarding your prospective home in front of you. Make sure the inspector knows the square footage, type of building, age of construction, type of roofing material, type of heating and anything else that might be specific to your prospective home.
Once the physical inspection of the home is done, the inspector will generate a full report. Typically with the full report your broker can sit down with you and discuss what if any items should be addressed with the seller.
Some of the more common non-critical inspection issues include the following: clean rain gutters, attach earthquake straps on water heaters, remove all items from crawl space, re-caulk bathrooms or kitchen areas, have the furnace serviced, replace any rotten wood on decks or siding, replace windows with broken seals, and cut vegetation back to allow at least 6 inches from home.
You will have the opportunity to reply to the seller with one of the four following options:
1) The inspection is approved!
2) The inspection is not approved and they would like a number of items remedied or a monetary consideration of some sort.
3) You may ask for an additional, more specialized inspection. Although this is rare and is usually limited to items the require specialized expertise above and beyond what the home inspector might have. The most common additional inspection is calling for an electrician to assess a potential hazard.
4) The inspection is not approved and they no longer wish to purchase the home.
I have personally had great experience with the following inspectors: