Should buyers and sellers attend the home inspection?

Posted by Danny Margagliano on January 23rd, 2021

Should I attend the home inspection?  For buyers and sellersShould buyers and sellers attend home inspections

For most buyers, there is a lot of back and forth before the seller accepts the offer in the home-buying process. That is why it is quite exciting if your offer gets accepted. However, don't let the excitement get the better of you and forget that a home inspection is necessary. It has to be done before closing so that you'll know whether there are any serious issues with the property. You can choose the home inspection professional you are comfortable with for this process. It is essential for the buyer and the seller to be present during the home inspection process.

Why the buyer should be present during a home inspection

To ensure you are getting value for your money

Even though non-invasive, a home inspection is a thorough examination of the property.  The inspection on a typical sized home around 2000 ft.² can take up to 4 hours to complete but the time varies based on the property size. As the buyer, you'll be paying for the service and it can be anywhere between 300 dollars to 500 dollars.

Being present during this process means you can make sure the process is done correctly. You don't want a situation whereby the inspector spends an hour to do a job that requires 3 hours to complete. When the buyer is present he/she can shadow the inspector to ensure thoroughness in the completion of the job.

Inspectors will explain the issues in-person

There is a difference between reading a home inspection report and having the issues explained by the inspector in-person. At times, reading what has been reported might make something seem too significant when it actually isn't such a big deal. Also, in-person explanations give room for exhaustive follow-up questions.  Remember that the inspector is not there to teach you about inspections or how to fix the problems.  Rather, the inspector is there to find and report on any issues with the home or any problems with things such as HVAC system, roof, and appliances.

Buyers can ask questions

As the buyer, you'll probably have questions during and after the home inspection. You can go through these with the inspector to get satisfactory answers. For things like the appliances in the house, you may not get a guarantee of how they will serve you but the home inspector can give a professional recommendation. Thus, you'll be able to determine whether you should call for them to be replaced or not.

You get an extensive look at the property

You are allowed to shadow the home inspector in his/her job. This allows you to become familiar with the property. Some things like the electrical panels or shut-off valves are not placed in the open in most cases. However, the home inspector will find out where they are. You need to know these locations in case of emergencies. In addition, you will get a look at the nooks and crannies you may never get a chance to check out on your own. They include the attic, basement, inside the cabinets and even getting a chance to inspect the appliances when they are not mounted. When you have seen it all you'll decide whether the money you are paying for the house is worth it or not.

You can raise concerns the home inspector can handle immediately

The home inspectors are still human at the end of the day no matter the roles they play in the job. They may even overlook some issues. Because you will be providing the second pair of eyes you can point out some of the things that have been overlooked.   Again, make sure not to get into the inspector's way or bombard him with so many questions he can't get the job properly done. Purchasing an investment property or primary residence is a serious commitment and there are no take-backs once the mortgage paperwork is signed and you have been handed the keys to the home. You'll be responsible for maintenance and repairs and if a lot has been overlooked in the process it will be your responsibility.

Why the seller should be present during a home inspection

To answer questions the home inspector might have

With the seller present, the home inspector can get answers about the installation of systems, especially if the process has been done differently from the norm. The seller also offers a little bit of history about the structure and the systems in it which is essential for the home inspector to properly execute the job.

To give the buyer a history of the home

The buyer will be spending a considerable amount of time in the home and the more he/she knows the better for the sake of decision-making. A lot of buyers get cold feet because of doubts about the essence of the purchase. However, when the seller takes them through the house, letting them know why there are dents or why a certain system is the way it is, things become much easier.


To assess the situation on the ground

Remember that the home inspection report is mostly used by buyers to bargain for repairs or even price reduction. A lot of sellers are adamant to reduce the price, especially when they weren't present during the home inspection to understand the buyer's grievances. However, this can easily be negotiated when the seller was present for the home inspection because he/she will have a good idea of what really went down.

Danny Margagliano

About the Author

Danny Margagliano
Joined: January 8th, 2021
Articles Posted: 2

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