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For 84 percent of Americans, buying a home is a priority. Whether you’re buying or selling, though, you’ll need to get familiar with the home inspection process.

House inspections can help both buyers and sellers if they know what to expect. However, if you’re not familiar with the house inspection process, a home inspector can seem like the enemy!

We’re here to clear things up so there’s no confusion and everyone walks away happy. Here’s what to expect when you embark on a house inspection.  

What Is a Home Inspection For?

A home inspection is simply a checkup to evaluate the condition of the home. It ensures that there are no nasty surprises for buyers and that sellers can remain confident in their claims about the home.

Most people aren’t qualified to do home inspections themselves: that’s what home inspectors are for. These individuals get training so they’ll know exactly what to look for in the home inspection process. 

The Home Inspection Process for Buyers

Looking to buy a home? Here’s what to expect from the buyer’s home inspection.

You’ll Hire the Inspector

As a buyer, hiring a home inspector is part of the closing process. The inspector you choose will evaluate the home for potential issues before you finalize the purchase. 

You’ll want to find an inspector with significant professional experience (no less than three years). They should also be licensed by your state. 

Real estate agents can generally work with you to recommend a home inspector, but you can also hire one on your own. The American Society of Home Inspectors, or ASHI, is just one great resource for finding one.

The Inspector Examines the House 

The home inspector will then look over the house to alert you of major problems.

An inspection mostly isn’t looking for minor imperfections. Instead, the goal is to weed out significant issues that could become safety problems or cause health issues later on.

The inspector will examine the electrical and plumbing systems, HVAC system, doors and windows, basement, attic, floor, foundation, and other essential parts of the house.

You can expect the home inspection process to take a few hours, depending on how big the house is. Although it can be time-consuming, it’s good to be present at the inspection.

Being there gives you a valuable chance to ask questions and carefully consider the state of the house. 

You’ll Get the Report

A home inspector will provide you with their findings in a written report. If you were present for the inspection, that will provide valuable context you can use while reading the report.

However, the report may still look overwhelming. Inspection reports often are long and may show many issues with the home. It’s important to keep in mind that not all of the listed defects are serious issues. 

You’ll want to look for serious issues and if there are any, focus on those. These are the things that can make or break your decision to buy the home.

You Can Discuss the Findings

After you’ve looked over the report, take some time to discuss the findings with your agent and the inspector. They can help you know what the next steps are. 

The Home Inspection Process for Sellers 

Selling the home instead? In that case, the home inspection process will be a bit different.

You may want to be present for the buyer’s inspection, and you’ll certainly want to be prepared for it. However, you may also want to do a seller’s inspection ahead of time. Here’s what that process looks like. 

You’ll Hire the Inspector

In a seller’s inspection, you get the home inspected before it actually gets listed. So, in this case, you’re hiring the home inspector yourself.

However, you’ll similarly want to hire an experienced, qualified inspector, so you can trust their findings.

A seller’s inspection isn’t a requirement for selling a home, but it’s often a wise choice.

The Inspector Examines the House

In this step, the inspector isn’t trying to warn buyers of potential issues, but rather to help you, the seller, figure out what to fix before selling the house. Your goal isn’t to get a clean report, but to get an honest one. 

You’ll Get the Report

The report will show some minor things that you may or may not want to fix. However, the major issues are the ones you should definitely take care of before you put the house on the market.

Fixing those issues will save a lot of time in the closing process. A report, with certain repairs checked off, can help attract buyers for your home. It shows you care about providing buyers with the best possible home for their money. 

The Buyer Will Still Hire an Inspector

Even if you can provide your inspector’s report to possible buyers, be prepared for them to hire their own.

Most experts recommend that buyers hire the home inspector themselves. They typically won’t accept only a report from an inspector you chose. 

While you’ll want to prepare your home before your presale inspection, it’s even more important to prepare before the buyer’s inspection.

In addition to fixing major issues, make sure your home is clean and looks nice. Remove clutter from areas the inspector will need access to, like the attic and basement. 

Make sure to have receipts of repairs and maintenance updates you’ve had done, to show both the buyer and the buyer’s inspector. 

Looking for a Home Inspector?

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the home inspection process can help you walk away happy. 

Being prepared for the process is important. However, no house inspection can go well without a great, trusted inspector. Both buyers and sellers need the advice of a home inspection expert. 

Need a trustworthy home inspection in Northeast Ohio? We’re here for you: schedule an inspection today