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What Happens During a Real Estate Home Inspection?

Having a real estate home inspection performed is an important part of the home buying process. You may not be familiar with what an inspection entails, but it’s actually quite straightforward. Here’s what to expect during a real estate home inspection.

Making Introductions

The first thing the home inspector does is introduce himself and explain the steps he will take during the inspection. This is a good time to voice any of your concerns with the property.

If the home sellers are present, the inspector also acquaints them with the process. It’s important for the seller to know that, while the process may seem a little invasive, it’s critical for the buyer to know everything about the property before purchasing it.

Performing the Inspection

The inspector walks around the entire home, looking for problems in various areas, including:

  • The foundation and structure
  • Exterior and interior building materials
  • Roof and attic
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Major electrical components

The process should take approximately two hours—possibly more, depending on the property. During that time, the inspector writes down comments and takes pictures of anything noteworthy.

You are free to join the inspector during the process. This gives you a chance to see problems firsthand and learn about the home’s structure. However, it takes concentration to perform a real estate home inspection, so be polite and don’t interrupt with questions. Instead, carry a notepad and pen with you. Take notes if you think of a question and write down anything important the inspector says. The inspector will be happy to answer all of your questions at the end.

Summing Up the Inspection

It’s common for the inspector to find a handful of concerns with the property for sale, even if the issues are minor. If the seller is still present, the inspector often asks for privacy so you alone can be briefed on the important findings uncovered during the inspection.

The inspector shows you the notes and pictures from the inspection. This is the time to ask questions. Make sure you clarify which items in the inspector’s notes are worth fixing and which ones are nonessential.

Acting on the Results of the Inspection

Later, the inspector generates a formal report and delivers it to you. Take this report and sit down with your real estate agent and discuss the items you want addressed either through repairs before you purchase the home or by monetary compensation.

Your agent takes your request to the seller’s agent, and they decide if they are willing to meet your requests. They send the results of this discussion back to you and your real estate agent either for approval or a counteroffer. Clearly, it’s a negotiation process. While the sellers are not technically required to fix anything or compensate you for problems, most people are reasonable and will do what it takes to sell their property.

If you’re buying a home in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or Washington DC, Coakley Realty is the reliable, professional real estate company you have been looking for. Contact us today to learn more about our home buying services.