Have you ever wondered what is going to happen during your home inspection? I know I didn't - both times! I've been through two homes. I wasn't even a home inspector then. The anxiety, the fear of the unknown and wondering if I will be able to negotiate the findings into the cost of the home or WORST...start the whole process of looking all over again! AGH! It felt as if I was in the waiting room of a hospital waiting for the good or bad news from the doctor. (By the way, worst feeling ever in my opinion)
To be honest, the home inspection process is actually not bad now that I am on the other side of the spectrum. It's easy and pretty straightforward and if you get a great home inspector, you should leave that inspection knowing everything you need to know with confidence and reassurance of your investment. Whether you buy the house or not, you should not feel anxious. Here is what you should expect on the day of your home inspection:
BUILD THAT RELATIONSHIP
One of the first things the home inspector you hired should do is to take a moment and introduce him or herself. Chances are you have not yet properly met since you only made a phone call to hire the inspector. At that point, the inspector should explain the inspection process.
The entire process of a home inspection is non-invasive. However, to the seller in particular, it can feel like just the opposite. If the seller is present during the inspection (this is a rare occasion) then they should feel free to ask questions too. Both the buyer and seller bring good input to an inspection and can learn a lot from the process. Ask the inspector questions, this will help you and educate you on the components of a house. If the home inspector does not answer all your questions, they should be able to get an answer for you and get back to you within 24 hours.
THE ACTUAL HOME INSPECTION
The home inspection itself requires the home inspector's full concentration. Because of this, the client might leave a home inspector alone and not interrupt the inspector. The client is encouraged to join the inspector, but If you have questions while the inspection, write them down. Bring a note pad and pen with you and write them down so that you don't forget and ask the inspector later or during the end of the inspection. It is okay to ask the inspector questions during the inspection, but it can prolong the inspection which can make you (the client), the realtor and the inspector late for any other places you all may need to be. The best time to ask all your questions are during the final phase of the inspection which is when the inspector is reviewing his or her findings with the client. Which brings us to the next step.
REVIEWING THE REPORT WITH THE INSPECTOR
The final phase of the inspection process is the inspector reviewing their findings to the client through the inspection report. One thing that I do - which I believe all good inspectors should do - is give a copy of all pictures and video to the client. THEY hired the inspector, so that means that all findings are for the buyer or seller. It's theirs. They choose if they want to share it with anyone.
One of the last things to the inspection is payment. Also, the client and realtor (if the client agreed to release the information to the realtor) should be able to contact the inspector anytime with questions that may arise after the inspection. For example, I am usually available anytime (during business hours) through email, phone call or text for my clients and realtors to answer any questions. It all depends on the inspector and how available they are for their clients.
AFTER A LONG DAY
Once the entire process is done, you are home with your spouse, you should review the report. Then set up a time to outline a negotiation through repairs or lowering the price of the home. That's up to your realtor and you to talk about. You should be aware though, not all sellers will repair anything. Technically they are not required to. However, the majority will work with you since this is an investment for them as well.