What Every Seller Should Know About Home Inspections

Dated: April 18 2023

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What Every Seller Should Know About Home Inspections

What Every Seller Should Know About Home Inspections

When the time comes to sell your home, it’s important to know what to expect if and when  the buyer asks for a home inspection. While some buyers decide to forgo this step, the majority will have a ‘home inspection contingency clause’ built into the purchase contract in Florida. This means the buyer will have a specific amount of days, after all parties sign the contract, to do inspections on the property to decide if repairs are needed and/or if they want to proceed with the purchase. Read below to find out more about how home inspections work and what sellers should know.

Who Comes to the Home Inspection?

Generally speaking, on the day of the home inspection, it’s best for the homeowner not to be present. This is the time when the buyers, along with their Licensed Realtor, (and sometimes the listing agent) and home inspectors, come to the house to inspect it for any deficiencies that need to be addressed. Inspections can take anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on the size of the home and the types of inspections being performed.

While a general home inspector is usually involved, a pest inspector, HVAC inspector, pool inspector (if applicable), and even contractors, may inspect parts or all of the home on the day of the home inspection. Occasionally, buyers will need more than one date set aside for these inspections if all parties can’t make it on the same day.

This is also the day that buyers get an opportunity to spend a lot of time inside the house to take measurements, plan where furniture will go, check out the various systems and how they work, and most importantly to remember why they “fell in love” with the home when they first visited it.

What Will Be Inspected?

Some buyers in Florida only request the bare minimum needed to make sure the home is insurable, which usually entails getting a 4-point inspection in Florida and a wind mitigation inspection. Insurance companies often require a clear 4-point inspection in Florida to insure a home. The 4-point will include inspections of the 4 major components in a house, which are the roof, plumbing, electrical system, and HVAC system. If any one of these 4 items has deficiencies, they will have to be corrected before closing for the home to be insurable. (*Note: To get a mortgage loan, lenders require a home to be insurable, which is why it’s a crucial step in the inspection process)

For buyers who want a full home inspection, the inspector will look at the 4-point items above thoroughly, but also everything else in the home, including flooring, doors, windows, the foundation, ceilings, cabinetry, the attic, insulation and more. They will check for moisture in the walls around the bathrooms and any sinks in the home, they will also check the sprinkler systems (if applicable), note if trees are touching the roof or sides of the home, and look for safety issues in the home.

A pest inspector will usually come to the home too and also check the attic, crawl spaces, windows, and more for signs of pest intrusion, past or present.

If there is a pool or spa at the home, some buyers will also have a pool inspector come out to check the various systems of the pool as well (think pump, filter, heater, inspect for leaks, etc).

Buyers may also ask contractors to come out to look at any parts of the home that they may have had initial concerns about or areas they would like to remodel after closing. It’s always a good idea to give the buyer time for these inspections to make sure the home is a good fit for them.

Will You See the Full Inspection Report?

Technically speaking, the buyer owns the inspection report since they are the party paying for it. While not required to release the report to the homeowner, some buyers will release all or part of the report if inspection issues come up that need to be addressed and/or negotiated. Your Realtor will handle negotiating with the buyer's Realtor. Inspectors will usually include photos of any issues in the report so that all parties are clear on which items need attention.

How Can You Prepare for the Home Inspection?

As a seller, it can feel stressful thinking about every part of your home being inspected, sometimes by multiple professionals. However, the best way to prepare for a home inspection is to address any major or obvious issues in your home before you list it for sale.

Be sure your home is as clean and uncluttered as possible before the inspection. Address and handle any repair issues you already know about, and if you’re not sure about the home’s condition, consider getting a home inspection or 4-point inspection in advance of listing your home for sale. This will help you correct any major issues before your home goes under contract or at the very least, disclose them to buyers in advance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that buyers will feel reassured they have chosen a great home when there isn’t a lot of ‘deferred maintenance’ at the property. Make sure the gutters are clear, the lawn is mowed, trees and hedges are trimmed back, and that your home appears to be well-cared for. Remember, a home is a large investment and buyers need to feel like they have chosen the right home that’s also in good condition.

For more information on buying or selling real estate in the Tampa Bay area, feel free to call us at (727) 400-3315 or message us directly HERE.

The Sandy Hartmann Group

Coastal Properties-Christie's International Real Estate

Other Articles You May Enjoy:

What You Need to Know About 4-Point Inspections

The Difference in an Appraisal and a Home Inspection

The Top 10 Items You Should Fix Before Selling Your Home

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Andrea Hartmann

Andrea is the Managing Partner of The Sandy Hartmann Group and runs the team alongside Sandy Hartmann. She would love to talk to you about real estate! Andrea was born and raised in the Tampa Bay a....

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