Should You Stay or Should You Go to Your Home Inspection?
Updated: Jan 4
When should you show up?
The SHORT ANSWER: Towards the end.
If you were having a medical procedure performed, and your mother insisted on being present, would you recommend to her that she peer over the doctors shoulder asking questions the whole time, or wait in the waiting room and speak to the doctor after the procedure?
What would you want your mother to do? :)
While, hopefully, not as potentially serious, this analogy works for your home inspection. We recommend you allow the inspector to focus on the house, be very thorough, gain an understanding all the systems in your home are working together, and then spent the last 30 to 40 minutes with you walking around showing you what was found and making sure all of your questions are answered.
While, the home inspection timeframe is the time for you to learn about your new home, we recommend that you allow inspector to focus on the house first, and then focus on you once the house is fully evaluated. We promise that you will find this to be very efficient, and you will have all of the information that you need in order to make a smart financial decision with your new home.
The time frame will fluctuate based on the size of the house in the condition of the house, so we recommend you show up for the final 30 to 45 minutes of the allotted inspection timeframe.
SHOW OFF: It has been perpetuated by an inspection industry full of inspectors who want to be the smartest person in the room. Inspectors want to show you how smart they and tell you what to do, talk about how things are all wrong and you absolutely have to fix this this, that and the other. In reality, the home inspector should be focused on the home, and inspecting it, not showing you how smart they are.
Unless you intend to learn how to become a home inspector, following your home inspector is around is unnecessary and likely, a distraction.
Even after 15,000 inspections, if we are doing a thorough inspection, we are not chatting with people, and if we’re chatting with people, we are not doing a thorough inspection.
As a result, we ask the buyer show up for the last 30 to 45 minutes of the inspection, when the inspection is close to done. That way the home inspector, can spend the first bit of the inspection focused on the house, and the last part of it focused on you, the buyer.
COST: If you follow a home inspector around from the very beginning of inspection, you will most likely be there 6 to 8 hours, while the home inspector explains every worst-case and best-case scenario, for every little thing they find. Totally unnecessary and a waste of time. Companies would have to charge twice as much if we start being at houses twice as long… And for what? To talk about every, what if, scenario… You have better uses for your time and money.
Example: if there is a drainage issue on one side of the house, and some caulk missing from a window, this might be nothing and less than a $100 fix, or it might mean there’s water in the crawlspace, foundation issues, and structural issues. Until the inspector has had the opportunity to go through the entire property, see everything, and fully understand how all the systems are working together or affecting each other in a negative way, there’s no way to know which one is the case… So, if we stand on the east side of the house and chat for 40 minutes but all the possibilities, this will end up being a big waste of time. Whereas if the inspector does a thorough inspection and you show up towards the end, the inspector will be able to tell you if those settling cracks are symptoms of structural issues, which requires further evaluation or are they just cosmetic?
EMOTIONS: You were shopping for a house, you found a couple, checked a few out, made an offer, accepted! How exciting! And then: Inspection: dreaded, not exciting! While we don’t sugarcoat anything, it is our job to find defects, and after all the excitement of finding and buying a house, 2 to 4 hours focused on only defects of your new house can be a little overwhelming, instead: showing up at the end and understanding the big stuff versus the little stuff makes the whole process much easier to digest.
Let the inspector focus first on the house, learning everything they need to learn, and then let them focus on you. You'll still get the same amount of information, but in a more efficient manner.
All your questions will be answered and we'll take all the time necessary to make sure you feel like the walk-through was as thorough as you needed it to be. 1000's of clients and their agents, every year, find this process to be both thorough and super-efficient.