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  • Writer's pictureHarrison Baron

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

Carol and Jim had been tirelessly looking for a new home to raise their family for 6 months without much luck. However, on the last weekend of the month, they discovered exactly what they were looking for. Finally, they were ready to take the next step in the home buying process.

Getting a Home Inspection

After applying for a mortgage, the next step, they were told was to consider getting a home inspection to make sure everything was in order.

It’s no secret the home buying and selling process can take its toll on a buyer as well as a seller. There are all kinds of paperwork and signatures required as the process moves along.

Also, there’s the home inspection to consider, and learning how long does a home inspection take can be key.

Participating in a home inspection helps to unearth any major or minor issues that may need to be addressed and help you decide if you are buying the right home for you.

Home Inspection Steps

A home inspection has a variety of steps and if you are wondering how long does a home inspection take that’s a good question.

If you are the seller getting the home ready for the inspection can save you time before the scheduled visit by a home inspector. There are a variety of things you should consider doing before to shorten the home inspection time. Why? A home inspection can take between 2-3 hours on average, according to experts.

But if you are well prepared and understand what’s involved during a home inspection all the better. These tips below will help when you are about to have a home inspector visit and then you may not surprise by how long does a home inspection take.

What Exactly Is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is often a requirement during the closing of a home sale, but not always. In many instances, a buyer will hire a home inspector to inspect the home. Therefore, it is important to be ready and for how long does a home inspection take.

If an inspector discovers any issues, a buyer may ask for a reduction in the overall cost of the home or for the potential new homeowner to repair the problems before closing the sale.

The home inspector generally operates by standards set and regulated by each state. A home inspector looks for health, safety, and any major or serious mechanical or structural issues. The overall inspection is to check the condition of a home so the buyer understands what they’re buying. Essentially it is a more thorough and deeper look over than a simple visual inspection.

Who Does a Home Inspection?

Home inspections are conducted by certified home inspectors. Of course, these professionals will look at the general condition of the home, but they don’t do any repairs that they may find while doing the inspection. However, a home inspector can recommend people to make such repairs.

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

The overall time it takes to do a home inspection depends on a variety of factors. How long an on-site inspection takes depends on the many characteristics of the home and how well you’ve prepared before the inspector pays a visit. Additionally, when it comes to learning how long does a home inspection take, you should consider the length of time as well for the inspector to finish his/her final reports.

In general, for the seller there are some variables when it comes to home inspection and how long does a home inspection take for an on-site inspection, the report, and the preparation times.

On-site Inspection

If you arranged and scheduled the home inspection with the home inspector, you need to be at the appointment when the inspector arrives to inspect the home. Being at the home for the inspection is also helpful since you can ask the inspector any questions you might have while the inspection is taking place as well as how long does a home inspection take.

For the average home, an inspection can take from 2-5 hours but in general, the amount of time the inspection will take will vary on these things:

· The size of the home

· The age of the home and the condition of the property

· Accessibility of certain areas within the home

· State standards and requirements

· Number of systems within the home needing inspection

· Weather conditions

· Number of questions the client asks

Next, the home inspector will closely inspect the exterior and interior of the home. Outside, a home inspector looks for any sign of water damage and structural issues like the roof or foundations. Inside, an inspector checks for plumbing and electrical issues, pest infestations, and any HVAC problems.

Keep in mind there are things the inspector won’t inspect such as peeling paint, broken fixtures, and other surface or cosmetic problems. Why? Because the home inspector is only concerned with broken, defective, and hazardous issues in and around the home.

The Report

Following the home inspection, the home inspector will work up a comprehensive report of his/her findings. It usually takes between 3 and 4 days to complete this report and return it to the client.

It’s important to note as the buyer you can decrease the amount of time the home inspection will take by properly being ready before the inspector’s arrival. So, brush up on how long does a home inspection take.

As the seller here are some things to do before the inspector arrives:

· Be prepared with any receipts for maintenance and scheduled services organized and ready to give to the inspector

· Be sure there is access to items like crawl spaces, electrical panels, water heaters, and the furnace

· Put away clutter that could get in the way of the home inspection in the attic, garage, basement, and crawl spaces

· Replace burned-out light bulbs or put in new switches that aren’t working for signs of electrical issues

· Replace HVAC filters that could compromise the air quality in the home

· Repair cracked windows or broken screens on doors and windows

· Inspect all drains and sinks for clogs and clear minor clogs with an at-home drain cleaner

· To avoid basement water problems, make sure dirt is away from the exterior foundation

· If there is a pest issue, use bug spray or call on a professional extermination service to clear the infestation in advance of a home inspector’s arrival on the property

· Trim trees and low hanging branches that are near the roof and that might cause roof damage or pest issues

· Put a cap on any unused chimneys, flues, or gas lines that can fill with debris and become clogged

· Put a cap on any chimneys, flues, or gas lines, that could be releasing toxic fumes into the home

· To make the home inspection as easy as possible for the inspector, make sure the home is clean and easy to walk through. This includes putting pets away while the inspector walks through. Also, be aware and stop any distractions or disruptions that could prolong the inspection beforehand.

Bottom line on Home Inspections?

Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, a home inspection can be an important part of closing the real estate deal. For both parties, a home inspection could very well unearth the overall condition of a home and reveal things you might not have seen on the surface. Be prepared either way for the home inspection should you choose to have it done. Also being ready in advance and knowing how long does a home inspection take will give you ample time during the process.

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