It doesn’t matter what a house looks like on the outside or inside. A home inspection is always an important step toward getting a real sense of its condition. After all, issues that are hidden at first glance, from a leaky faucet to a foundational crack, can cause a major headache if caught too late.
If you’re like most prospective buyers and sellers, you probably have a few questions about home inspections. What happens during a home inspection? How long does a home inspection take? Thankfully, home inspections are pretty straightforward, but the information that they provide can be invaluable.
What is a home inspection?
The goal of a home inspection is to identify any issues that could cause trouble for a potential owner or resident. A home buyer will usually get an inspection before closing to ensure there are no unexpected problems with the home. A seller may also get a pre-listing inspection to get an idea of a home’s condition before listing it.
The inspection itself is a pretty clear-cut process. The home inspector will examine the physical structure, systems, and condition of the home. This includes making sure that the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems are in working order. They will also check for any damage in the roofing, insulation, windows, doors, basement, and foundation of the home.
The home inspector will then submit a written report to the customer. The inspection report will include notes and photos documenting the condition of the house. It will also have information on areas that may cause problems down the road and the recommended repairs.
A potential buyer can use this information in a few different ways. They can negotiate a seller concession to cover the cost of repairs. They could also request that the seller fixes the damage themselves before the sale. And if the inspection uncovers severe problems, the buyer could decide to walk away from the deal altogether.
With a pre-listing home inspection, a seller gets the same information about their home that a prospective buyer would. Getting this information ahead of time can be advantageous for the seller in many ways. For example, it can help them identify any necessary repairs they should make before listing. That way, they can get top dollar for their home and ensure a smooth sale. Learn more about the benefits of getting a pre-listing inspection here.
How long does a home inspection take?
It’s clear that a home inspector collects a lot of information during the process. So how long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection should take between two and four hours, depending on the age and size of the house. During that time, a qualified inspector will be able to examine and provide an assessment of the entire house. The inspection report will be sent afterward, usually within a few days.
We recommend that the home buyer (or whoever requested the inspection) is in the home during the inspection. That way, they can ask the inspector any questions as they both go through the house. They can also get advice from the inspector about how to maintain their new home and avoid problems in the future.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a home inspection depends on many factors. They include your location, the inspector’s personal rate, and the age and size of the home. The bill could be higher if you need a specialized inspection to dig into specific aspects of the house. As a result of these many elements, the average cost of an inspection can range anywhere from $300 to $500+. 
Homeowners who use Orchard to sell their home and buy a new one get access to a complimentary pre-listing inspection, in addition to other benefits. This offer is a significant perk for sellers looking to reap the benefits of a pre-listing inspection.
The bottom line
The home inspection process is not very long, but it’s a critical step in a home sale. After all, nobody wants to be surprised when buying or selling a house. The cost of the inspection is also relatively minor. This is especially true if you compare it to what you may save by handling property issues before they get serious.
At Orchard, our Home Advisors can recommend a vetted and qualified home inspector for your home sale or purchase. We can also help you understand your inspection report so you can determine if you need any repairs or additional inspections.
Our Orchard Buy & Sell service offers a ton of additional benefits as well, all to help you avoid the most stressful aspects of home buying and selling. Instead of waiting for your current house to sell before you can buy your new one, Orchard gives you the ability to shop without your home sale delaying your timeline. We’ll also help you make a competitive, non-contingent offer to buy your next home, then sell your current home for top dollar in 120 days or less.
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