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How Long Does a Home Inspection Take & What Is Involved?




If you are buying or selling your home, you are probably considering getting a home inspection. Although this is not legally required, there are many benefits, such as knowing the home’s exact condition. This information can help you determine the value of the property and whether it is a smart investment. However, there is a lot of time, work, and money involved in both buying and selling a home, so as you plan, you may want to know, “How long does a home inspection take?”


How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?


The home inspection’s duration will depend on the reasons it is being conducted, the home’s size, who is performing the inspection, and what they are looking for. On average, you can expect it to take between two and four hours from start to finish.


Larger homes will have more area to inspect and will take longer than smaller homes. The age of your home may also play a role. Older homes may have outdated plumbing, electrical systems, and other structural components that need more careful consideration.


What Does a Home Inspector Look For?


It is often a potential buyer who orders the inspection, so the home inspector will be looking for anything that may cause future problems for the buyer if they invest in the property. A home inspector will need to examine a pretty extensive list of items during the appointment, including those mentioned below and more.


  • Foundation

  • Roof and Chimneys

  • Exterior walls

  • Windows and Doors

  • Drainage

  • Patios and Decks

  • Driveways and Sidewalks

  • Attics

  • Cooling and Heating Systems

  • Electrical Systems

  • Appliances

  • Signs of wood rot, mold, etc


What Happens after the Inspection?


The home inspector will take notes as they go through the home and then provide a written report of their findings. This report is usually available between 24 and 48 hours after the inspection. If possible, it is recommended for the buyer and their agent to be present during the inspection to notice home details and ask the inspector any questions they may have.


Once the agents have had a chance to read over the written report, the buyer and their real estate agent will put together a list of items they would like the seller to fix before the sale of the home is finalized. Having a written report from a third party helps to validate these concerns and ease tension during negotiations.


With recent changes and social distancing regulations, the inspection itself may take less time. The inspector might spend less time filling out paperwork and answering questions on-site. However, the total time is much the same, as the inspector will still answer questions over the phone and create a detailed written analysis.


How to Prepare for a Home Inspection?


If you are the homeowner, you can do a few things to help speed up the process. First of all, clean out as much clutter as possible so it is easy to move around in the home and get close to everything they need to see. Second, make sure anything with more difficult access is ready, such as gates, attic or basement doors, crawl spaces, furnaces, etc. Finally, prepare any maintenance paperwork and have it readily available. For example, if you recently replaced the roof, have the receipt available for reference; if the warranty is still in effect and transferable to the new owner, have that available as well.


Behind the Scenes (BTS) Home Inspection


Contact Behind the Scenes Home Inspection for more information about how long a home inspection will take and to set up an appointment today.


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