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How Long Does a Home Inspection Take? Top 8 Essentials

Do Home Inspections Take Long?

To answer the question of how long a home inspection takes, you have to think about why the inspection is being done and who is doing it. This guide is for both buyers and sellers to determine how long home inspections last as well as the reasons you need to conduct one, even though they’re not legally mandatory.

We’ll talk about what a home inspection is, who is responsible for doing it, what the inspection involves, and the things that affect how long home inspections take. Read on to get the best deal on your new home, or to expedite your listing and avoid costly negotiations with your buyer.

1. What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is not required by law, so both buyers and sellers need to know what it is and why they would want to get one. If you want to know how long an inspection takes, you need to know how important it is to your sale.

If the contract doesn’t require a home inspection, the buyer will probably arrange for one through their real estate agent, who probably knows a qualified inspector who can do a good job. During the inspection, both the house’s structure and how it looks are looked at. Some of these observations could be about the walls and foundation of the house, its health and safety, and the condition of its appliances.

If there is wood rot, mold, an uneven structure, broken appliances, or other problems, the sale could be renegotiated or the price could go down. As long as the offer contract doesn’t say that the house is being sold “as is,” the buyer can back out if they find out about these problems.

This makes it important for a buyer who wants to protect their investment with the help of a professional, which is why Class Home Inspection recommends it right away. They may also need this inspection as part of the appraisal process, which may be required by the buyer’s bank in order to get a loan for the house.

A seller may also need to start an inspection, but if they choose to sell to an iBuyer, they won’t have to deal with the inspection themselves.

2. Who performs a home inspection?

Home Inspection Tip

Most of the time, a buyer starts a home inspection. The buyer’s real estate agent then hires the inspector to do the inspection without the seller there. The inspector’s advice can then be given to the seller about how the agent and the buyer plan to renegotiate.

But if a seller wants to use a real estate agent and do things the old-fashioned way, they can hire a certified home inspector to protect their investment before they even have a buyer in mind. This is because mistakes in a house listing could make a sale take longer or even stop. If the seller does this inspection ahead of time and puts the results in the listing, it could save them time and money.

3. Things that affect how long a home inspection takes

How long a home inspection takes depends on a number of factors, since both buyers and sellers may have different reasons for wanting one. When trying to guess how long the inspection will take, you should think about these things:

The first is the house itself, such as how big it is and how old it is. Larger houses will have more things to check, and older houses are more likely to have outdated plumbing, roofing, and electrical systems, as well as old damage and mold, that the inspector will need to look for.

In terms of how the house is built, accessibility also affects how long a home inspection takes. It will take longer if it has a yard, basement, or other structures that make it harder to check.

The length of a home inspection is also affected by state laws. We said that there is no federal law that requires an inspection, but many states do have rules about them. What goes into an inspection report can vary from state to state, especially when it comes to the repairs needed for older homes with outdated HVAC, plumbing, and roofing. This can affect how long the home inspection takes.

4. What happens during a home inspection?

During a home inspection, the inspector will analyze the house’s major systems for health, safety, and livability. This includes anything essential to the house’s functions, including the foundation, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, electrical system, and other things. 

Remember that cosmetic problems like wallpaper peeling off or chipped fixtures won’t be inspected. Only the main systems that could influence the house’s safety and livability will be searched during an inspection.

5. How long does a home inspection take on average?

How long does a home inspection take?

4U Inspection Services says that the average time for a home inspection is between two and three hours. They say that a home inspection of a 1000-square-foot home takes only an hour and a half. Of course, this time could change, as we’ve already said.

Home Inspector Insider says that for every 500 square feet of space, you can add a half-hour to the time it takes to inspect. When trying to figure out how long the inspection will take, the inspector’s experience is also important. A veteran will know the area, what to look for in houses based on their age, and how to get to systems that may be hard to reach. If someone is new to the job, it might take them longer to do it.

Depending on how old the house is, how big it is, and how easy it is to get to, these checks could take longer. But you may also be wondering how long it takes to finish an inspection report. Luckily, that doesn’t vary much from house to house. Most inspection services have their reports ready in one to two days.

At that point, repairs and new talks can begin.

6. How to prepare for a home inspection

There are a lot of ways to speed up the home inspection process, especially for people who are worried about how long it will take. This will be especially true for people who need to sell quickly and who are already using services like iBuyer.com to try to sell quickly.

Even if there is plenty of time, speeding up the home inspection process can make everyone feel less stressed and make the process go more smoothly.

The first thing you can do to get ready for a home inspection and make it go faster is to gather receipts for repairs and maintenance on the house. This will give the inspector more information about the house’s history. To put it simply, you’ll need to have your paperwork ready. This information can be put together by both the sellers’ and the buyers’ agents.

Crawlspaces and furnaces that are hard to get to can also be made easier to get to in order to speed up the inspection process. A home inspection can take less time if you clean up the house to get rid of clutter and make it easier for the inspector to move around.

7. What happens after a home inspection?

After a home inspection, the inspector puts together a report from their notes. This report is usually given to your agent 1-2 days after the inspection.

Home inspection aftermath

Some inspection services can type up the report and get the approval they need electronically, so they can give it to you or your agent right after the inspection.

After a home inspection, what comes next? The agent and the buyer or seller, depending on who did the inspection, look over the report to figure out what to do next. For a buyer, this means they can either stick with the offer contract and move forward with the purchase, or they can make a new offer on the house. They could also ask for “repair credit.” Depending on the results of the home inspection, some people may decide not to buy the house at all.

The inspection could cause a seller to change their listing or rethink their price. Having the inspection ready for potential buyers builds trust with the buyer’s agent and speeds up the process of buying.

8. How long is a home inspection good for?

Zip Realty says that most home inspection companies offer a warranty on the inspection for 90 days. After that amount of time, you may need to do the inspection again.

The Verdict

How long does it take to do a home inspection? There isn’t one right answer. How long it takes to do a home inspection depends on the state and age of the house, the inspector’s experience, and how easy it is to get to the house’s systems. Some old houses with concrete walls or HVAC systems that are in awkward places can take longer than average to inspect. For most homes, the average time for a home inspection is between two and three hours.

Home inspections are an important part of the process of buying or selling a home, no matter who you are. Even though they aren’t required by law, they are often needed to get a mortgage and close a deal. Before a home inspection, both the buyer and the seller can do things to make sure it goes well, like making sure all the paperwork is ready and the house is easy to get to.

After a home inspection, the price and other terms could be changed based on what was found during the inspection. You may be wondering how long a home inspection takes, but no matter how inconvenient they are, they are an important part of buying a home that any buyer or seller needs to use to their advantage. In the long run, it could save time and money for both sides.

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Francesca Castillo

Francesca Castillo