|Should the Buyer Attend the Inspection?
This article that I wrote was published in the Eureka Times-Standard special insert "Real Estate in Review 2010", published on
May 22, 2010.
Should the Buyer Attend a Home Inspection?
By Ralph Brady
Typically a potential home buyer will hire a home inspector to evaluate a home and it's many systems after
getting their offer accepted. Performing a good home inspection requires a great deal of concentration and a
set routine. There is a LOT to look at in a relatively short period of time. A home inspector will usually use a
camera and a written checklist or a computer to record data during the inspection.
During an inspection I will typically turn on the stove and dishwasher first then take reference pictures. Using a
checklist I then start at the front door and work my way around the house from room to room, usually in a
counter-clockwise rotation. After inspecting the interior rooms, I go into the garage and attic then test/inspect
the electrical panel, furnace and water heater. I test plumbing related items near the end of the interior portion
of the inspection so that any leaks that might be present can be detected when I go into the crawlspace. The
exterior and roof either before or after the interior. All of this typically takes a minimum of 2 – 3+ hours.
The buyer is welcome to attend the inspection, however if they are present the entire time, it can get pretty
tedious for them. Sometimes the client will arrive towards the end of the inspection. By then, I will already
have an idea of any issues and can walk them around and point things out. They can also ask any questions
they have about the house at that time. Another option would be to pass on a list of concerns beforehand.
Once the client gets their report they can call with any questions. A good report should be easy to read with
relevant photographs and plenty of detail. My reports include hyper-links to additional information where
applicable. Getting a sample report from a home inspector before you hire them to inspect your new home
might be a good way to tell if you should attend the inspection.
Ralph Brady is owner/operator of Brady Home Inspections in Eureka, CA.