The buyer of your house will be conducting inspections in the near future. The inspection process creates some anxiety for most sellers and understanding the process can help alleviate the worry. Here are three things that will help the process go smoothly:
- Your agent will call you with the date and time the buyer has selected for conducting the inspection. For practical reasons, it’s best to try to accommodate whatever date and time chosen by the buyer. It is an easy way to create goodwill with the buyer before this important step in the process.
- You’ll want to have the house set up just like you did for showings. Buyers usually accompany the inspector to the property. We want your buyer to continue to feel good about their new home and we want them to continue to see it in its best light.
- You’ll want to be gone while the inspection is being conducted. If you are home, you will hear the inspector point out all sorts of defects with your property. Most of these will never come up in an inspection request since a buyer does not usually ask you to fix every single item that is uncovered during an inspection. You’ll end up stewing and fretting about matters that never become an issue. You may also feel defensive about your home and may feel a need to counter what the inspector is saying. This is usually counterproductive. Also, you don’t want to be asked questions by the buyer or buyer’s agent and end up saying the wrong thing. For all these reasons, it is best to be gone while the inspection is being conducted. Inspections can take anywhere from 90 minutes to four hours. Just to be safe; plan on being gone for at least four hours.
The buyer has three options after the inspection. a) Accept the house as-is with no requested repairs. This is rare. b) Send a notice to terminate the contract without even giving a reason why they want out of the deal. This is rare also.
No matter how nice your house is, most buyers end up choosing option (c) – a request that you correct certain defects. Just as most buyers end up asking for some repairs, most sellers don’t want to do any. It is not unusual for sellers to feel a bit irritated and frustrated. If you feel that way, you’re normal.
We have a small window of time built into the contract to negotiate over inspection items. If we cannot come to agreement with the buyer during this negotiating window, then the contract automatically terminates and we give the earnest money back to the buyer and start looking for another buyer.
There is almost always a way to come to an agreement about what you will and will not do. Subsequent buyers are likely to request most of the same items being requested by the current buyer. Thus, from a practical point of view, many inspection issues have to be addressed regardless of which person buys the property.