Typically within the first ten business days after mutual acceptance, the buyer will be conducting their due diligence, which almost always includes a professional inspection. In addition to whole house inspections, you can expect a sewer scope or septic inspection and pumping, radon testing, mold tests, soil sampling relating to underground oil tanks, etc. All inspections of the property must be approved by you, the seller, as part of the sale agreement.
The inspection(s) will be scheduled and you will be given advance notification regarding the date/time of the inspection. As with property showings, it's expected that you remove yourself and your pets from the home for the duration of the inspection. This is the buyer's time to investigate the property without interruption.
Preparing for the Inspection
The inspector will be investigating all major components of the house from the exterior and the interior. It's important that you ensure that the inspector has easy access to important components like crawl space and attic access hatches, electrical panels, furnaces and water heaters. Please be sure to remove any furniture or items that may obstruct access for the purpose of performing a thorough inspection.
If any parts of your property are typically locked (for example storage sheds or outbuildings), please leave a key or access code for the inspector (along with a note) or simply unlock the spaces prior to the inspection.
All utilities must be on and functional for the inspection, including electricity, gas and water.
If you haven't done it yet, now is the perfect time to make sure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are installed as required by Oregon law. You should ensure that the water heater has two earthquake straps installed. Both of these will be required prior to the appraisal, so you might as well take care of it right now. Let me know if you have questions about these requirements.
Remember, the buyer will likely be at your house for several hours on the day of the inspection and they're still forming an impression of the home and whether they really want to own it, so it's important to present the house as you did during the showings. In other words, make sure that the house is sparkling clean and tidy for the inspection.
On the day of the inspection, the home inspector will typically access the property first to get started with the inspection. Weather permitting, usually the inspector will start on the exterior of the home, and then they'll work their way to the interior. The inspector will typically be joined later by the buyer and the buyer's agent for a debriefing. Some buyers prefer to be present for the entire inspection, which is also at the buyer's sole discretion. Rest assured, regardless of the length of time the buyer is in the house, they will always be accompanied by their agent.
Depending on the size of the property, most inspections last for 3-4 hours. Let me know if you'd like to be notified when the inspection concludes, so that you may return home.
I will be in contact with the buyer's agent the day after the inspection to request information about how it went. I will report back anything that is reported, so that we can be prepared for negotiations with the buyer.
As the property seller, you have the right to request a copy of the inspection report if you wish. There are some implications of receiving the inspection or not, so we'll discuss this together in more detail when we are at this point in the transaction.