Find An Agent

How Long Is a Home Inspection Good For? Tips for Sellers

Home inspections always feel like you’re sitting for an exam. You’re hoping for good results and the whole experience is so nerve-wracking, you only want to go through it once. But, is once enough? Learn how long your inspection is actually good for.
Home inspections always feel like you’re sitting for an exam. You’re hoping for good results and the whole experience is so nerve-wracking, you only want to go through it once. But, is once enough? Learn how long your inspection is actually good for.

Home inspections can be the make or break moment during the selling process. If an inspection uncovers roof damage or a pest infestation, the buyer may walk away. Or, actually run away if they see bugs or mice coming at them, scampering around the house setting up shop.

Granted it’s unlikely potential buyers will physically flee from your home, but an inspection can still be a nerve-wracking experience for the seller. Thankfully a home inspection isn’t a pass or fail test, but it can reveal problems that reopen negotiations between you and the buyer.

Many sellers opt to get their own inspections before the buyer’s inspection — they can fix and take care of any potential problems beforehand.

But you might wonder, if you already get a home inspection before the buyer, does the buyer need to also have an inspection? Does every potential buyer need to have their own individual home inspection?

Isn’t the original inspection report enough? How long is a home inspection actually good for?

Sure it might seem like overkill to have multiple inspections but to understand why you might need more than one home inspection during the home selling process here’s an in-depth look at how inspections work.

How Does a Home Inspection Typically Work?

A home inspection generally occurs after a buyer makes an offer on your home and before closing the sale. During this time the buyer will hire an inspector to come out and assess the home for any damage or potential safety hazards.

Traditionally most lenders don’t require buyers to have an inspection to receive a mortgage, however, most buyers opt for one to determine whether the home is in good condition and a smart buy.

Inspectors will specifically look for structural problems, water damage, roof damage, mold, issues with electric, plumbing, and HVAC, as well as if there’s any sign of insect or pest infestations.

What they won’t take issue with is any cosmetic damage like peeling paint or chipped counters.

But if the home inspection reveals any major issues, then you and the buyer can negotiate for repairs, price reduction, or the buyer may walk away.

How Long is a Home Inspection Valid For?

The short answer is: the moment the inspector walks out the door, the inspection is old and invalid. Home inspection reports are written in the past tense as anything can change once the inspector leaves the property.

For instance, the same evening after a home inspection, a storm could roll through causing flooding and water damage, roof leakage, or even structural damage.

Additionally, two different home inspectors can look at the same home and come to completely different conclusions. One inspector may see signs of a pest infestation while the other inspector may feel the evidence is inconclusive.

And in theory, if several buyers hire the same inspector to evaluate the same house, the inspector is required to assess the home thoroughly from top to bottom each time as if they’ve never been in the home before.

Is It Worth It for the Seller to Get an Inspection?

Again, while it’s not required, you as the seller can get your own inspection before any buyer offers. But if an inspection is only good for the few hours the inspector is in your home, should you still get one?

It may be a good move as an inspection can give you a good idea of your home’s condition and help you budget and prepare for any potential repairs or issues the buyer may find that could thwart a sale.

If you do choose to get an inspection, legally, you must disclose the inspection report to any potential buyers though this can actually work in your favor.

By providing buyers with your inspection report, you show transparency and build trust, plus, you can show buyers any repairs you’ve already fixed moving along the closing process and negotiations faster.

And down the road, if the buyer comes to you claiming additional damage you need to repair, you can point to the inspection report that shows the damage was done after the sale and isn’t your responsibility. The inspection can protect you from any scams or unsubstantiated legal recourse.

Keep in mind, your inspection could uncover problems the buyer’s inspector doesn’t see, causing you to possibly shell out more for repairs, but more often than not home inspections will be relatively consistent if you work with a qualified inspector.

Clever Can Make Sure Your Inspection Goes Smoothly

No matter how many inspections you end up getting, you’ll want an experienced real estate agent to help you negotiate with the buyer’s agent the cost for any repairs or adjustment in the sales price of your home.

And when you work with Clever Partner Agent, they will work to sell your home at the highest price possible and offer expert advice and guidance on how to best prepare for home inspections and what repairs are worth fixing and what you can leave alone.

Plus, with Clever, you’ll get extra savings as Partner Agents work for a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% if your home sells over $350,000. What you save in commission can be put towards fixing repairs and closing costs.

Learn more about how you can save with Clever and connect with a Partner Agent who will sell your home quickly and at the best price possible putting more money in your pocket.

 

SHARE

Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

See all Andrew's Posts
WHAT'S NEXT

Sell Your Home with a Top Agent and Save Thousands

Learn how you could save thousands when you sell with Clever!