How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?
How long does a home inspection take in Utah? That’s a common question we get from many Utah residents preparing their home for sale. If you’re in the process of selling your home, there’s probably already going to be millions of things at the back of your mind. Paperwork. Credit checks. Lender approval. Turnaround. But chances are, home inspections may not be at the top of the list.
It may come as a surprise for many sellers, but home inspections are not required by law—in any state, including Utah. With that in mind, you’ll also find that most lenders will insist that you hire a home inspector prior to the finalization of a sale. And with good reason. A home inspection is what helps validate the ultimate value of your property. Unlike an appraisal, which establishes an estimated value of your home based on both cursory examination, historical sales and neighboring properties, a home inspection is a much more thorough and comprehensive process which also identifies potential damages to a property; damages you’ll have to address prior to selling your home.
There’s probably a few of you who are either about to put your house on the market or finalize a sale. And while home inspection services can at least give you the confidence for both, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
So How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?
Unfortunately, there is no ballpark answer to how long a home inspection takes. It’s intended to be as thorough as possible; and while it might stand to reason that it will take less time to inspect a small ranch house than it might for a massive colonial duplex, that’s not always the case. Depending on the age of your property, the maintenance performed, the length of time that’s passed since your last inspection and the inspectors themselves, they could uncover issues with that ranch house you never even knew were there.
Many inspection services like to claim the process typically won’t take much more than 2 – 4 hours, and that’s not an unrealistic estimate—at least for an average home with no outstanding defects. But the fact is, most sellers aren’t always aware of defects. Defects don’t always mean noticeable cracks in the foundation. There’s electrical wiring to consider. Proper HVAC ventilation. Mold. Windows and doors. Flooring. What seemed to you to be perfectly inhabitable for the past ten years may turn out to be a lengthy and expensive list of flaws you’ll have to address before your property can be sold.
What Should I Expect From A Home Inspection?
Here’s one of the biggest surprises you might not know about home inspections: some states actually don’t require home inspectors to be certified and licensed. In fact, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 22 states in the country don’t have any official licensing or training requirements for home inspection services; and not only does Utah not require certification and training in order to be a home inspector, they’re one of the few states in which there are no official regulations whatsoever.
With that in mind, the vast majority of home inspectors are going to be highly trained professionals whose job is to determine both major and minor damage to your property. But even minor damage can ultimately affect the value of your home. It may not be necessary to stage your home like you would for an open house in order to prepare for a home inspection, but they will be looking for the following in particular:
- Ease of accessibility
- Plumbing, sewage or pipe issues
- Properly operating HVAC units
- Structural cracks both inside and outside the home
- Foundation stability
- Doors and windows
- Electrical wiring
- Fire, smoke and combustible hazards
- Pest and mice infestations
- Mold, lead and asbestos
- Radon, carbon monoxide and other natural gases
Much of which can be resolved on your own without the need to hire expensive professionals. If you need a home inspection checklist for what to review prior to a visit, you can find our 11 step review located here.
How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?
The cost of an inspection varies depending on both the local market and both the size and age of your home, with the latter increasing the older your property is. We’ve seen services in Utah as low as $175, but you can typically expect to pay between $350 — $550, with a national average of roughly $475.
Who Pays For A Home Inspection?
By and large, the cost of a home inspection is usually the responsibility of the buyer; and assuming the property meets inspection standards, can be included as part of the final costs themselves.
It’s not unheard of for sellers to commission an inspection prior to the sale to address unseen issues. We don’t necessarily recommend this unless you suspect that there are damages which could prevent a sale. Both buyers and lenders are somewhat wary of reports aid for by a seller and frequently insist on an independent third party of their choice.
Can I Sell My Home Without An Inspection?
Legally, yes. But in all likelihood, you won’t find a lender who will agree to financing a buyer without one—particularly if your home’s last inspection was over 6-7 years ago.
But what if you don’t have the time or resources for costly repairs? What if you need to sell your home immediately? At Gary Buys Houses, we have a solution designed to fit your needs. It’s called our “Sell Now, Move Later” program. We’ll buy your home as is, without the need for expensive renovations or inspection services; sometimes in as little as 3-5 business days. What’s more, we’ll conduct any necessary repairs and pay for your inspection services if you need to buy back your home from us!
There’s no doubt a home inspection can be intimidating for many homeowners. But it shouldn’t have to be. It’s a necessary part of selling your home, and one which can ensure you get the best return on your investment. But there’s a world of difference between cobwebs in the attic and potential fire hazards. And you owe it to a buyer to put their safety over your sale.