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Should Sellers be Present at the Home Inspection?

Nearly every home sold is going to require a home inspection and is critical to the home buying process. But, should the seller be present?

In short, no. Especially if the buyer is the one paying for the home inspection. This is their time to get to know the home and its inner workings. The seller's presence at the home during an inspection can make the potential buyers feel uncomfortable asking blunt questions of the inspector. When sellers are not present, buyers feel free to ask the hard questions.

Frequently, sellers will have a pre-listing inspection performed on their house. In these instances, you would be welcome to stay in the home.

Buyers should be able to leisurely roam around the home familiarizing themselves with the layout, envisioning where the furniture will be placed or measuring for blinds. The inspection will take at least two hours which allows buyers time to really get a feel of the place. If you are present, buyers may feel less relaxed about exploring the house. Not being able to get a good feel of the home may even cost you the sale.

Selling a home can be an incredibly emotional process. After all, you have raised your family here and the home is chock full of all the feels. However, if you are hovering like a moth to a flame, buyers may think you are trying to distract them from what is being found during the inspection. You may just be very friendly or even their BFF, but they are here for one reason only.

That brings up another thought. Many times, a home purchase is between friends or relatives. Take the time outside of the inspection to give your niece or grandson the low-down on how to lock the garage door or the trick to running the sump pump. Save the reminiscing over how little Timmy broke the vase when throwing the football in the house to family reunions. Now is not the time.

You may be hanging around to 'help' the inspector. Rest assured, inspectors are well-trained to recognize issues and how they have been repaired. This is their job. They have been hired as an advocate for the buyer, not to admonish your home maintenance abilities. Even if you have meticulously maintained your home through the years, there will be minor issues you have become comfortable living with that will be called out in a report. Be realistic that the 'perfect' home does not exist.

After you have prepared your home, decluttered, and made sure all the accesses are accessible, the best way for you, the seller, to survive the home inspection is to find a way to leave the house. Yes, during the pandemic it has been a little more difficult to find a place to hang out. Take a walk with the dog. Go to the park or sledding with the kids. Grab a coffee with friends. Plan to run errands in that two-hour time slot. Get a massage! Whatever you choose to do on the day of the inspection, make sure to enjoy yourself. This is the next to last step in selling your humble abode. And, fingers crossed, there were no skeletons in the closet.


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