Real Estate May 4, 2023


In one of my recent blogs, I mentioned that I could offer SO much more information on inspections. Well… good idea, past self! Let’s do that today!

Inspections include ANY testing that you’d like to have done at a property. The buyer has a timeframe to get the property evaluated & make a decision as to if or how they’d like to proceed with their purchase.

There are a lot of different types of inspections you can elect. The basic one that most people refer to is a home inspection. It’s the primary-care-physician of inspections. It’s a top to bottom physical of the house looking at basic structural & mechanical items.

My team & I strongly recommend that each of our buyers at least gets a home inspection. There’s a lot of controversy with multiple offer situations as a buyer waives their right to a home inspection in hopes of gaining the upper hand during negotiations. Ugh… this is really big decision & a conversation to have with your Realtor so that you fully understand this potentially huge risk.

If a home inspection is your general PCP, then the other inspections are like your specialists: your gastroenterologists, your ophthalmologists… For example, if the home a buyer is purchasing has a well, then you can elect a well & water inspection. I think that’s a prudent idea – let’s make sure that you’re not gulping down water laced with e. coli out of your kitchen tap. “The best part of waking up isn’t listeria in your cup…” (Credit to my husband who came up with that little diddy as I was practice reading my content.)

Septic systems can cost a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re buying a house with a septic system, I think it’s worth the cost of the septic inspection to ensure that it’s in good working order.

I could go either way on a radon inspection. On one hand, homes in PA tend to have a higher radon concentration than other areas in our country. It’s likely due to our rocky subterrain. About 50% of radon testing results I see are higher than the 4.0 pCi/L. So, there’s a decent chance that the radon in a home may be high which is definitely something that should be addressed.

On the other hand, if you are a buyer in a competitive offer situation, your goal is to make your offer as appealing as possible. Sellers will obviously be attracted to offers without a litany of tests for their home to pass. So, if you’re looking to waive any inspection, the consequence of a high radon test can be addressed relatively easily & inexpensively. So, if my buyers wanted to waive a radon inspection, I’m pretty confident that it’s less than a $2,000 fix, & I’m not putting them in a position that they’ll have to use up Johnny’s college fund getting it resolved.

A pest inspection looks for more than just termites. In our pavilion we have the fattest, cutest & busiest wood-boring bees. They are fat & cute, but the amount of damage they do is incredible. A pest inspection pays specific attention to any wood-destroying insects in & throughout the property.

Those are just some of your options when it comes to the types of inspections that we typically see & explain on a sales agreement.


: When you write an offer on a home, you’ll have … typically… 7-15 business days to get your inspections done – whatever is negotiated. If you’re in a competitive offer situation, get those bad boys tied up as quickly as possible – put 7 days. If inspectors are backed up, you’re getting every inspection under the sun, 15 days would give you a lot more flexibility.

Keep in mind that this timeline is when you make your response to the seller. Sooooo, if your response is due on Friday, you need to get your inspections NO LATER than Wednesday. This will allow the 24-48 hours for the report to be available.

Obviously when it comes to contractual timelines & your inspections – the sooner the better! Getting them done quickly frees up the rest of your timeframe to get quotes if you should need them.

I highly recommend that you attend the inspections otherwise you’re going to receive a 60-page report – complete with close up pictures – that is going to make your heart drop. If you went off of this report by itself, you’d think that your “dream home” is going to be falling in on itself the next time anyone sneezes within 10 feet. Be there. Listen to the inspector. Ask questions.

Prepping the Home

: Before a home inspector comes in, you may want to take a few minutes looking at your home with a different set of eyes.

Make sure that you move the bags of baby clothes away from the water heater. Your kid is 16 now… seriously just take them to Goodwill & get them out of the house. The inspector needs to have access to mechanical systems. Clear a path under the kitchen sink so that the plumbing can be easily seen.

If the house is vacant – MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF YOUR UTILITIES ARE ON! This is a biggie. That’s like my kid walking up to his math teacher & saying, “Hey… I know we’re having a math test today, but I don’t want you to ask me any addition problems. You’re just going to have to take my word for it – my addition skills are 100%.” Nope. That’s not going to fly. As a Realtor, I’m not going to be calling up an inspector & say, “Hey… I know we’re having the inspection today, but the seller didn’t turn on the main water valve. You’re just going to have to take their word for it – the pipes are 100%.” Those utilities all need to be on & ready to go.

I put together a checklist for my sellers – I give them room-by-room suggestions so that their house is ready well before that inspector pulls into the drive. There are things to look for in your kitchen… a few things to check outside… If you text me at 724-888-9020 I’m happy to share that information with you, too.


Sellers: You don’t have to wait for a buyer to come along & for them to surprise you with this 60-page report. You can get a pre-inspection before you list your house, & I HIGHLY recommend it. Getting an inspection on your home prior to listing does 3 things for you:

1. You can address concerning items prior to putting it on the market. There may be a little mold in the attic that you never knew about. No worries – get it addressed, & you’re ready to go! If a buyer finds mold on their inspection, they’re most likely going to ask you to have it remediated anyway OR the word “MOLD” is scary enough that many buyers terminate the deal.

  1. You can include the entire inspection report as part of the information you disclose to potential buyers. This means that you’ve taken this information into consideration when setting the price. The buyers cannot renegotiate on information that you’ve provided to them prior to them making the offer.
  2. If you provide an inspection report to the buyers, they are less likely to get their own inspection. You’ve eliminated a lot of unknowns for the buyer, & you can progress with the transaction & circumvent negotiations on surprise repairs that show up on the report.


A good Realtor will never feel that an inspector is a “deal-killer.” I love a good inspector. I want an honest inspector who evaluates the condition on a home fairly so that our clients can be very well informed on what they’re buying. Plus, with good information, it gives me a chance to flex my negotiation skills so that we can approach the seller with helpful details. It’s these very details that helps to keep the deal together yet gives us the most potential to free up some resources for the buyers to address concerning issues. That’s the goal, but…

Not all inspectors are created equal.

If I was creating my own worst nightmare of an inspector, I’d make sure that he was a complete alarmist who refused to answer any questions after the fact & who would slip my clients an electrician’s business card – his nephew’s business card – on the way out. Seems oddly specific, huh?

Realtors work with inspectors all the time, & we know who is helpful & who is inflating issues in hopes of getting repeat business. My team & I have a handful of inspectors that have proven themselves over several years to be professional providers of excellent information.

We love inspectors who point out things to be aware of but who also give an idea of what is normal wear-&-tear versus an issue that needs immediate attention.

We love inspectors who patiently talk through what they’re looking at so that our buyers get an intimate introduction to the very crevasses & bowels of their soon-to-be family home.

We love inspectors who, when we get the reports, can & are happy to answer questions days later.

We love inspectors who give us thorough reports!


Speaking of reports, it’s that very document that gives buyers license to renegotiate. Verbal information doesn’t mean a thing – it has to be documented to carry any weight.

When a buyer receives a report – it’s important that it’s shared with their Realtor. Per the sales agreement, the results of any tests or inspections done on a property are shared with the seller.  If we are negotiating on any surprising information, referencing those details in the report is key.

It’s also important to know that, a house cannot “pass” or “fail” an inspection. A house may be perfectly sound & has one dripping faucet. That would not be a “fail.” There are so many different things that are evaluated, so the inspector – for each & every item – will say if it’s in great working order, may need some love soon or needs immediate attention.

Saying a house “failed the home inspection” is akin to a straight-A student failing one test & they get “failed out of school.” Just like kids are evaluated on each subject separately, items in a home inspection report are also evaluated separately. The house – in its entirety – doesn’t “pass” or “fail.”

There’s a lot more to know, but a good agent will never keep you in the dark when it comes to all of your options.


Pre-inspection: benefits for sellers! – YouTube

Inspection Perfection

I’m Always Here & Happy to Help!

Katina Hunter

Team Lead for the Katina Hunter Team with Coldwell Banker