Skip to main content

Home inspections in Northern Kentucky are an important part of the home sale process. They’re also a part of the home buying process that baffles many buyers. Realtors often field a lot of questions from their clients and the most common question pertains to who should be present during the home inspection

Is it really necessary for Kentucky home buyers to be present?

The answer is yes and no. It depends on who ordered the inspection. When the seller orders a pre-listing inspection, there’s no reason for potential buyers to be present. It’s a completely different scenario when the buyer pays for an inspection. In this situation, buyers should accompany the home inspector. 

Below we delve into the home inspection process a bit deeper and explain why it’s a good idea for some people to be present during the inspection and a bad idea for others. 

Sellers in Northern Kentucky

First, let’s discuss the home inspection from the seller’s point of view. Does the seller need to be present? The answer isn’t exactly straightforward. Some instances warrant a seller’s presence, while other times having the seller walk the property with the inspector is a hindrance. 

Sellers who order a pre-listing inspection might choose to be present during the inspection. Usually, at this stage, the seller is either living in the house or has recently moved out. Regardless, they often have personal items stored in the home. Many Kentucky home sellers want to have at least one adult present during the inspection to make sure any property in the house isn’t damaged. If the seller isn’t available during the inspection, it’s not unusual for the real estate to take the seller’s place.  

Sellers should never accompany a home inspector when a buyer pays for a home inspection. Doing so often holds up the process and sellers get in the way of the inspector doing their job. Many sellers have emotional attachments to their property and might become argumentative or defensive when the inspector points out potential problems in the home. 

Finally, sellers being present during an inspection is intimidating for the potential buyers. As you’ll learn more about in the following section, buyers are encouraged to accompany home inspectors. When sellers and buyers are in the same space during the inspection process this creates tension, especially if there are serious problems with the home. Buyers need to have the space to ask questions about damage and repairs. This is hard to do when sellers are breathing down the necks of the inspector and buyers. 

The bottom line is that sellers should only be present during a pre-listing inspection. 

Home Buyers in Kentucky

Buyers are always encouraged to be onsite when a home inspection is being performed. If the buyer is unable to make the scheduled time, their buyer’s agent is a suitable fill-in. The real estate agent’s experience allows them to advocate for their clients and ask the same questions their buyers would ask. 

Why should home buyers in Northern Kentucky be present?

The simplest answer is because they need to know as much about the house as possible to make a wise investment. Buying a home is the most expensive purchase the average person makes in their lifetime. No one wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their dream home only to discover after the sale that it has major electrical problems or the HVAC unit is shot and needs to be replaced. 

Being present while the inspection takes place eases buyers’ fears of the unknown and allows them to get to know the property inside and out. 

During the inspection, the home inspector will check the following:

  • Attic space to insure sufficient insulation
  • Ceilings for signs of damage
  • Central AC system for proper function
  • Floors for signs of warping and other damage
  • Foundations for cracking, settling, and structural issues on properties with and without basements
  • Heating systems for proper function
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Roof conditions and age
  • Structural components
  • Windows and doors

The home inspection process is thorough and gives buyers a good handle on the home’s current condition. Buyers should note that a general home inspection might not include chimney inspections, sump pump inspections, sewer inspections, and other inspection services of specialized equipment or structures on the property. Buyers need to ask their inspectors to clarify exactly what they inspect and the thoroughness of the inspection. In some cases, the buyer might need to hire additional inspectors to dig deeper into the property. 

What Happens After a Kentucky Home Inspection?

When the inspection is complete, the inspector writes up a report detailing any potential problems and the approximate cost to fix the problems. Both parties, the buyer and the seller, receive a copy of the report. If the seller ordered a pre-listing home inspection, they’ll get this report directly. Potential buyers won’t see this report. 

The report offers valuable information that sellers and buyers should pay close attention to. Pre-listing inspection seller reports give property owners the chance to fix problems and improve marketability. Too often, properties sit on the market for weeks or months with contracts that fall through because buyers receive an unsatisfactory inspection report. Sellers who want to move their homes faster and get more money in their pockets after the sale should heed the repair suggestions on the seller’s report. 

When buyers receive an inspection report, they should go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Pay close attention to the ugly problems; the problems that affect the structural integrity of the house and have the potential for expensive repairs. 

Should a buyer walk away from a bad Northern Kentucky home inspection report?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, a bad inspection can lead to big savings for buyers. In these situations, buyers might have their real estate agent negotiate a lower price for the property to compensate for the repairs that need to be made. However, keep in mind, that taking $5,000 off the asking price doesn’t save a person that much on their monthly mortgage payments. 

The better deal is to ask the sellers to fix the problems and pass inspection before the property transfers from seller to buyer. Sellers are usually willing to do this because they don’t have to put out any money upfront. The repairs are paid for from the proceeds of the sale. 

Are You Selling or Buying a Home in Kentucky?

Work closely with your real estate agent or buyer’s agent to learn more about the home inspection process in Northern Kentucky. Discuss your options so the selling and buying process goes smoothly and everyone walks away from the real estate transaction a winner.