No home is perfect, and buyers know that. A home inspection is designed to give buyers peace of mind about the home they are buying, and is just one more step towards the successful sale of a home.
The job of the home inspector is to go through a home meticulously and look for potential issues and flaws, both large and small. They will point them out to the buyer and include them in a report to their clients.
That said, this is naturally an uncomfortable process for most homeowners. Sellers have an emotional investment in their home — hearing negative comments can make them feel defensive, and often brings an unnecessary, emotional element to the buyer’s inspection.
Seller’s often feel the need to justify or explain away any defects or problems, which can lead to feelings of suspicion about what the seller may be trying to hide, or distract from, and could potentially cause issues with the final sale.
It is far better for sellers to remove themselves from the process and allow it to remain objective and factually based.
Remember, the home inspector is hired by the buyer to be their advocate. Buyers should be permitted to conference uninterrupted with their home inspector, without a “hovering” or eavesdropping seller in the next room.
If a seller is not present, buyers will feel comfortable talking openly with their inspector and asking frank questions, ensuring they are fully satisfied with the current state of the home.
During a home inspection, buyers will spend hours inside the home with the inspector, not only looking at the state of the home but also visualizing their life in that new space. When sellers are present, buyers tend to feel more like a guest in the home, rather than seeing themselves as the potential new owners. It is critical that buyers be allowed to have time alone with the house (with their agent present, of course), to get to know it and picture what their possessions and their lives will look like there.
In summary, a seller’s presence at the inspection can block this familiarizing process with the buyers.
The best way for a seller to survive the admitted awkwardness of a home inspection and ensure its successful completion is simply to stay out of the way.