The Real-Estate Experts

How Long Does the Home Inspection Take?

How Long Does the Home Inspection Take?

When buying or selling a home, one of the crucial steps in the process is the home inspection. It’s a safeguard for buyers to understand the condition of the property and for sellers to address any potential issues that might hinder the sale. But how long does this important procedure take? Let’s dive into the details.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough evaluation of a property’s condition, typically performed by a licensed professional. The inspector examines various aspects of the home, from the foundation to the roof, to identify any existing or potential problems.

Key Factors Influencing the Duration of a Home Inspection

Size of the Property

The larger the property, the longer the inspection will take. A small condo might take just a couple of hours, while a large estate could require most of a day.

Age of the Property

Older homes often have more wear and tear, as well as potential issues that need careful examination, which can extend the inspection time.

Condition of the Property

A well-maintained property with few visible issues can be inspected more quickly than one with numerous problems.

Inspector’s Experience and Efficiency

An experienced inspector might complete the job faster without compromising on thoroughness.

Complexity of the Inspection

Homes with unique features or complex systems, such as advanced HVAC setups or solar panels, may require additional time to inspect.

Typical Time Frame for Different Property Types

Single-Family Homes

On average, a home inspection for a single-family house takes about 2 to 3 hours.


Condo inspections are usually shorter, often taking about 1 to 2 hours, since the inspection typically excludes common areas.

Multi-Family Homes

Inspections for duplexes or multi-family properties can take 3 to 5 hours or more, depending on the number of units.

Commercial Properties

These inspections vary widely in duration due to the complexity and size of commercial buildings.

Pre-Inspection Preparation

What Homeowners Should Do

  • Ensure all areas of the home are accessible.
  • Clean up clutter to allow easy movement.
  • Provide any relevant documentation (e.g., repair records).

What Buyers Should Expect

  • Plan to be present during the inspection.
  • Prepare questions for the inspector.
  • Understand that some issues might be uncovered.

The Home Inspection Process

Initial Walkthrough

The inspector starts with a general overview of the property, noting any immediate concerns.

Detailed Inspection

A room-by-room and system-by-system inspection follows, where the inspector uses various tools to check for issues.

Inspector’s Tools and Equipment

Common tools include moisture meters, infrared cameras, electrical testers, and ladders.

Common Areas Inspected

  • Foundation and Structure
  • Roof and Attic
  • Electrical System
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC Systems
  • Exterior (siding, windows, doors)

Post-Inspection Procedures

Review of Findings

After the inspection, the inspector typically reviews the major findings with the buyer on-site.


A detailed report is then prepared, usually within a day or two, outlining all findings and any recommended actions.

Follow-Up Actions

Depending on the findings, buyers might negotiate repairs or price adjustments, or in some cases, decide not to proceed with the purchase.

Common Issues Found During Home Inspections

Structural Problems

These can range from minor cracks to major foundation issues.

Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring, outdated systems, and insufficient electrical capacity are common findings.

Plumbing Concerns

Leaks, outdated pipes, and water heater issues are frequently identified.

HVAC Systems

Inspectors often find problems with heating and cooling systems, including inefficiencies and maintenance needs.

Roofing Issues

Damaged shingles, leaks, and poor drainage are typical roofing concerns.

Impact of Home Inspection on Real Estate Transactions


Inspection results can lead to negotiations for repairs or price reductions.

Renegotiation of Terms

Significant issues might require a renegotiation of the terms of sale.

Potential Deal Breakers

Major problems can sometimes lead to the buyer withdrawing from the deal.

Tips for a Smooth Home Inspection

Choosing the Right Inspector

Look for certified, experienced inspectors with good reviews.

Preparing the Property

Ensure all areas are accessible and disclose any known issues upfront.

Being Present During the Inspection

This allows for immediate discussions and clarifications on findings.

FAQs About Home Inspections

How much does a home inspection cost?

Costs vary, but typically range from $300 to $500 depending on the property’s size and location.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No, homes don’t pass or fail. The inspection simply reveals the property’s condition.

How long does it take to get the inspection report?

Most reports are delivered within 24 to 48 hours after the inspection.

What should I do if major issues are found?

Discuss options with your real estate agent, which might include negotiating repairs or a price reduction.

Is a home inspection necessary for new homes?

Yes, even new homes can have issues that need to be addressed.


Home inspections are a vital part of the real estate process, providing crucial information about a property’s condition. The duration of a home inspection can vary based on several factors, but understanding what to expect can help both buyers and sellers navigate this important step smoothly.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings