Step 16 to Selling Your Home: The Home Inspection Period

Once you’ve accepted an offer, which we covered in the last step, you’ll see there are a couple of contingencies that need to be removed. The first is usually the home inspection.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a professional consulting service that helps determine the condition of the home’s major systems. The analysis is based on a visual inspection of accessible features. The inspection focuses on both performance and cosmetic issues. Some inspectors will also point out items that do not meet current code requirements, although sellers are not required to bring a house up to code when selling.

Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for the buyers to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. The inspector will point out whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect.

Scheduling the Home Inspection

The home inspection will usually happen within 7-10 days of ratification. The buyer is responsible for the cost and scheduling of the inspection.

Try to be flexible when the buyers are scheduling the inspection. They need to align their schedule with both the home inspector and their agent.

We recommend that you NOT be present for the inspection; the buyer’s agent, however, will be there.

This is a time for the buyer and the inspector to speak candidly about the home. The home should be showing ready and in the same condition as when the home was previously viewed.

The home inspection typically takes 3-4 hours for a single-family home, 2-3 hours for a townhouse, and 1-2 hours for a condo. It can sometimes take the inspector 24 hours to write and return the report to the buyers. 

Removing the Home Inspection Contingency

The buyers and their agent will review the home inspection report and submit a home inspection contingency removal addendum.

Let me break this down for you, the buyers will have a few options after the inspection.

They may request repairs or a credit (cash at closing) in lieu of repairs. In some instances, the buyer may decide to void the contract rather than moving forward with the sale.

The buyers do not need to share why they decided to void the contract, however, they must perform the home inspection and submit a copy of the inspection report along with the notice to void.

This is one reason we highly recommend a pre-listing inspection.

Seriously, think about this for a moment. If you have an inspection done yourself on the front end of listing your home you can address any major red flags before coming on the market. Sure you incur the out of pocket expense upfront but it can reduce headaches in the long run.

Once the buyers submit the HIRCA negotiations begin. The buyers may ask for more repairs than you’re willing to do. They may ask for 11 items to be addressed and you only want to do 8. You’ll go back and forth doing the negotiation period until both parties are satisfied. If at the end of that period you’re able to come to an agreement we move forward with the transaction removing the home inspection contingency.

If you are unable to come to terms the buyer and the buyer along has the option to void the contract

All repairs should be performed by a contractor licensed to do the type of work required unless otherwise specified. Agreed upon repairs should be completed prior to the final walkthrough.

We recommend all repairs be done at least 7 days before closing. That way if the buyer wants to reinspect the repairs we have time to make adjustments and additional repairs if necessary.

Receipts will be needed to prove that the repairs are fully paid for before the walkthrough.

Terms Defined

HIRCA – Home Inspection Contingency Removal

Home Inspection – An inspection made by a third party (not the buyer or seller) for a statement of condition on the property, i.e. structural and mechanical conditions. Many contracts to purchase are contingent on the buyer having a home inspection performed within a certain time period prior to closing.

Ratification – The action of signing or giving formal consent to a contract or agreement, making it officially valid.


Questions? Please give us a call at 703-539-2053 or email us at [email protected].


Step 1: Hire a Realtor

Step 2: You’ve Hired Your Realtor. What’s next?

Step 3: Declutter and Stage!

Step 4: Conduct a Pre-Listing Inspection

Step 5: Repairs

Step 6: Deep Clean

Step 7: Professional Photography

Step 8: We’ll Pre-Market Your Home

Step 9: We’re live on MLS, now what?

Step 10: Putting your home listing on 3rd party sites (Zillow,, Trulia, etc.)

Step 11: Time for Showings

Step 12: Week One on the Market

Step 13: You’ve got your first offer!

Step 14: We couldn’t come to agreeable terms with the buyer. What now?

Step 15: Offer was accepted! Congrats!

Step 16: The Home Inspection Period

Step 17: Financing and Appraisal Contingency Period

Step 18: Select a Title Company

Step 19: Scheduling closing date

Step 20: Hire Movers, Start packing!

Step 21: Utility Transfer

Step 22: Home Owner’s Insurance Cancelation

Step 23: Hire a Cleaning Service

Step 24: Buyer’s Mortgage Approval

Step 25: Final Walkthrough

Step 26: It’s Closing Time!

Step 27: Review Us


About the Author: The above article was written by Abraham Walker, Your Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Agent, helping clients market their homes to achieve high sales with a quick closing time is my main priority.

He’s the co-founder of Ask A Walker and can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and HERE on this blog.

Abraham can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at (703)539-2053.

He’s happy to answer all your real estate questions.

Thinking of selling your home? Check out my 20+ step process to selling your home. Or contact me now to start the home selling process. Same day appointments are available on a case by case basis.

Your Alexandria, VA Realtor, Abraham Walker, helps people sell and buy real estate in the following Northern Virginia area cities & neighborhoods: Kingstowne, Island Creek, Cameron Station, Overlook, Alexandria, Old Town, Belle Haven, Fort Hunt, Mount Vernon, Springfield, West Springfield, Burke, Lorton, Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Manassas, Annandale, Fairfax, Arlington, McLean, Reston, Herndon and of course Vienna.