During your negotiation stage, buyers will inform sellers of the inspections they would like to conduct and how long they'd like to have to do so. This period of time is essentially a buyer beware option - buyers can hire professionals to take a closer look at the property and if there is anything they find unsatisfactory, they are free to end the contract. Consequently, the fewer inspections a buyer plans to conduct (and in the shortest amount of time), the better. In the sale of our home, the buyers took the right to do a general building, septic, and water inspection.
After the inspections are conducted, the buyers can decide to continue with the purchase, renegotiate and ask for some items to be fixed, or to terminate the agreement. In our instance, the buyers asked for a few things and we agreed to the items we felt necessary (mainly with the water system).
From a seller's prospective, preparing for inspections is very important. This is most likely only the second time a buyer has been back to your property. You want the house to be in the same condition as the first time they fell in love. It's also important to take a look at your property from an inspector's view. Is anything leaking? Are there missing or broken screens? Are there opportunities for quick repair to the roof, siding or outbuildings? Chipped paint? Taking care of these minor things prior to an inspection can alleviate buyers' perception of whether their inspection went poorly or not. And remember, it's not part of the contract that you must fix any items that come up during inspections. It is merely a time for a buyer to learn as much as possible about the property - if their requests are too much, you too can refuse and allow the buyer to not continue with the purchase.
After inspections, congratulations are in order, as you can now sit back and relax until the appraisal - this time period is work time for the buyers and buyers lender to start processing any loan applications.
Check back soon for the appraisal process!