Vail Daily column: Do I need to be present for home inspection? |

Vail Daily column: Do I need to be present for home inspection?

Joan Harned

​Dear Joan,

My family and I have finally made up our minds to live the good life and buy a home in the Vail Valley. After looking for three years, we have put a property under contract.

I have not bought a home for some time, and I was amazed at all the dates for all of the information to be provided for our approval. I think our Realtor has explained most everything, but since we are leaving soon, I am concerned with getting the inspection done without us being here to see everything.

I suppose this is done all the time, but I would like to have some assurance that I don’t need to fly back to accompany the inspector. Any insight?

Dear Vail Valley Buyer,

This is wonderful news that you will be joining our community! Now you and your family will be here more often to enjoy the beauty of the valley in all the glorious seasons.

Now to your question. Although reviewing title work, survey information and possible due diligence items are all important, you have concerns with what often becomes the most important issue for home buyers and sellers. That does not mean that it is necessary for you to be here to obtain all of the information you need. Actually, following the inspector around will not necessarily help you understand the home any better. We have many good home inspectors in the valley and I am sure your Realtor has or will give you some names and numbers to call and interview a few inspectors about the inspection, add-on items (radon testing is recommended), timing and the cost.

The thing to remember is that the home inspector will not go into depth on items such as mechanical inspections. If you are concerned about the heating or cooling systems, your Realtor can recommend some good HVAC people to check everything out. If it is an older home, this may be worth the extra money. Inspectors just check to see if the heat comes on for a period of time.

We have had cases where there were serious issues (furnace quit two weeks after closing) that only an HVAC inspection would have discovered. As you can see, accompanying your inspector would not have helped in this situation. Our professional inspectors in the valley will send you pictures with detailed information about every item of concern. So you will have a good feel for everything they discuss in their report.

Now, what I consider the most important issue in the inspection objection process is which, if any, items to write up as objections to be remedied or compensated for. If you have read my articles before, you will know that I feel that all Realtors should explain to the buyer and seller that inspection objections are about health and safety issues, not cosmetics for the home. Sellers should do whatever is necessary to make the home habitable and safe. Buyers should not ask for cosmetic redos that they had already seen when they made the original offer. Possible exceptions might be cosmetic issues that could not be seen during the buyer’s showings (i.e. big stain on carpet covered by area rug). Your seasoned, professional Realtor should be able to guide you easily through this process to a successful closing. We wish you many years of happiness with your new home!

Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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