Preparing a house for a Home Inspection

The largest portion of home inspections are performed on behalf of the home buyers, not the home sellers.  And so, sellers can sometimes be uninformed as to how to prepare for an inspection.  A thorough home inspection is in the best interest of all parties involved.  The more smoothly an inspection goes, the better experience it will be for everyone.  The following is our top ten list of items that should be addressed by a home seller prior to a home inspection:

  1. New Home Owners Looking At Their HouseMake sure that all the utilities are on.  This applies primarily to vacant houses but, occasionally, we arrive at an occupied house to perform a home inspection only to find that the power or water is turned off.
  2. If you have an alarm system, make sure the inspector has the correct access code, particularly if the alarm system is monitored.  If the police show up to the house because the alarm was tripped, that could cost you a trip fee by the police department.
  3. Secure all family pets (including your neighbor’s, if possible).  Family pets can have mixed reactions to strangers and securing them during an inspection is always best.  Also, inform the inspector of any neighborhood pets that tend to roam freely and have access to the premises.
  4. Have the heat or air-conditioning running so that the inside of the house is comfortable.  This is a courtesy to the buyer, agents, and inspector.
  5. Provide unimpeded access to all areas of the house including the electrical panels, water heaters, air-conditioning equipment, attics, and crawlspace.  This may require repositioning or removing storage items, trimming vegetation, and sometimes, removing soil from areas around the house.
  6. Make sure all of the sinks, tubs, showers, cooktops, ovens, and dishwashers are free from items, such as dishes, pots and pans, towels, and miscellaneous items.  Inspectors are not required to move any of these items but most inspectors will move a few items in order to do a complete inspection.  Also, we recommend that the dishwasher be empty as to properly see all components of the interior of the unit.
  7. Make sure all burned out light bulbs are replaced.  A working light bulb is also an indication that the light fixture is functioning.  This will reduce unnecessary comments within the inspection report.
  8. Clean the home and reduce clutter.  Inspectors are very careful to not damage the contents of a home while they perform an inspection.  As such, they are often leery about moving the contents of the home as to not damage anything.
  9. Survey the premises for any hazardous conditions, including nests for aggressive insects.  Ant hills in the yard will not affect an inspector’s ability to perform the home inspection.  But, a large hornet or wasps nest adjacent to the exterior electrical panel will.  If your house is built over a crawlspace, make sure the crawlspace is free from animals and reptiles.
  10. Have a prelisting home inspection.  A pre-listing home inspection by an experienced, professional home inspector can provide lots of valuable information about your home.  A pre-listing inspection can help discover most major items that may affect the homes ability to sell.