I’ve been asked this question in the past, and I don’t think it gets enough attention. I’ve been to too many homes that were not properly prepared for their inspection and, unfortunately, it had a negative effect on those properties. Most real estate professionals will tell you that preparing for a home inspection is much like preparing for a showing. You should have your house clean, tidy, and all areas accessible. This may include leaving keys to crawlspace doors, electrical panels, attic hatches, or fences. It is also recommended to have a safe place for pets. As much as I love animals (really, I love animals), it can be stressful for all parties. Simply leaving a pet in a certain part of the house or yard is not recommended, as it may prevent the inspector from accessing those areas.
Sellers should also plan on leaving the house about 30 minutes before the scheduled inspection time. Myself, and many other inspectors, tend to arrive early to do a good walk around and evaluation before our clients arrive.
Below are 10 tips or suggestions for sellers that are preparing for a home inspection.
- Confirm that all utilities are ON and functioning. This includes water, electric, and gas. Appliances or fireplaces with gas pilot lights should be burning and ready for use.
- At Pinpoint Home Inspections, we love pets! Unfortunately, not all pets love us. Make sure animals are secure or removed during the inspection. If relocating your pet for a few hours isn’t possible, make sure the inspector knows. This will allow us to make sure all doors stay closed and no one goes missing.
- Check all light fixtures and replace any burned out bulbs to avoid confusion.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace dead batteries.
- Replace dirty air filters and write the date on the new filter.
- Remove debris and wood from around the foundation; these may be cited as “conducive conditions” for termites.
- Remove all items that may block access to HVAC equipment, electric service panels, water heaters, attics, and crawl spaces.
- Unlock areas the inspector must access – attic doors or hatches, electric service panels, closets, fence gates, and crawl spaces.
- Trim vegetation around the home that may block access or view of the foundation/siding. Tree limbs should be 10’ from the home.
- Attend to any broken or missing items like doorknobs, locks and latches, windowpanes, screens and locks, gutters, downspouts, and chimney caps.
By following these simple steps, you can avoid unnecessary remarks on the inspection report.
Inspecting East Tennessee Since 2006