10 steps to Home Inspection Preparation How to Guide
Home sellers have an easier time by preparing for a home inspection in advance. Getting ready for a home inspection helps to prevent future problems, and prevention can stop surprises. The last thing a seller needs is for a home inspector to break a fixture or cause damage because the seller was ill-prepared. So, Whether you're producing a seller's home inspection for the buyer or waiting on the buyer's home inspector to show up on your doorsteps, it's best to be thoroughly prepared...
01 Clean the House 02 Be on Time — Because the Inspector Will Be 03 Leave the Utilities Connected 04 Provide Workspace Around Furnace and Water Heaters 05 Keep Pilot Lights Ignited 06 Provide Access to Attic and Garage 07 Leave Keys for Outbuildings and Electrical Boxes 08 Clear Away Brush From Exterior Inspection Points 09 Provide Repair Documents 10 Prepare to Be Away for Three Hours Minimum
01 Clean the House
So simple, yet often overlooked! Home inspectors are people first and inspectors second. As people, they carry preconceived ideas of how well a home has been maintained. Second, it makes the home inspector able to perform his job at the highest performance level. With a lot to inspect, and a lot of clutter in your way, mobility is close to impossible and so is the Inspection. If the inspector can’t access what he needs to, then how is he going to inspect??
02 Be on Time — Because the Inspector Will Be
Sometimes, home inspectors are early. If an inspector makes an appointment with you for 9:00 a.m., have the house ready for inspection at 8:30. It's also common for inspectors to start on the exterior of the home, so leave the shades down or drapes drawn until you are dressed. More than one unprepared seller has been "surprised" by a stranger stomping around in the backyard.
03 Leave the Utilities Connected
The home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, and test the furnace and air conditioning, lights, switches, so on and so forth .. so leave the utilities on, especially if the house is vacant. It's impossible to check receptacles for grounding and reverse polarity if the power is turned off. Without utilities, the inspector will need to reschedule (which could delay the closing of your transaction and the removal of the buyer's home inspection contingency.) Some inspectors charge a buyer a reinspection fee to make a return trip.
04 Provide Workspace Around Furnace and Water Heaters
Remove boxes, bookcases, furniture, and anything else blocking access to your furnace, air conditioner, and water heater. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items. If they don't have access, an inspector might suggest a specialist to the buyer. Buyers, then hire a specialist who will undoubtedly find more things wrong. Why? Because a specialist has a lot more knowledge than a general inspector.
05 Keep Pilot Lights Ignited
Many home inspectors will refuse to light pilot lights because the inspector does not carry enough insurance to be covered for that type of liability or risk. If your pilot lights are not lit, then important items such as the water heater, gas stove, or furnace will not be inspected, and the buyer could delay closing until those inspections are completed. Again, the inspector will probably charge the buyer extra to make a return trip!
06 Provide Access to Attic and Garage
The inspector needs to get into your basement and/or attic so keep a path cleared. Check for water in the basement. Move all boxes and stored items away from the walls by at least two feet. Vacuum spider webs. Look in the attic for possible rodent droppings.
07 Leave Keys for Outbuildings and Electrical Boxes
Leave the remote controls for your garage door opener or a key if the garage is unattached to the house. Unlock the covers for your sprinkler system and electrical box. Leave a key for exterior building access. You can label these keys and leave them on a kitchen table.
08 Clear Away Brush From Exterior Inspection Points
Nobody expects you to shovel a tunnel around your home if snow drifts are blocking the foundation but in the winter, do provide a path around the house. In the summer, cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from the foundation, and move trash cans away from the house.
09 Provide Repair Documents
Make available to the home inspector all invoices and documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a roof or furnace. If you've upgraded the electrical from ungrounded to grounded, installed a new dishwasher or repaired a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. It will give the buyer peace of mind to know those items were reinspected
10 Prepare to Be Away for Three Hours Minimum
Often the buyer will accompany the home inspector, and buyers feel uncomfortable asking questions if the owner is present. Try to schedule a time for the inspection when you can be out of the house, and take the children with you. Crate your pets if you cannot remove them from the premises. Most inspections take up to three hours to complete.