Preparing for a Home Inspection

Whether your home is under contract, you’re preparing to sell your home, or you’re having a healthy home inspection, a little effort on your part can make the inspection process go much smoother.  Here are a few tips to prepare your home for inspection:

  • Clear a path!  The inspector will need access to the home’s vital components.  Make sure personal belongings are moved out of the way.  The inspector will need access to:
    • The attic access – Pull down stairs should be accessible with nothing in the way. Ceiling scuttle holes (often found in closets) should be made accessible without the inspector having to move personal belongings or dismantle shelving.
    • The furnace and water heater should be accessible without personal belongings or vehicles blocking access.
    • Exterior utility areas should be accessible. Make sure debris and personal belongings are pulled away from the water meter, gas meter, electric service area, and AC/Heat pump
    • All electric service panels should be accessible. No shelving or personal items should inhibit the removal of the front cover.  The inspector should have space on either side of the panel and about 3 feet of space in front of the panel to safely remove the cover.
    • Crawlspace and Basement Entry points: Crawlspace accesses should be clearly identifiable.  Leave a note or let your agent know (so they can pass it on) if your crawlspace or basement access is hidden (such as a trap door in the floor, under a rug, or beneath a deck).  If your home is a partial basement with a partial crawlspace, the access is often in the basement wall.  Make sure shelving and personal items are moved to allow access.
    • Allow access to all doors and windows. Move furniture away from windows so they can be opened and make that unused door in the laundry room available (you know the one).
    • Plumbing – If all is working correctly, you as the homeowner probably rarely think about the pipes. Make sure to clear out under all sinks.  If there are plumbing access panels in your home, make sure they are accessible and easily openable.
  • Leave the keys! Make sure doors and gates are unlocked.  If you have a shed or other exterior structure included in the sale, make sure to leave the keys so these areas can be observed.  If there are doors with an interior keyed deadbolt, make sure to let us know where the key is so we can test the door.  If your home has an exterior-access only utility room, make sure to leave a way for us to get in.
  • Secure the animals! Having strangers in their space can cause animals a lot of anxiety.  Please consider finding a way for them to not be present for the inspection.  If they must be, please ensure they are properly secured and safe.  A home inspection can take multiple hours to complete so please take in to consideration the time frame.
  • Perform some regular maintenance! Walk through your home and replace any light bulbs that are out.  Don’t forget the exterior lights.  Mow the lawn and trim back vegetation.  Remove debris and yard waste from around the home.
  • Make sure all utilities are turned on and pilot lights are lit! Often if a home is vacant, homeowners turn off utilities.  Please arrange for the utilities to be turned on AT LEAST a few days before the inspection.  Utility companies cannot be relied upon to have the water, gas, or electricity operable on the exact day of the inspection.  If the home has an automatic gas fireplace, gas water heater, or any other gas appliance with a pilot light, make sure it is lit BEFORE the inspection.  If any utilities cannot be turned on or appliance cannot be operated, please ensure all parties involved (seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, buyer, and inspector) are aware.