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Preparing for a Home Inspection

Below are some helpful tips to help your home inspection run smoother:

  • Repair –   Fix small defects (handles, knobs, faucets,  etc.) and major issues (roofs, etc.), or adjust the asking price to reflect the home’s condition.
  • Clean – Clean as you would for a showing- an unkempt house may give the inspector the impression that regular maintenance has been neglected. Also, the new buyers are likely to accompany the inspector and will feel the same way.  If the home is not clean, the property may become less appealing, causing the buyers to rethink their purchase.
  • Accessibility – Inaccessible systems are cause for incomplete inspections and delays.  Arrange a place in advance for the inspector to find the keys to all utility boxes, attics, garages, basements, sheds and all other doors.  Be sure all items are pulled out from foundation walls, so that the walls can be seen.  There should also be adequate room to access appliances, crawlspaces, water meters, shutoff valves, electric panels and heating and cooling units. At least three feet is recommended.
  • Utilities/Pilot Lights – Be sure all utilities are connected, so that testing can be done on heating and cooling systems, plumbing, appliances, faucets, electrical systems and more.  For liability reasons, home inspectors will not light pilot lights on stoves, furnaces and water heaters.  Without utilities on and pilots lit, required testing cannot be done and will delay the release of the home inspection. This will also cause a delay in closing.
  • Appliances – Even if an appliance is not included in the sale, all appliances will be run to ensure that the plumbing, venting, and electrical supplies are in working order.
  • Outdoor Areas – Foundations, outside electrical outlets and faucets are a few of the items that will be inspected.  Remove trash cans and debris to clear an accessible path around the home.  This will help the inspection go smoothly and will improve the appearance of your home.
  • Water – Water quality and quantity tests may be conducted, especially on properties that have well water.
  • Radon – Buyers may opt for a radon test, which will require the windows and doors stay closed for a minimum of 48 hours, while the test is being conducted.
  • Proof of Maintenance – Leave receipts and repair invoices for anything you have had fixed in the home. This shows proof of upkeep and answers any questions the inspector may have.
  • Pets – If possible, please take your pets with you, have them boarded, or secure them in crates or kennels away from any areas the inspector will be.
  • Leave Early and Plan Ahead – Plan for everyone to leave the home for at least three hours.  A good rule of thumb is to be ready a half an hour before your appointment time.  Keep in mind that inspectors often start early around the outside of the property, without your knowing they are even there.