Preparing the home for inspection
The following list is a short guide to preparing your home for the inspection process. A home that is prepared helps to make the entire inspection process go as smoothly as possible. These preparations should be made as far in advance as possible, as opposed to waiting to the last minute, in case you need to purchase parts, or call in a specialist to make the repair.
- Ensure that all pets are caged or removed from the home prior to the inspection, even if you think your pet is safe around strangers. Some pets react differently around strangers, when you are not present.
- Secure any loaded firearms in a locked safe, or remove them from the residence. Children often accompany buyers for the inspection and viewing process.
- If there are any known hazards, clearly mark them to avoid injury to the inspector and potential buyer.
- Cut the grass, remove any yard debris, and trim bushes and shrubbery back from the home
- Clean debris from gutters and ensure that all gutters are flowing and downspouts are directed away from the foundation of the home
- Remove any mold or mildew from exterior surfaces
- Remove any peeling or cracking paint and repaint wood surfaces as needed
- Ensure that there is clear access to any exterior access panels on electrical systems, heating and cooling components, and crawl spaces
- Ensure that all utilities are turned on for the inspection.
- Tidy up the inside of the home to allow easy access to the inspector
- Empty the dishwasher. Operating this appliance is part of a typical inspection
- Empty all sinks from dishes and debris
- Empty the clothes washer and dryer. These appliances will likely be operated, even if they are not remaining in the home after the sale
- Check all light fixtures and replace any burned out bulb
- If a switch is not easy to determine what it operates, leave a note indicating its function
- Ensure that any access panels to electric service panels or appliances are not blocked by household items. An inspector should have clear access to the electric service panel, or breaker box, in order to fully inspect the electric service of the home
- Attic access panels should be easily accessible. Move any personal items from below the access panel. Inspectors will likely use a ladder to access panels that are not equipped with drop down ladders or stairs and will need adequate room to safely use a ladder
- Clear out personal belongings from under sinks to allow for viewing of the plumbing
- Having the chimney and any wood burning appliance or fireplace serviced and cleaned prior to the inspection, and leaving documentation supporting this, is a great idea. Contact a local chimney sweep professional for information regarding service
Last, but not least, plan to leave the residence during the inspection of your home. The inspector and the buyer need to be able to openly communicate and have uninhibited access to the home to complete the inspection process. This is a major purchase for the buyer, and allowing them to have a few hours with the inspector, without you present, may ease their mind and will make the inspection process MUCH easier. Don’t worry though- Our inspectors are fully licensed and insured, and take protecting your home and belongings VERY SERIOUSLY!