Date Published: December 11, 2014
Steps to prepare a house for a Home Inspection
As the seller of the home, or a listing agent helping a seller, properly preparing for a home inspection is important, to help things go smoothly with the inspection process.
As home inspectors, we come across many of the same problems during our inspections. Many are simple maintenance issues that could have been easily repaired. The fewer items on our inspection report, the smoother the negotiation process will be.
Preparing for a home inspection can help you easily coast through your closing period.
Preparing for a home inspection:
- Clean the house and straighten up. Buyers often attend the inspection to review the inspection results, and to take one more look around to feel good about their purchase decision. A clean house helps the whole process go smoother.
- Make sure all utilities are on, especially if the house is vacant. The electric, gas, and water should all be on. Pilots should be lit on water heaters, furnaces and gas fireplaces.
- Clear access to Attic and Crawlspace entries. Ensure that the inspector has clear access to get into the upper attic and any lower crawlspace areas. Many older homes have access openings in a closet and the inspector needs clear access. Remove items around the access areas as needed.
- Clear away storage in front of the furnace and water heater. Ensure that the inspector can gain clear access to inspect the furnace and water heater. It is a good idea to put a clean filter in the furnace as well.
- Leave keys for any locked areas, such as outside sheds, garages, fence gates, electric panel cover, etc.
- Prepare the exterior of the home. Clear a path around the home, trim back overgrown bushes, trim any tree branches rubbing on the house or roof, and clean the gutters if needed.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs. The inspector won’t know if the bulb is burned out, or if the switch or fixture is bad. A fresh bulb where needed will eliminate this question and help the inspection go smoother.
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- Ensure smoke detectors and CO detectors are installed and working. The state of Colorado requires CO detectors outside of bedroom areas when selling a home. If any smoke detectors are missing or inoperable, repair or replace them.
- Empty the dishwasher and washer-dryer (if included in the sale). The inspector will need to run these appliances and test for basic operation, but can’t do so properly if they are full of dishes and clothes.
- Leave out any repair documents. If any recent repairs or maintenance has been performed, it’s a good idea to leave these documents out on the counter along with a note. This shows the inspector and buyer that you are attentive to home maintenance and care about the condition of your home.
- Consider removing any dogs in the home, and leave a note about any other pets present.Don’t assume that the inspector or buyer will be ok with your dog. Consider taking them with you during the inspection or placing them in a kennel or secured area of the home. If cats or other pets are present, ensure the inspector knows this so they are not let out of the home.
- Be ready at the scheduled time and plan to be out of the home for 3 hours minimum. Most buyers attend the home inspection and walk around with the inspector. It is very awkward for the buyers when the seller of the home is present. Give everyone the chance to perform the inspection and talk through the results privately. Turn off any alarm system present.
- Radon Testing preparation. If a radon test will be performed, the inspector will set a test device in the lowest livable area of the home. The test must run for 48 hours and during the test period all windows must remain closed. A letter will be left describing the test protocol. If you have a built in radon mitigation system present, ensure that the system is turned on and operational prior to the inspection and radon test.
- Consider having a pre-listing inspection. If you have further concerns about the condition of the home and the major systems, consider having a pre-listing inspection done. The inspector can point out any repair concerns, providing you with the opportunity to repair items in advance, and further prepare your home for a buyer’s inspection.
Scott Home Inspection LLC is a provider of home inspection services for buyers and sellers of homes along the Colorado front range.
In addition to standard inspection services, we also offer radon testing, sewer scope inspections, infra-red scans, and energy surveys.
With a team of ASHI inspectors, dedicated sewer scope specialists, and in-office customer service staff, Scott Home Inspection is your one-stop provider of complete home inspection services.