Preparing Your Home

How to Prepare Your Home for a Home Inspection

Congratulations on the pending sale of your home! Whether we perform your inspection or not, our goal is to help both you and the potential buyer enjoy a smooth and speedy transaction. Below is a list of 10 Easy Steps to help you achieve the most positive outcome.

Read ALL material closely to know what to expect and how to avoid a return trip charge.

Special Notes

Avoid a Return Trip charge:

If access to any item or area is blocked, the potential buyer may request that the seller pays for a required return trip. The inspector will need access to all areas and components. To avoid possible damage, inspectors cannot open any access that is caulked, painted, or fastened in place. Properly preparing the home can greatly reduce the need for a re-inspection. See #6.

What to Expect:

The inspection is visual only. Nothing will be disassembled. Inspectors will use normal operating procedures on your home’s systems by activating the garage door opener, adjusting the thermostat, and so on. Systems and components can fail at any time. It is unreasonable to assume that any system or component failure is the result of the home inspector’s actions.

The Attic and Crawlspace:

No matter how careful we are, loose insulation or debris will drop from the attic access when opened. If this concerns you, we encourage you to remove or cover up all personal items below the access prior to the inspection. Due to the risk of electric shock, it is unsafe for inspectors to enter wet, or sometimes damp, crawlspaces. If the crawlspace will be wet on the day of inspection, please call our office. We may reschedule the inspection to try and save a return trip fee.

After the Inspection:

Our inspectors do their very best to leave your home in the same condition they found it. However, we are only human and want to ensure your safety and the proper function of items that have been tested.

Re-check all your window and door locks, your thermostats for desired setting, and GFCI receptacles, especially if you have a freezer or refrigerator plugged into a GFCI. GFCI receptacles are mechanical. They can and do fail during and after testing.

Radon Gas Testing:

If a radon gas test has been requested by the buyer, please maintain closed home conditions. This means keeping all windows closed, keeping doors closed except for normal entry and exit, and not operating fans or other machines that bring in air from the outside. Fans that are part of a radon-reduction system or small exhaust fans operating for only short periods of time may run during the test.

Air conditioners and heating units may be used under normal conditions. Please keep closed home conditions 12 hours prior to the test being conducted as well as during the 48-hour test. It is often believed that opening windows and operating fans will lessen your radon levels, but in truth, you are just as likely to increase them.

Who Gets the Report?

The “Client” is the person who paid for the report and they are the sole owner. Please remember, the inspector cannot release the inspection report to anyone except the “Client” due to privacy rights.

10 Easy Stepsto a Smooth Inspection and a Cleaner Report

1. Pets

Please cage or remove your pets from the home during the inspection. Your potential buyer and their family will likely attend the inspection, and even the friendliest pet may become uncomfortable or territorial around strangers.

2. Cleaning

Keep in mind that a little house cleaning goes a long way in helping speed the inspection process. You may also consider cleaning up after your pets to avoid a negative impression for your buyer and/or accidental tracking into your home.

3. Utilities

It’s important to make sure all utilities are turned on and all gas appliances are lit. Inspectors are not allowed to ignite gas appliances or move personal belongings to access such items.

4. Kitchen Appliances

All kitchen appliances will be tested. Clearing your stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher, will speed the process and prevent accidental damage to stored items.

5. Maintenance Items

For a cleaner inspection report, change your furnace filter and replace blown or missing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries. You may also make small repairs, such as installing missing covers for light switches and receptacles or fixing minor leaks or cracked windows.

6. Easy Access

Inspectors are not permitted to move personal belongings. Please clear access for all major components in the home, including the attic, crawlspace, electrical panel, furnace, water heater, etc. All windows and all toilet tank lids will be opened for inspection. Please remove any decorations placed in these locations to avoid accidental damage or a disclaimer of “not inspected” in the report. Also, remember to open any locked areas or detached buildings.

7. Windows

All windows will be inspected and operated throughout the home. Opening your blinds and curtains will help to prevent accidental damage and allow for a quick inspection. Ensuring that all your windows open properly will reduce repair recommendations in the final report.

8. Helpful Information

If you have inside information about the home you wish to share with the inspector or buyer, leave a list or letter on the kitchen counter. Any repair or maintenance records regarding the home and its systems (updates, additions, improvements) could be very helpful. Related warranties or manuals may also be appreciated.

9. Attendance

It is customary for the seller of the home to leave during the inspection. If you plan to attend the inspection, please be courteous to your buyer by being available to answer any questions but keeping yourself separated throughout the process. It’s important to allow your buyer the needed space to talk comfortably with the inspector about the home.

10. Review

At the end of the inspection, the inspector will review his findings with your potential buyer. The review is very critical to the buyer’s understanding of the inspection. To allow the buyer to be comfortable asking questions and addressing any concerns with the inspector, we recommend that you not be present at this time.