Preparing for a Home Inspection - For the Seller

Get Ready for Your Home Inspection

Home sellers will have a much easier time by doing some preparation in advance of a home inspection. This can help eliminate surprises for everyone. The last thing anyone wants is to have to reschedule a follow up inspection due to not being prepared during the initial inspection. So here’s some tips to help you be prepared.

1. Repair & Clean Up

First and foremost, repair any known issues before the inspection. Waiting on repairs until after an inspection can hold up the sale of your home. Give yourself time before the inspection to get bids from qualified professionals, effect repairs, and fix a few do-it-yourself items. This will save you money and reduce the stress of possibly losing a sale.


Fix some of the easier things yourself or hire a handyman – things like slow drains, broken door knobs and latches, install new furnace filters, clean out your rain gutters, empty the dishwasher, replace burned out light bulbs and put in fresh smoke detector batteries. Inspectors inspect and report on all these items. Taking care of these things before an inspection leaves a good impression and can save you money in the end.

2. Give the inspector a clear view

Provide a clear path around the home. The inspector will need to have a clear view of the foundation and walls on all sides of the home. Move trash cans and debris away. Trim bushes and clean rain gutters as necessary.

3. Provide adequate working areas

Remove boxes, bookcases, furniture and anything else blocking access to your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, attic access, and electric panels. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space around these items to inspect them. Home inspectors will not move personal items that are in the way of inspecting but will instead, report that personal items limited their inspection (such as clothing, boxes, bicycles, strollers, toys, cars in the garage, cleaning items under sinks, etc.).

4. Provide access to attics, attached garages, and crawlspaces

The inspector will need to get into your basement, crawl spaces, attic areas, and attached garages. Make sure access is readily available to these areas.

5. Make sure electrical panels are accessable

All electric panels, both interior and exterior, are a very important part of the inspection. If they are locked in any way, be sure that the inspector has the means to open them.

6. Keep pilot lights ignited

Home inspectors do not light pilot lights because there could be a good reason that they have been turned off, such as a safety hazard. If your pilot lights are not lit, then important items such as the water heater, gas stove, gas fireplace logs or furnace will not be inspected, causing further delays.

7. Leave the utilities on

The home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, the furnace and air conditioning, and test receptacles for grounding and reverse polarity so make sure the utilities, and all electric panel breakers are on, especially if the house is vacant. If the electricity is disconnected, the inspector will not be able to inspect these components and will have to reschedule – an easily avoidable delay.

8. Document repairs and upgrades

If you have a file of documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a new roof or furnace, leave them out on the counter for the inspector. If you’ve upgraded the electrical from overhead to underground, installed an on-demand water heater, or repaired a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. This will help the inspector and will let the buyer peace know that those items have been updated and were re-inspected.

9. Be ready ahead of time

It’s common for inspectors to start on the exterior of the home and they often like to show up early to get a head start on the exterior components before needing to enter the home. If an inspector makes an appointment for 9:00 a.m., it’s not a bad idea to have the house ready for inspection by 8:00.

10. Prepare to be away for a minimum of three to four hours

Buyers are encouraged to be present during the home inspection but buyers feel uncomfortable asking questions if the owner is present. So schedule a time for the inspection when you can be away for a few hours and take the children with you. If you have pets, remove them as well. If you cannot remove them, make sure that they are crated or penned away from the house.
Doing these simple things will make a big difference in how smoothly the home inspection will go for the home inspector, the buyer, and YOU!

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