Preparation for the Home Inspection
The sale of a home is a big deal for most people, great memories were made in this house, but now it's time to sell. Agents do everything they can to get the best possible deal for their client, from the great photos to the staging. Your home is marketed on social media, open houses are held and you and your agent let the world know you have a great home that is ready for some lucky buyer(s). You agree to showing the home to multiple perspective buyers, sometimes being out of your home for 2-3 hours past normal work hours (9AM-5PM, since the real estate industry doesn't sleep, we forget that sometimes) ,then it comes.... an offer to get excited about! What comes next is a 3-4 hour home inspection of every inch, nook and cranny of this home. A good Home Inspector is going to do what is necessary to make sure all systems and components are evaluated properly, which could take longer than 4 hours, especially if the systems in question are not "test ready". Most obstacles in place are not intentional, but can be easily avoided to help the Inspection go as smoothly as possible. Here are a few sure fire tips to help your home do just as great in the Inspection as it did during the Showings:
- Have all utilities turned on. Gas, water and electric are all needed to test each of the homes components properly.
- Declutter all areas designated to access attic. Clothes, toys, boxes and miscellaneous things should be cleared away to keep insulation and debris clean-up as simple as picking up the drop-cloth containing all the fallen insulation and debris.
- Make sure all pilot lights are lit. This means the water tank and the fireplace.
- Remove items from the washer and dryer. All appliances will be tested, but not all clothes are meant for any cycle. As a homeowner I don't want some stranger moving my clothes out of the washer machine, but as an Inspector I don't want to leave a home with wet clothes in the washer.
- Declutter the area around the electric panel. There should be a clear path to the panel, along with a decent work area to fully inspect the interior of the panel without possible trip hazards (because nobody wants to fall into an electric panel).
- Paint exterior wood. Not only will the Inspector call out this minor fix, but the appraisal may also put a stop to the sale until the issue is corrected.
- Clean out the gutters and extend downspouts away from the foundation. This is an annual maintenance item that some sellers will forget to do with the whirlwind that comes with selling a home.
- Change/clean dirty HVAC filters. The furnace filter should be changed regularly and can add years of service to the furnace or cause major issues with a new furnace if left to accumulate dirt and debris for too long.
- Install lightbulbs as necessary. Not only does this make the Inspection go smoother, but if there is an issue that a new bulb will not fix, you and your client have a better suited time frame to diagnose and correct the issue prior to the Inspection.
- Turn on all valves, water and gas. In the winter months it is typical for homeowners to turn off the valves of systems not in use (i.e. exterior hose bibs), but for the Inspection duration, all valves should be on to properly evaluate each system properly.