How should a seller prepare for a home inspection? What does the home inspector do? The home inspector will test every system in your house. The Home Inspector uses his experience from hundreds of inspections to give 8 tips to prepare your home for an inspection.
1. Make sure the utilities are on. To do a complete inspection all the utilities should be on. If the gas, water or electricity is off, the inspector will be unable to complete the inspection.
2. If you have pets make sure that they are safely put away. A sign on the door that says "Don't let the cat out" is not sufficient. Once an inspector begins he will probably go in and out of the house numerous times and he is not thinking about pets. If you have a dog, don't just lock it in the back yard. Even if the dog is "friendly" you risk it escaping when the inspector opens the gate. On occasions even "friendly" dogs will go after the intruder (the home inspector) in the back yard. If an inspector feels threatened by a dog he will not be able to complete the inspection and may have to return later.
3. Make sure that the inspector can get into the attic. If the attic entry is a pull down ensure that nothing is under it. Often cars, boxes, lawnmowers, furniture or other items are in the way. The attic is one of the most important areas for an inspector to look at. Ventilation, framing, insulation are always areas an inspector will check. Attics also sometimes contain HVAC, water heaters, and electrical systems. If the pull down is inside the house make sure that tables, chairs, boxes, etc are not in the way.
4. Make sure that the inspector can examine the electric panel. If it is hidden behind a picture take the picture down. If the panels are in a closet or some place else that is unusual, leave a note in the kitchen with details. If the panel is in the garage make sure the inspector can get to the panel and that the panel is not blocked by stored items.
5. If the water heater is hidden away, leave a note for the inspector with details. If the water heater is blocked by items remove them so that the inspector can inspect it. The home inspector needs to have full access to the water heater.
6. If fans, lights or fireplaces need a remote control to operate, make sure the remote is available to the inspector. If you have several remotes place notes on them so the inspector will know which ones to use. Make sure that the remotes have good batteries in them.
7. If areas such as crawlspaces or storage rooms are locked, unlock them so the inspector can enter them. Make sure crawlspace and storage room entrances are not blocked by boxes, etc. If you do all you can to make the inspection easier, the inspector will be able to complete the inspection quickly and won't have to return.
8. Finally, the seller should leave the home so the inspector is not distracted. This will ensure the best possible inspection.