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Preparing the Seller for the Home Inspection

What to Expect At a Home Inspection: Preparing the Seller

Home inspection impacts buyers and sellers differently in the real estate world. Buyers want to know the details regarding their purchase, and these detail range from safety issues to the age and level of operation of the furnace and beyond. Home sellers will want to identify any potential problems with their home, prior to selling. This can be stressful for home owners as many do not really know what to expect from an upcoming home inspection in order to sell their property. Home sellers should consider the following bullet points in order to properly prepare their home for listing with an agent, and also to know what to expect. This checklist can also help to ensure the real estate transaction will be more successful:

· Expect the inspection to take around 3 hours for an average size home.

· Clear out all storage items from the oven.

· The dishwasher will be run. You can put soap in it if you like.

· Clear the kitchen sink of dishes.

· Place all breakables, antiques and other valuables out of the way.

· Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work. If a fixture bulb is out, the inspector has to note that the fixture does not operate correctly.

· Provide access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel. Also, the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover (please remove any locks on panels and control boxes).

· Install a new furnace/air conditioner filter. It will be looked at during the inspection and be considered as a part of the overall condition of the furnace, air conditioner or heat pump.

· Ensure that windows & coverings are accessible & operate smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open. Also, remove window security screws or provide keys for window security locks.

· Replace all worn/damaged weather stripping.

· Replace all damaged window screens.

· Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails. Also, check to be sure that all interior doors will latch to the strike plate.

· Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull down, especially in a closet. The inspector will enter every attic.

· Replace washers on all leaky faucets inside and outside.

· Adjust the garage door sensitivity to allow the door to reverse when an object is in the way.

· Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor and one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of every bedroom.

· Provide keys or unlock sheds and outbuildings.

· Verify all utilities will be on at the time of inspection.

· Have pilot lights on to water heater, furnace, fireplace and stove.

· Make sure gutters are clear of debris and that downspouts have extensions that carry water six to eight feet from the foundation.

· Install GFCI’s at all locations within six feet of water. Test the installed GFCI’s to make sure they operate.

· Leave a note as to where the GFCI resets are located.

· Remove or restrain pets on site.

· Be prepared for the inspector to operate and look in the following:

o Kitchen appliances, air conditioner, furnace, evaporative cooler, all doors and windows, all plumbing fixtures, garage doors, switches, ceiling fans, pool/spa equipment, whirlpool tubs etc. closets and cabinets.

· Allow the inspector to work without interruption. They are working and have a lot of liability with their job.

· If there is a Radon test, canisters will be left in your home for 2-4 days. Please leave the canisters undisturbed and keep windows and doors closed during the duration of the test. The inspector will schedule a time to come back and retrieve the canisters.

We hope this list will help make home sellers feel prepared for an upcoming home inspection. Many do not understand just how thorough our inspectors are when they perform an inspection on over 400 items. These items can also help to make a real estate transaction run more smoothly. By following the list as guidelines, sellers can feel like their home is prepped and in order beforehand.


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