After conducting numerous home inspections I decided I needed to update and share this list of tips for home sellers to help them prepare for their Home Inspection. All of these suggestions are common sense but are often overlooked during the stress of a home sale. These tips are provided in order to help make your home inspection and sale go smoothly.
1. Provide an Un-obstructed View and Access: For the best possible results your Home Inspector will need to access all areas of your home in order to complete a full inspection. If an area is not accessible due to personal items or property the area won’t be inspected or may be reported as limited access, restricted visibility or not inspected. What does this mean? If, for example your attic access panel is located in a closet that is packed full of personal items the inspector will not normally move these items to gain access. This will result in a “Not Inspected” entry being entered on the inspection report. This can lead to doubt in the buyers mind regarding the condition of the attic. In most cases this will also result in a follow up inspection which requires more time (possible delay in the prospective buyers decision to purchase the home) and additional costs. These costs are normally incurred by the home owner.
The inspector is required to inspect a sample number of windows and electrical receptacles in every room. Try to have blinds and shades drawn and at least one accessible electrical outlet open for testing in each room. The more the better!
2. Utilities: Vacant houses need to have all utilities turned on prior to the inspection. This includes water, electric and fuel. Gas or liquid propane fueled furnaces and water heaters need to be lit. The inspector is not authorized to turn on electrical branch circuit breakers nor turn on or ignite pilots for furnaces or water heaters. The reason for this is the inspector does not know why the appliance is turned off nor can the inspector assume the appliance is safe to operate.
3. Computers and Electrical Devices: Turn off any computers that are plugged in. During the inspection the home electrical distribution panel cover will be removed. There is a very small risk that an electrical branch circuit breaker could be accidentally switched off. We do not want to risk the possibility of you losing any unsaved projects or causing damage to your computer.
4. Kitchen Sink Cabinets and Bathroom Vanities: The inspector needs to check for water leaks and electrical hazards in these areas. When possible, remove items such as excessive amounts of cleaning products that can obstruct the view of the inspector.
5. Kitchen Sinks and Dish Washers: Remove all dishes, towels and other items from the kitchen sink and dishwasher. The inspector is going to fill the sink, check for function and flow. The inspector will not remove your dishes to a safer place while this is being done.
6. Pets: If you have pets make every possible effort to remove them from the property during the inspection. The Home Inspector has to inspect the entire house, including the exterior, crawlspace or basement and all rooms. Some pets are easily excitable or stressed. Additionally the Inspector doesn’t want to risk the possibility of your pet escaping the garage or back yard. At the minimum please cage or kennel your pet.
I hope you find this information helpful. Visit my website, www.mrbhomeinspections.com for additional information and home maintenance tips.