Get your home ready for a home inspection

If you’re selling your home and a potential buyer has requested a home inspection, there are a few things that you should do to ensure that the inspection process goes well and doesn’t negatively impact the chance of a sale.

You obviously want the sale of your home to be as smooth as possible. Follow these tips so you feel well-prepared for your home inspection and make sure you put your best foot forward as the seller.


Preparing for a home inspection

  1. Clean your home. This is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many sellers don’t take the time to put away clutter and make sure their entire home is clean before their home inspection. A messy or dirty home may give a negative impression to the home inspector, who is ultimately judging how well the home has been maintained.

  2. Provide access to all areas. Make sure the inspector is able to move freely through your home. Move storage so that the inspector can get into the garage, attic (hatch), basement, crawlspaces, and closets. The inspector will not move boxes, furniture, or storage to access these areas.

  3. Leave keys and remotes. Make sure all doors, windows, gates, basement suites, sheds, garage doors are unlocked and leave a spare set of all the keys and remotes in an obvious place like the front entrance or kitchen table, or with your real estate agent.

  4. Be upfront. Let the inspector know well in advance about things like limited access to certain rooms, inoperable fixtures, or known problems. If you know the upstairs bathtub is leaking, let us know! If there’s a problem with the fireplace and we shouldn’t operate it, or if the sliding door easily comes off its track and is difficult to put back, please be proactive and let us know in advance!

  5. Make sure lights work. Do a quick scan of all light fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs so the inspector doesn’t have to make note of “inoperable lights”.

  6. Keep pilot lights lit. If pilot lights on gas appliances such as fireplaces and furnaces are out, the inspector will not reignite them because of the liability involved. Lighting pilots isn’t within the scope of the inspection, so the inability of the inspector to test these important components may ultimately affect the sale of the home.

  7. Trim exterior vegetation. Wherever possible, trim back the vegetation from around the home, or create access so that the inspector is able to inspect the foundation, cladding, window wells, etc. You could consider this home staging for the outside of the home.

  8. Empty all sink cabinets. The inspector will check pipes under every sink in your home for leaking. Do your best to remove or move items in the under-sink kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinets that might get in the way. Leaving the inspector clear access to the pipes under all the sinks will make the inspection go more quickly.

  9. Empty the oven, dishwasher, and laundry machines. If you store pots and pans in your oven, be sure to remove them before the inspector arrives. The inspector will turn on the oven to ensure that it works. You can avoid burning something up, and make your home look less cluttered by making sure the oven is empty. The same goes for emptying your dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer.

  10. Fix anything you’ve been putting off. This is a great opportunity to take care of things like missing cover plates, loose railings, loose hardware, broken light fixtures, and worn-out hoses now. You can be sure the inspector will find these deficiencies, so we advise you to fix those items now. You’ll feel better and your home will show better.

  11. Move your vehicles. If there are parked vehicles in the garage, carport, or driveway, move them onto the street for the day. Cars and trucks take up a lot of space and moving them will allow the inspector a better view of the property.

  12. Get ready to say goodbye. Our home inspectors usually arrive 15 – 30 minutes before the scheduled inspection time. We generally begin our inspections on the exterior of the home while waiting for the client. If possible, leave the home at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time and be prepared to be away for several hours. Some inspections can take 4 or more hours, so gather your family and pets and make some fun plans for the day.

  13. Take pets with you. Be sure to either take your pets with you or, crate them so that they don’t disrupt the inspection. Do not leave them locked in a room during the inspection because this room will not be inspected. Inform your inspector of any crated pets.

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