How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

  • Leave the Utilities Connected
    • The home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, test the furnace and air conditioning, so leave the utilities on, especially if the house is vacant. It’s impossible to check receptacles for grounding and reverse polarity if the power is turned off. Without utilities, the inspector will have to reschedule, which could delay the closing of your transaction and the removal of the buyer’s home inspection contingency.
  • Provide Workspace Around Furnace and Water Heaters
    • If your pilot lights are not lit, then important items such as the water heater, gas stove or furnace will not be inspected and the buyer could delay closing until those inspections are completed.
  • Provide Access to Attic and Garage
    • The home inspection will require getting into your basement and / or attic as well, so keep a path cleared. Move boxes away from the walls.
  • Leave Keys for Outbuildings & Electrical Boxes
    • Leave the remote controls for your garage door opener or a key if the garage is unattached to the house. Unlock the covers for your sprinkler system and electrical box. Leave a key for exterior building access.
  • Clear Away Brush from Exterior Inspection Points
    • Nobody expects you to shovel a tunnel around your home if snow drifts are blocking the foundation but, in the winter, do provide a path around the house. In the summer, cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from the foundation. Move trash cans away from the house.
  • Provide Repair Documents
    • Make available to the home inspector all invoices and documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a roof or furnace. If you’ve upgraded the electrical from ungrounded to grounded, installed a new dishwasher or repaired a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. It will give the buyer peace of mind to know those items were reinspected.

written by James McFadden

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