Professional home inspectors provide important information about the condition of a property to homeowners and potential buyers. Whatever purpose your inspection serves, follow these steps to prepare for a home inspection.
The Purpose of an Inspection
There are three primary reasons to conduct a home inspection.
- Most residential real estate transactions include a buyer’s home inspection before the sale is finalized.
- Many sellers schedule a pre-listing inspection to warn them of any problems in the home and provide a list of needed repairs.
- A home inspection can be used by the current occupants to prioritize repairs and upgrades.
Why Prepare for a Home Inspection?
Home inspections are carried out by professionals who are trained to notice issues and identify potential problems. The inspector will not move household items or your belongings to access a space. It is important to leave the home in an inspectable condition, clutter-free, and with access to every system and component.
If you’re selling the home, plan to be away while the inspector and buyer are in the house. This gives them time to thoroughly inspect and discuss the property.
Failing to prepare for your home inspection could result in a rescheduled inspection appointment, which could carry an additional fee and delay your closing date.
How to Prepare for a Home Inspection
Before the inspector arrives, you should:
- Identify potential areas of concern. Perform a walkthrough of your home and look at it through the eyes of an inspector. Obvious household concerns, such as leaks and mold, should be repaired before the inspection.
- Provide clear access to all areas of the home. Unlock basements and attics. Clear a path to the furnace, fuse box, and water heater. Exterior vents and meters must also be easy-to-access for the inspector to perform their examination.
- Gather evidence of repairs and improvements. If you’ve fixed the source of a leak or eliminated a pest infestation, signs of the damage may still remain. Receipts, photos, and any other evidence that you’ve solved the problem can prevent the issue from showing up on your inspection report.
- Check every appliance and light fixture in the home. Professional home inspectors are very thorough. Issues as small as burned-out bulbs or missing ceiling fan remote batteries can cause an appliance or fixture to be noted as non-operational. Keep things clear and simple by replacing all the bulbs and batteries when you prepare for a home inspection.
- Clean the gutters. Clogged gutters are a bad sign to a home inspector, as they show the home is not well-maintained. The home inspector may not be able to evaluate the gutters if they are filled with debris. Clogged gutters can also pose risks to the safety and integrity of the structure, so the gutters need to be clean and clear before you schedule a home inspection.