A little time spent in planning and preparation for home inspection will help reduce your chances of uncertainties during and after the home inspection.
First it is important to realize that no house is perfect. Items along the spectrum from major
damage to minor maintenance issues are often found so you should be prepared for that. Even new structures can have problems – they might have issues with the plumbing, electrical system, heating and cooling system, or the roofing system just to name a few.
Once your inspector has arrived, it is recommended that you accompany him or her at the end of the inspection of the property. This is to help you become familiar with the home and its systems as well as exactly what repairs the inspector recommends and why. You might also want to prepare a list of items that you’ve seen in and around the home that you feel are cause for concern so that we can be sure to address these items during the inspection. Don’t worry if you don’t know the right questions to ask – throw it out there and we’ll make sure our recommendations are easy to understand.
Here are some suggestions to help prepare for your home inspection:
- Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space. It’s also a good idea to trim any trees and shrubs that might make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult. Clear the area around your furnace, air conditioner and water heater. The inspector will need approximately 3 feet clear around these areas.
- Housekeeping: A little housekeeping both inside and outside your home might be in order. The inspector will photograph your property for the written report, so clearing the clutter and moving vehicles from the front of the property will make for better pictures and help the inspection go smoother. Clear the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. We will be looking closely at the plumbing in these areas.
- Maintenance: If you can, repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim. Clear the rain gutters of debris. Check to be sure all the windows and doors work properly.
- Be sure the utilities are connected: The home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher and test the furnace and air conditioning. Please be sure the utilities are turned on for the inspection. It’s impossible to check electrical components 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.
- Have all keys for locks available: Leave the remote controls for your garage door opener or a key if the garage is detached from the house. Unlock the covers for your sprinkler system and fuse box. Leave a key for your shed and any exterior buildings you may have.
- Secure your pets: If possible, put your little ones in a pet carrier, or chain the bigger ones.
- Sellers, find something to do for a few hours: Buyers often accompany the home inspector during the inspection. While they like to ask questions, they are often reluctant to do so in the presence of the seller.
- Buyers, bring important documents: Gather together pertinent information about the property that may be useful to the inspector when you meet him for the inspection. These items could include the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) data sheet, which gives the square footage of the house, the year it was built, and other important information; a copy of the Seller’s Disclosure Statement, which can be helpful when trying to establish historical continuity; copies of any previous home inspections; and any other useful information you may have. The more information that your inspector has about the property he is inspecting, the better he is able to do his job.