Home inspection preparation guide

The home inspection stage of the selling process can be a stressful one for sellers. Strangers will be in your home for a significant amount of time, looking at all your stuff, and you have no idea what they will find. A cynic would say a home inspector has to find something to justify their fees; but in reality, a home inspector is there to inform the buyer as to the condition of the property so they are aware of what they are buying. They will point out any defects in the home, but also things that can be changed to make the home safer or more efficient.

Here is what you can do to make the process a little smoother.

The home inspector may arrive early to get started on the roof, so you may want to leave the house at least 15 minutes early. Keep in mind the buyers may also be in the house for the entire time, so be sure to clean the home and hide any valuables in dresser drawers.

  • Leave key to the garage on a table so it is easy to find
  • Make sure utilities, including water, are on
  • Make sure pilot light is on for gas fireplace
  • Empty dishwasher and washing machine
  • They are going to test all appliances so make sure they are in working order
  • Replace furnace and humidifier filters if needed
  • Clear area around water heater, furnace and all appliances so inspector can easily access them
  • Leave out remotes for lights, fans and garage doors – replace batteries if not in working order
  • Check and repair leaks around faucets, under sinks, base of toilet and showers
  • Make sure the attic is easily accessible
  • Clear the gutters, make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house
  • If you have recently replaced or repaired something, feel free to leave the receipt (with private information hidden) on a table

If there are repairs you know you can handle but have been putting off, such as a leaky faucet or replacing light bulbs, it is a good idea to complete them, as they will be found in the home inspection and the buyer may come to you requesting that the items be repaired or replaced. It is much easier to deal with these issues ahead of time!

The home inspection may take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the home, and if the buyers have owned a home before or if this is their first one and they need to learn how to maintain the home!

The buyers will generally get the home inspection report within 24 hours of the inspection. They may accept it as is and waive the home inspection condition, or they may come back asking for items to be repaired or replaced. Patience is key during this phase of the selling process!

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