Having a home inspection done? Good for you. We always encourage sellers to get inspects done as they prepare to list their home. If there are problems, it is best to know up front.
There are a few things you can do to make prepare for your inspection
Outside the home, repair damaged masonry on steps and walkways, and seal cracks in the driveway. Not only will the home look better, but future issues will be prevented. Recaulk around exterior doors and windows, check flashing and replace any missing or damaged shingles. Replace cracked or broken window glass and loosen any windows painted shut. Replace torn or damaged screens
Have the fireplace and chimney cleaned and checked by a professional. If home inspectors can’t see into the chimney because of buildup, they won’t be able to inspect it and may need to return after it has been cleaned.
Inside, relatively minor fixes can improve home inspection results. Check for leaky faucets and fixtures, and repair grout around tubs and sinks. An electrician should inspect receptacles and switches and make any needed replacements or repairs.
You should arrange service appointments for their furnace and central air conditioning so that any issues can be addressed before the home inspection.
If the home has battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, put in fresh batteries and install additional units if any are missing. Wired units should be tested to ensure they’re functioning.
On the day of the home inspection, a few easy steps will make the process go as smoothly as possible.
First, allow sufficient time for the inspection. A professional home inspection will take an average of from two and a half to three hours, longer if the home is large. It’s best if you aren’t there for the inspection. If your home already has a contract and is pending the potential buyer will usually want to be there, and should be if at all possible.
Be sure that inspectors have access to all areas of the home. Provide keys to any locked areas, and allow access to the attic, crawl space, garage and yard. Be sure they have access to components such as electrical panels, the main water shutoff and gas meter. Also, make sure they can easily access the water heater, furnace and central air conditioning unit.
In winter, clear walkways of snow and ice for safe access to the home. This obviously is not a problem in our beautiful Central Coast region of California.
Homeowners should make arrangements for pets to be out of the house or contained in a crate for their own safety and that of the home inspector. Dogs, in particular, can be disruptive, and some can become distressed by having an unfamiliar person in their “territory.”
It is always a good idea to store small valuables and medications out of sight and in a secure location for peace of mind. One option is for you to simply take these items with you when you leave for the duration of the inspection.
Taking these steps can go a long way to prevent or address problems that could negatively affect the inspection, make a potential buyer less confident about the home and lower your and your clients’ chances at a top-dollar sale.
An inspection-ready home presents itself best for evaluation and makes the entire process go more smoothly.