Preparing for a Home Inspection

Are the utilities on, with all shut off valves turned on, electric breakers turned on, and all pilot lights lit (if applicable)?  If the house is vacant this is particularly important to verify.  This includes the electricity and water, and may also include gas, propane or oil (in older houses).

For home buyers make sure to schedule your home inspection as soon as your contract has been ratified.

We encourage our clients to accompany us during the inspection. You should feel free to ask any questions you may have during the inspection process. We will point out the good and not so good points and explain them to you. Plus, we’ll explain what routine maintenance is needed to keep the house in top condition. This will help you to get the most benefit from the inspection and gain the most understanding of the systems that make up your home, and how to maintain it. Inspections take approximately 2-3 hours at the property.

Here are some ways to make your home inspection go smoother, with fewer concerns to delay closing.

Make sure the inspector has access – not only to the house but also furnaces, water heaters and air conditioning units (especially in closets, attics and crawl spaces).

Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric service, panels, water heaters, etc.

Check to see the garage is open and that any water heaters, utility panels or shutoffs and resets for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) within are accessible.

Unlock areas the inspector must access – attic doors or hatches, electric service panels, closets, fence gates and crawl spaces.

Ensure all utility services are on, with gas pilot lights burning.

Be sure pets won’t hinder the inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from premises or secured outside. Tell your agent about any pets at home.

Replace burned out bulbs to avoid a “light did not operate” report that may suggest an electrical problem.

Remove stored items, debris and wood from foundation. These may be cited as conditions conducive to wood-destroying insects.

Trim tree limbs to 10 feet from the roof and shrubs 1 foot from the house to allow access.

Attend to broken or missing items like doorknobs, locks and latches; windowpanes, screens and locks; or gutters, downspouts and chimney caps.
Checking these areas before your home inspection is an investment in selling your property and will expedite your closing.