Pre-Sale Checklist

Preparing For a Professional Home Inspection

General Access

  • All areas of the home should be made accessible for the inspection. Make sure the home is clear of excess clutter ensuring the inspector has clear visual access to all walls in the living, storage, garage and basement areas. The Buyer of your home expects the Inspector to check these areas carefully. Therefore, access and sufficient space around system components and appliances to evaluate heating and air conditioning equipment, water heaters, kitchen appliances, electrical panel boxes, and other equipment that will be inspected, should be provided. HVAC units require sufficient space to access and inspect these systems in attics and crawl spaces. Trim bushes around outside units and exterior crawl space doors so the Inspector can access these easily.

Crawl spaces and Basement areas 

  • Make sure keys are available and labeled if these doors are locked.

Attic Access

  • Access to all attic openings should be made readily accessible, to include pull down stairs, walk up stairs and scuttle holes.  For example, if an attic opening is located within a closet, all items that would prevent easy access should be removed. The inspector should be able to place a ladder at the scuttle hole opening.  Home owners should remove clothes from closets that are blocking the scuttle-hole access to protect their belongings, as dirt and insulation will fall from the attic when the hatch is opened. It is not the inspectors responsibility to move your personal items.

Appliances

  • Plumbing - Clear spaces under kitchen and bathroom sinks to give the Inspector a clear view.

Garages and Carports 

  • Cleared pathways are needed around the walls, perimeters and the floor needs to be mostly visible.
  • Provide keys for all deadbolts and storage areas including out buildings if they are part of the inspection.

Utilities

  • All utilities must be “on” and working properly prior to the inspection date. Utility services include electrical, water, natural gas and propane service, if present. Circuit breakers should be on and pilot lights lit.
  • Keep in mind that utility companies typically require 3-5 days to turn on utilities that have been turned off. Schedule your inspection accordingly.


Other Details

  • Make sure all light bulbs are in place and operational prior to the inspection.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors throughout the house.
  • Remove valuables and breakables from windows to avoid damage. Consider leaving shades and blinds open. These are often fragile or loose and we do check window operation.
  • Have the house neat and tidy so that your Inspector can move freely through the rooms and hallways.
  • Clear belongings from ovens/ranges and out of sinks/tubs so these appliances/fixtures can be checked.
  • Remove racks hanging on the backs of doors in bathrooms and bedrooms so that these doors can be opened and closed easily.
  • Leave a note if anything should not be tested or any plumbing should not be operated. We fill tubs and sinks.
  • If the home has been ‘winterized’, schedule it to be properly de-winterized. Make sure all plumbing fixtures, including toilets, are fully operational prior to the Inspection.
  • Your real estate agent likely had you prepare a “Seller’s Disclosure” document. Have a copy on the kitchen counter for the Inspector to review.
  • Leave receipts for recent repairs and service calls on the kitchen counter for review.
  • Leave a note if you know something might be hard to find, e.g., an electrical panel or oddly located GFCI receptacle.
  • Remove your pets from the property during the inspection, if possible. If pets can't be removed, they should be caged.  Pets will often try to sneak outside and we don’t want to risk any escapes! Strangers in the house are often upsetting to our pets. There's the potential for the Inspectors to be injured and the Inspectors can't be responsible for pets running away when doors are opened and closed.
  • You should expect the Buyer and Inspector to spend private time in the house during the inspection. They will be discussing the inspection report and might need to walk through the house together. This is a normal part of the inspection process.
  • The Inspector understands that selling a home can be a stressful event. We will do everything we can to help minimize this anxiety, but your cooperation in preparing your home for the inspection goes a long way in assisting the process.