How do I Get My Home Ready for an Inspection?

Home Inspection Tidy Kitchen

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Home inspections are a stressful time for both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. Both parties have already been through the negotiation process and financing and all other subjects have often been resolved. A successful inspection is what both buyer and seller would like to see and honestly, we at Solid State Inspections want nothing more also than for our clients to get the dream home we are inspecting.


To give your home the best opportunity for a successful home inspection, here are some tips that will help the Inspector see your home’s best qualities.


General Comments

  • Treat the home inspection like another open house. Inspectors will want to be able to see as much of the home as possible and when it is clean and tidy, the house presents itself best for inspection.
  • Make sure locks on yard gates, garages, storage, and suites are open so the inspector can make their way through the inspection unimpeded
  • Expect the inspection to take 3-4 hours and when possible, allow the inspector, realtors, and buyers sole access to the home so they can concentrate on the inspection and the inspector is free to answer questions openly for the clients.
  • Inspectors may arrive up to 30 minutes before the inspection and will typically start the inspection on the exterior of the home.
  • Pets should be removed from the home. Inspectors will be opening and closing doors and windows and cannot keep an eye on pet activities or work around pets.
  • Inspectors will look under EVERY sink, remove items that block the view of the piping and drainage areas (and please empty the under sink garbage!)


Utilities

  • Electrical, water, and gas services should all be active in the home.
  • Ensure pilot lights are lit in all gas appliances such as fireplaces and furnaces and these appliances respond to normal operator controls. Solid State Inspectors cannot light pilot lights for insurance reasons and will write up these appliances as needing further investigation.
  • Replace burned out light bulbs in light fixtures
  • Label major known defects (e.g. a known leaky shower) to prevent inspector from doing additional damage.
  • Inspector will be looking for main water turn offs. Provide access and remove covers if they are not obviously located or are concealed behind interior finishes.


Outside

  • Inspectors will need to see around the perimeter of the entire home. Ensure there is a clear path for the inspector to walk around the home and to safely setup ladders for roof access.
  • Inspectors are looking at the foundation of the home. Remove stored items, foliage, garbage bins, or anything else that blocks visibility. These items can be in the yard area or against fences.
  • In particular, inspectors need to be able to access the gas meter, electric meter, hose bibs (outside taps), electrical outlets, gas outlets, and any entrances, windows or similar areas
  • Remove clutter on balconies, decks, and patios to allow inspector to view these areas (don’t worry about the BBQ or deck chairs)


Appliances

Solid State Inspections, unlike most other inspection companies, includes major appliances in our home inspections.

  • Refrigerator - Ensure all the refrigerators are turned on and have had time to cool to correct temperatures (ice cubes in the freezer are a good indicator the freezer is working)
  • Oven/Range/Cooktops - Remove all items on cook tops and in ovens as inspectors will be activating the cooking elements checking for correct operation
  • Dishwashers - Inspectors will be running the dishwasher to check correct operation (we don’t put in soap).
  • Clothes Washers - We will run a wash cycle (no soap) to check proper operation. Best practice is to leave the washer empty for us.
  • Clothes Dryer - We will run a dryer cycle. Best practice is to leave the clothes dryer empty.


Access Areas

  • Electric Panel - Inspectors need to be able to safely remove the panel covers. Allow access right to the panel from the front and about 3’ on either side. Also, avoid painting over panels as inspectors will need to ‘crack’ through the paint to open the access.
  • Furnace & Hot Water Tanks - Inspectors need to be able to approach and inspect these areas. Remove all items in front and remove belongings to about 3’ of the sides.
  • Crawlspace Access - Best practice is to have this access open for the inspector before they arrive and turn on any lights that may be available. Ensure there is a clear path through the crawl space to any mechanical areas such as furnaces or water shut-offs.
  • Attic Access(s) - Leave enough room for safe access with a ladder to all accesses. Our inspectors won’t move occupant belongings and will indicate in the report areas not accessed for inspection which may require a follow-up inspection or could prevent the buyers from going through with the sale. (Don’t forget about the access in the garage if you have one).
  • Garage - Ensure inspectors are able to open and close all garage overhead doors and man doors to the outside and inside and have a walking path to each of them.


Tenanted Homes/Suites

  • 24 hours prior to, and immediately prior to, the scheduled inspection time, the landlord should enter the tenanted area and ensure the tenants and tenanted area is ready for an inspection. The inspector will then be able to safely and freely access all the mechanical areas, run appliances, and test the bathroom fixtures.
  • Make arrangements, whenever possible, for the tenants to vacate the home for inspection.


By completing these tips on getting your home ready for a home inspection, you will be helping show your home in the best possible light for the home inspection.


By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.