Often times, during a home inspection, I see things that could have been done to prepare the home for the arrival of the inspector. I thought I’d pass them on to you. These items will make the inspection go quicker and likely not be filled with “silly/excessive” defects/findings.
Clear space for access to mechanicals (electric panel, water heater, HVAC systems). All to often, I spend time moving personal property or navigating an over furnished basement to inspect these areas. The seller making easy access to these areas will lead to a quicker inspection time, and I’m less likely to have to state that I could not fully access the item (telling a buyer that something was not inspected fully, is a sure fire scare tactic, we’re not trying to do this).
Make attic access easy by clearing out closets or areas where stairs to the attic are. Also, attic access can take considerable time, if the inspector has to empty personal items from a closet. Accessing the attic is important, I enter about 99% of them. Remember in some attached garages, there is a separate attic area, and ensuring the cars are moved out of the way is also helpful. Clients want good information about the attic, it is the underside of the roof, I want to be able to give accurate information.
Replace bad light bulbs. I will annotate that a light doesn’t work, but I’m not there to diagnose and trouble shoot extensively. Replacing bad bulbs will alleviate you of answering questions on bad light fixtures for a faulty light bulb.
Check the fire safety items like smoke/CO detectors. Be certain your smoke/CO detectors have new batteries and are newer than seven years old. Also check with the local fire marshal to determine what the city requirements are, this varies from city to city.
Address easy safety items, like loose hand rails, broken glass, etc…I take safety seriously, as will the buyers lender.
If work such as HVAC service, recent or ongoing pest control, new or updated mechanicals, etc… has been done, have the information ready.
Put pets away, or remove them during the inspection if possible. For obvious reasons.
If theres a septic system, have the cover exposed for the septic inspector. also don’t have the tank pumped right before the inspection, an empty tank can’t be flow tested.
Ensure the seller understands that if a radon test is being performed, the inspector will need access to retrieve the test equipment in 48+ hours. The home will also be required to be kept under closed conditions for the test period. Its a god idea to let the seller know ahead of time.
What kills a deal? Surprises. Its the home inspectors job to inform his client. If the disclosure is a complete thorough inspection report. There will not likely be any surprises after the buyers inspection. Perhaps consider a Move in Cerfied Pre-Listing Inspection.
If an item is broken and dangerous let the inspector know theres no reason for an inspector to risk injury, or more damage to an improperly functioning system by testing it. If a garage door falls off the track when the inspector presses the opener button, now you have more problems, maybe someone got hurt… Have your realtor tell the inspector, or even leave a large note.
These simple items can make life easier for everyone. Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!
Check out my website for more info on any of these things or about my home inspections.
Mike Auger, CMI
RI Radon Lic. RMC-142
RI Reg. 32856