Preparing for a Home Inspection

As a seller or a buyer, what should I do prior to the home inspection?

The seller can perform some routine maintenance prior to the inspection which will a) prevent these items from appearing on the inspection report, b) makes for a smaller report which will not scare the buyer away, c) makes your home more marketable, d) may increase the value of the home if high dollar items are remedied.

Seller’s Pre-Inspection Checklist

  • All utilities must be turned on.
  • Make sure water is turned on and there are no water leaks under cabinets, around toilets, etc.
  • Make sure there is access to the electrical panel where circuit breakers are located.
  • Make sure there is access to the furnace and hot water heater if they are located in the attic.
  • Make sure all electrical wall sockets and light switches have cover plates.
  • Look for and repair any damaged or rotted wood siding, soffits, or facia boards.
  • If the roof is over 15 years old, consider repairing or replacing the roof based on the condition of the roof.
  • Replace air filters for your HVAC.
  • If your HVAC is over 10 years old, consider having a repairman assess the condition of the HVAC. Some of the equipment may be due for repairs or replacement.
  • Provide maintenance records and the name of the company who has maintained your well

In most cases, sellers are not present unless it is a listing inspection; however, please be available by phone in case the inspector has questions and needs to contact you. He will contact the buyer’s agent, who will call the listing agent, who will call the seller.

Buyer’s Checklist

  • Read over the seller’s disclosure. Let the inspector know of any particular concerns you may have with the house.
  • If not attending the inspection, you will need to sign and return the Pre-Inspection Agreement provided by the inspection company.
  • Be prepared to pay by cash, check, or credit card. Payment is usually due after the inspection is completed.
  • Bring something to entertain yourself or keep yourself busy. Most inspections last 2 to 3 hours.
  • Bring something to drink. Vacant houses will not have glassware.