10 easy steps to prepare:
Be sure all utilities are on. Water, electricity, and gas need to be working for the inspection. Otherwise, the report will just say it could not be inspected. That turns off buyers. It’s against the rules for home inspectors to turn on valves or water supplies.
Make the attic accessible. Home inspectors need to get into the attic. If an attic hatch is screwed closed, unscrew it. Inspectors will not risk damaging your property. If the only access is a closet hatch above piles of linens or stacks of clothes, get them out of the way. Otherwise, the inspector will probably have to say the attic could not be inspected. That can mean an extra charge to come back. The alternative is for the inspector to try to get a peep. Usually then, the insulation spills out all over the closet and clothes. Who needs that? No good deed goes unpunished!
Be sure all the keys needed are available. Unlock padlocks on electric panels, hatches, crawl spaces and garage doors. Or, be sure the padlock key is easy to find. If leaving it in the access box at entry, be sure to label the keys.
Keep pets out of site. Crates are OK, but the back yard is NOT. Inspectors have to walk all around the home. Take your pets with you or board them for a few hours with family, friends or a Vet. Inspectors do not want to be responsible for a pet that escapes the house or property.
Stored items. Make sure stored items are not in an inspector’s way. Inspections are a “visual analysis.” Inspectors need to access outlets, windows, walls, floors and doors. Keep is open and accessible.
Leave notes for anything unusual. It just keeps everybody waiting if the inspector has to go hunting. If the crawl space hatch is under a rug or in a closet, leave a note. If the thermostat is behind a picture or in a bookcase, leave a note. Don’t pay the inspector to come back. Just be a little helpful.
Put your valuables away or take them with you when possible. The inspector cannot watch everything the customer does during the inspection. If you have cash, expensive jewelry or items, put them out of site. Whenever you can, use a locked safe. Avoid locking an entire room. The inspectors have to access and check the entire house. Buyers will want to see inside a locked closet or room.
Don’t worry. The home inspection report will list problems. Perfect homes are about as common as perfect people. Even the inspector’s own houses have work that needs to be done. Just remember, everything can be fixed and home inspectors want to do a thorough job. Your cooperation is always appreciated.