A Seller’s Guide to Home Inspection Prep

Published on December 7, 2017

– 4 min read

Home inspections can make or break the sale. The buyer will be looking for insight on a number of items and it’s crucial for a seller to be as prepared as possible.

As a seller, here’s what you can do before the inspector arrives to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Home Inspection Tips For Sellers

Clean inside & out

A tidy home sends a signal to inspectors of how you take care of your home overall. This goes for the outside too. Make sure everything is clean and organized. Make a good first impression.

Maintain grounds

An inspector doesn’t care if you have a perfect garden or not, but it is critical to show you aren’t neglecting your property. Make sure there are no major branches making it difficult to walk around the property. If there’s snow outside, provide a path around the house so the inspector can easily walk around the exterior.

Be up front

If something isn’t working properly, the inspector will find it. Buyers often get suspicious when it becomes clear that a seller is trying to hide something that may not be functioning. It’s best to disclose this up front and reassure them that you’re planning on getting it fixed, if you are.

Make sure all utilities are connected

A home inspector will test your stove, dishwasher, furnace, air conditioner, water, and electricity. It’s important to make sure your utilities are turned on and in working order. This is especially important to remember if the house is no longer occupied. You may have shut something off to save costs or energy. Make sure it’s on before the inspector comes.

Clear space around the furnace and water heater

It’s often the case that a furnace or water heater are kept in storage areas surrounded by other large items. Before your inspector arrives, make sure to clear any obstacles that may be in the way of these objects. As a general rule of thumb, plan for an inspector to have at least 3 feet of room on all sides of these objects. Inspectors typically won’t move any objects themselves, so make sure this is done ahead of time.

Keep pilot lights turned on

Inspectors generally won’t ignite pilot lights themselves for insurance reasons, so make sure you double check these are lit as it could affect other important parts of the inspection, such as a water heater, stove or furnace.

Provide easy access to attic, garage, and other unfurnished spaces

A home inspector is going to want to see your attic, basement and/or any other unfinished space, so it’s important to make sure these areas are easily accessible with working stairs (if required) and aren’t blocked by large pieces of furniture. It may even be a good idea to go there yourself before the inspection to clear any spider webs / dust before the inspector arrives.

Leave keys or remotes out

If you have a key or remote for your garage door opener, be sure to leave it out and available for the inspector. Similarly, if you have a locked electrical box, make sure you leave the key accessible. A best practice is to provide a label on these items and leave them together in a centralized place, such as the kitchen table, for the inspector to use at their convenience.

Provide necessary documentation

If your home has ever had renovations or major repairs, it’s important to provide that documentation for the inspector. Some examples of repairs might include installing new appliances, getting a new roof, or installing a new plumbing or electrical system.

Be on time

Home inspectors are almost always early. Make sure you are home and your house is ready for inspection at least 30 minutes in advance of your actual appointment.

Stay out of the way

Once the inspector arrives and is ready to get going, it’s best for all parties to give the inspector and buyers some space during the inspection process. Especially if you have kids or pets, we recommend that you anticipate being out of the house for the hours that the inspection lasts (typically 2-3 hours).

There you have it! If your home meets this criteria, you should be well prepared for your inspector on the big day. If your feel ready to start shopping for a new home now, you can get pre-qualified instantly or chat with a licensed Loan Specialist. Good luck!

Steven Fung
Steven Fung is a licensed Loan Specialist at Clara with over 17 years of experience. When he doesn’t have his mortgage hat on, he enjoys repairing old cars and working on home improvement projects.
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