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  • Writer's pictureWatkins Home Inspections

How to Prepare Your Home for Inspections

A Few Quick Tips to Help You Know What to Expect

You have received an offer on your home and accepted, yay! However, this is where the real work begins if you want to have a successful path to the closing table. One big step in this process is your home’s inspection. A good inspection can help seal the deal, but a bad inspection can oftentimes stop a contract dead in its tracks.

So what can you do to make sure inspection day goes as smooth as possible? Here are five things that can help inspections go a bit more smoothly.

Clean and Declutter

Before the inspector arrives, you want to ensure that your home is clean and decluttered inside and out. This will not only make it easier for the home inspector to do their job, but it will help make a good impression. Inside you will want to be sure to pick up child and pet toys, vacuum, clear off and clean surfaces, put away laundry, etc.

Outside your home, be sure that the grass is mowed, leaves are racked, and landscaping is trimmed (especially if your landscaping is near the home’s utility access points). Put away lawn equipment and outside toys as well. If your home is vacant during inspections, the process will be less time consuming, but should still not be neglected!

Leave Utilities Connected and Pilot Lights On

During the course of the inspection, the home inspector will look at your house’s HVAC system, interior plumbing, electrical systems, roof, attic, floors, and crawl space if applicable. They will also check the home’s windows, doors, foundation, and often appliances left in the home. That means they need to be able to actually check these features and systems, and will require the power, gas, and water service to all be connected to the home.

If you are occupying the home, then there is no need to worry. However, if your home has been on the market and vacant for an extended period of time, it is important to ensure service is restored. You will also need to make sure that any pilot lights to gas appliances (water heaters, furnaces, gas range) are relit.

Make Everything Easy to Access

Just like cleaning your home helps make a good first impression, ensuring that access to crucial systems is easy aids in that impression. If your electrical panel or storage building is locked, be sure to leave the key. If your attic or crawl space is accessed through a closet be sure to clear a path to the access point. This will save the inspector time and make their job that much easier!

Provide Repair Documents

No home is perfect and most homes have at least some deferred maintenance. Access to home improvement records can help the inspector know what they are seeing. For example, if your roof was replaced just two years ago, then it’s most likely that granule loss on the shingles is from storm damage and not deferred maintenance. This will save you the hassle of potentially having to find and produce documents after the inspection.

Expect to be Away for Several Hours

A home inspection will take at least two hours, and longer depending on the size of the home. It is common for the buyer to accompany the inspector to ask questions and learn about their new home. Having the current homeowner present during the inspection can cause the buyer to feel uneasy, so expect to be gone for the duration of the process. You will also want to consider crating or taking your pets with you, because the inspector will need to access every part of your home.

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