This is an excellent question to ask, as I’ve actually seen too many houses that were not ready for a home inspection and unfortunately, this did have a negative impact on the sale of those properties. Most Realtors will advise you that preparing for a home inspection is very similar to when you prepared your home for its first viewing or for an open house. It is best to have the property neat and tidy, and if necessary, with keys labelled and available for any locked access. It is also advisable to provide a safe place for your pets to be. This may mean a sturdy, appropriately-sized kennel in the home or it can also mean taking the pet to a friend or relative they are comfortable with until things are more settled. Please remember, a home inspector will need to view both the interior and exterior of the home, so simply putting pets in an open yard may not be enough.
LAWRENCE ENGLEHART - THE HOME INSPECTOR
August 30, 2014 - 12:00am
August 30, 2014 - 12:00am
As a seller, you should be aware that most professional home inspectors tend to arrive about 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled home inspection appointment. This gives the home inspector the opportunity to inspect the exterior of the home, while waiting for the client and their Realtor to arrive. To that end, I’d suggest leaving the home at least 30 minutes prior to the booked time.
Having everything ready on the day of inspection can prevent unnecessary delays. Unfortunately, for liability reasons, the home inspector is not required, nor advised, to move items blocking access to areas that need to be inspected. Additionally, for liability reason, they are not required to operate any system or component that has been shut down and this may include any shut-off valves or even tripped breakers in the electrical panel. The home inspector does not have enough information to know why a particular system has been shut down and if they were to re-activate it, it could potentially put your house, the component or a system at risk.
If it’s possible, you should consider leaving a written list, plus receipts that could answer typical maintenance related questions from the buyer and the home inspector. As an example, are you able to provide information on the age of the roof, heating system, recent upgrades, etc. and are there any transferrable warranties?
To make the process as smooth as possible, you should verify that:
• All utilities are on
• Attic access doors are clear of clothing or stored items. This may be in a closet, hallway or garage
• Crawlspace entrances are not blocked or nailed in place
• Water meter and main water line are accessible
• Water heater and surrounding area are accessible
• Furnace and surrounding area are accessible
• Air conditioning / Heat Pump units and surrounding area are accessible
• Electrical panels are accessible and not locked
• Electrical sub panels are accessible
• Decorative items from doors and windows are removed (including sun catchers, plants, etc.)
• Kitchen counter tops are clear
• Foundation walls, especially the corners of the basement are clear of stored items
• The garage overhead and service doors are clear of items
• Be sure all exterior doors are accessible
• Remove any locks on outside gates, which prevent full access to the exterior
As a general rule of thumb, the home inspector will need at about three feet of workspace in order to safely access electrical panels, heating systems, HRV, etc. So please remove boxes, stored items and debris from these areas.