As a homeowner there are several reasons for your home to be inspected. Most often it is because your home is under contract for a pending sale and the buyers have ordered the inspection. However you may have ordered a pre-listing inspection or new home warranty inspection yourself. Whichever the case, preparing for the inspection is the same.
It is essential that the inspector have full access to the property. All rooms and closets, as well as any outside sheds/garages, should not be locked. Unlocking gates is also very helpful to the inspector as they will likely make several trips around the hom
e’s exterior. It is also very important that electricity and water service to the home is active so the inspector can test the home’s electrical and plumbing.
During an inspection, there are key components to the home which must be accessible. Failure to insure the inspector can access these areas/items can result in an incomplete inspection, sometimes causing further costs due to reinspections. State regulations and insurance policies usually prevent an inspector from moving your personal items so it is essential you make the areas freely available.
Often located in a garage or utility room, electrical panels have a tendency to be covered by items because access to them is rarely needed. Not only does the inspector need to be able to get to the panel, all belongings around the panel should be removed. The home inspector will need unimpeded access as
they will likely be removing the panel cover to inspect the wiring inside. When exposed, there is a heightened risk of danger as the live wires are exposed. Tripping over personal items at this time could be fatal.
Water Heaters and HVAC Units
Water heaters and AC Units are also frequently found in garages. As garages tend to be very crowded they can become blocked by personal items. The inspection will include these items so the inspector needs to be able to get to them.
Whether in a garage or closet, it is imperative that the attic access be readily available with enough room for a ladder. The inspector needs to be able to get into the opening.
The inspection will also include the home’s appliances. Appliances should be easily accessible and free of items. Appliances include, but are not limited to washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave oven, oven/stove.
The inspection will include looking under sinks for proper plumbing and ensuring there are no active leaks. Although this area doesn’t need to be completely free of items, the inspector should be able to clearly see the plumbing and cabinetry below the plumbing.
If you have pets, they should be kenneled or removed from the property for the inspection. If this isn’t possible, arrangements should be made with the inspector in advance. If there are cats or other pets loose in the house, let the inspector know.
If the home is under contract for sale it is strongly recommended that the sellers are not present for the inspection. In addition to awkward situations, there could be legal ramifications. If the homeowner must be present all real estate agents (buyers and sellers) and the inspector should be informed in advance.
Although not required, any receipts or permits for home improvements can be left out for the inspector. This can be useful for documenting the age of items or improvements.