A thorough and comprehensive home inspection is only possible when the home inspector has access to all areas that need to be inspected. Entering into homes with no access to key systems is a hinderance to the inspection. If you are trying to sell your home, here are a few ideas to prepare for the home inspection. Buyers want to feel confident in their purchase, the home inspection is an important part of that process. Being prepared is helpful for all parties involved.
Caring for your pets.
A home inspection can last as long as three hours or more depending on the size and condition of the home. It is ideal to have pets out of the home during the inspection. If your pet must stay home during an inspection, finding a way to keep them safe is ideal, for example, in a crate, so the inspector can have access to all interior rooms and spaces, as well as exterior areas surrounding the property.
2. Access to major systems.
Having access to the furnace, electrical panels, and water heater is essential for comprehensive home inspections. The home inspector will need room to stand and kneel around the entire circumference of these key areas. Clearing clutter and areas around crucial systems is essential for the home inspector to perform an adequate inspection. It is recommended that at least three to four feet (if not more) be available around the furnace, electrical panel, and water heater for the inspector to work.
3. Leave utilities on.
The home inspector will inspect the water, electric, gas, and any appliances hooked up to them. Therefore, it is important that all utilities be left on for a home inspection. The home inspector will need to reschedule the inspection if the utilities are not turned on, as it impedes a thorough home inspection.
4. Leave pilot lights on.
Inspectors are not permitted to ignite pilot lights for liability reasons. In order to test water heaters, furnaces, or gas stoves, the pilot light must be on before the home inspection starts.
5. Leaving important Keys.
Homeowners, realtors, or property managers should leave keys with clear directions for access to areas such as garages, sheds, exterior electric boxes, and other key areas that require a key access. If a realtor is not present, sometimes important keys are left in a lockbox and a code provided to the home inspector. The easier it is to locate keys, garage door openers, and other items needed for the home inspection, the more thorough the inspection can be with ease. It is important to always leave any special instructions if no one is present during the home inspection to explain the information in-person.
6. Access to a basement, crawl space, or attic.
It is important that clear pathways are available for ease of access to important inspection areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, or attics. Any doors that are bolted will need to be unbolted or keys left so the inspector can have access. It is ideal for these areas to have clear pathways. If these areas are used for storage, it is recommended that all items be moved from the walls by at least two feet so the inspector has adequate access. It is also ideal to vacuum areas where cobwebs or rodent activity may have occurred. The inspector will do his or her best to inspect through debris, but the cleaner the home, the better visibility.
7. The exterior of the home.
A well-kept and managed home is always a strong incentive for a buyer. It is important that areas around the foundation of the home be free of debris, yard waste and other obstacles that impeded the inspection. A home inspector will examine for damage around the foundation of a home and the exterior structure of the home, to include windows, doors, and roof. Proper yard maintenance, snow removal, and other obstacles like garbage cans may need to be moved, as well as trimming of tree branches touching the home.
8. Holiday season.
For home inspections taking place in December and January, extra clutter in a home is part of the holiday season with Christmas trees, presents and decorations. Please do your best to provide adequate access in your home for the home inspector.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is that a well-maintained home shines for home buyers. The home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. A home inspector needs to thoroughly and comprehensively inspect the home. While the home inspector will do his or her best to inspect the home, it is up to the seller to prepare the home for sale. These are few tips to help you prepare and to also educate a home buyer of issues that impede a home inspection.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season and New Year. Please be safe and we are always grateful for your business. Feel free to call with questions or information about the home inspection process.
Joe Cusumano, Owner
Bayside Home Inspections, LLC