Usually if your home is being inspected, it is because it has been listed for sale and you have accepted an offer from a homebuyer. But more and more home sellers are anticipating issues and want these to be addressed prior to listing their home for sale.
Whatever the case, there are some pre-listing or pre-inspection checks than any homeowner can do before a home inspector takes a professional look at their house. Many of these are regular maintenance tasks or steps you want to take to prepare your home prior to listing.
#1. Repair any obviously broken or missing items. Check doorknobs, door jambs, locks, windowpanes, screens, gutters, chimney caps for broken or missing items.
#2. Replace all filters. Replace dirty HVAC filters and other filters throughout the house. Consider having the furnace serviced by a qualified technician, particularly if you have not done so in the past year.
#3. Double-check that all light fixtures and light bulbs are functional.
#4. Replace batteries and check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Checking these detectors monthly is recommended whether you are moving or not.
You’ll also want to verify that they are located in the proper locations according to state regulations.
#5. Clear out any cellulose debris around the perimeter of the house. Move firewood at least ten feet away from the house. Prune shrubs or trees in close proximity to the siding and roof. There should be easy visibility of the foundation and siding.
#6. Establish clear access to any HVAC equipment, electrical panels, water heaters, attics, and crawl spaces.
#7. If you haven’t been in your crawl space lately, open the hatch and take a quick look. If the insulation is all torn down or there are visible water accumulations, the inspector will not be able to do a thorough inspection.
#8 If you are not living in the house, double-check that the water, electrical and gas services are turned on. Check pilot lights, faucets, natural gas or propane connections and verify that all of these utilities are in good working order.
#9. Remove pets from the premises during the home inspection. Home inspectors don’t want to have to worry about the family cat escaping.
#10. Be prepared for unexpected requests as a result of the home inspection. No matter how much you prepare for a home inspection there will probably be something on the report that you didn’t expect. Take it in stride and try to stay unemotional during the negotiating process.
For answers to other questions about home inspections, please use the Comment section below or contact one of our licensed ASHI Home Inspectors at ‘Find an Inspector’ on www.ashiww.org.