How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Preparing for a Home Inspection in Raleigh

Your home might be under contract, but the work is far from over. One of the most stress-inducing aspects of selling your home is a visit from the home inspector. A home inspection has become a standard part of the home buying process, so don’t be surprised when prospective buyers put your home under significant scrutiny.

The sooner you prepare yourself and your home, the smoother this process will go. If you’re looking to sell your house, it’s already time to start preparing for this inspection. By prepping yourself in advance, you’ll know precisely what home inspectors look for instead of finding out the hard way and scrambling last minute.

Here is a checklist of stuff you can do before the home inspection to make sure all goes smoothly to stay on top of things.

One Month (Or More) Before Inspection

Have your paperwork: Look through your files and collect anything involving general maintenance and repairs. Include documents showing HVAC inspections, roof repairs, and other house-related fixes. If a problem comes up in the home inspection you’ve already addressed, you’ll want proof.

Draw a map of the property or locate your survey: If you have a septic system or a well buried in your backyard, sketch where it’s located so the home inspector (and the future homeowners) can find it. If you’re unsure where it’s located, this gives you some time to find out before the inspector arrives.

Fix what needs fixing or be prepared to negotiate: Even if you decided to mask specific issues while showing your home, the inspection would most likely uncover them. Don’t wait until the last minute to address these areas of your home. All problems you expect to show up on the inspection should be dealt with at this time. If you choose not to make the repairs, be prepared to adjust your asking price.

list of items to prepare for a home inspection

One Week Before Inspection

Ensure the inspector has access to all areas of your home: In most scenarios, you’re likely packing up your belongings while you prepare for your home to be inspected. Make sure, however, that you pack strategically. The home inspector will need to inspect every closet, electrical panel, furnace, water heater, attic access, and crawl space opening. Don’t stack boxes in a way that would block access to these locations.

Remove clutter and debris outside: If you have clutter anywhere on your property, now is the time to take care of it, and this includes cutting back any branches or weeds that cover the roof, siding, or other areas of interest. Ensure the home inspector can get to exterior faucets and electrical outlets and that they’re not blocked.

Turn on all utilities: If the property is vacant, make sure all utilities are turned on.

The Day Before Inspection

Clean the house: It might seem counterintuitive since there are moving boxes everywhere, but you should clean your house thoroughly before a home inspection. Keeping a clean house won’t make much of a difference if you have an issue with a leak or a faulty electrical panel. However, a clean home gives the home inspector the immediate sense that this property is well cared for and well maintained. They’ll be less likely to dig deeper into minor issues if they have the feeling that the house has been kept in good shape.

Inspect lights and appliances: Check for blown-out light bulbs and replace them as needed, and this is also an excellent time to make sure pilot lights are lit on your stove, water heater, and furnace. Lighting fixtures and appliances that don’t work can cause the inspection to be incomplete and delay the entire process.

Double-check that all areas are accessible: Retake a tour of your property today with the idea of making accessibility a priority. Ensure the inspector has access to locked gates, sheds, or anything else that’s not in the realtor’s lock box. You can remove the locks or provide keys to your real estate agent.

On Inspection Day

Tidy up: Pick up your bedroom and living areas, wash dishes in the sink and leave the house in excellent condition.

Ensure animals aren’t an issue: Before you leave the property, make sure all of your animals are secure. Most home inspectors prefer that animals are taken off the premises, but you can secure them in a crate on the property if necessary.

Leave the house: If the buyer is paying for the inspection, make sure you’re out of the house at least an hour before the home inspection. Expect to be gone at least three hours so the inspector can do a thorough job.

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