How To Prepare Your Home for a Home Inspection

Easy fixes you can do on the interior:
  • Declutter and remove as much personal items and furniture as possible. The Inspector will inspect all windows, doors, electrical outlets, lights, faucets and plumbing fixtures but the Inspector will not move furniture and personal items so anything that is not accessible because of personal items or furniture will not be fully inspected.
  • Make sure all lights are working and there are no burned-out light bulbs. If there is a burned-out light bulb the inspector may write it up the entire light fixture and switch as non-functioning.
  • Make sure all electric outlets have covers and the covers are not cracked or damaged.
  • Make sure windows are accessible. All bedrooms should have a second way out in case of an emergency (usually a window). The Inspector will confirm the windows open and function properly. Window accessibility includes blinds. Please raise or open all blinds on all windows.
  • Make sure garage door(s) are clear of items and are operational. The inspector will test the operation of the garage door opener(s).
  • Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are present and functioning.
  • Operating and inspecting the dishwasher and oven are part of the inspection so make sure they are clear of any items.
  • Operating and inspecting the kitchen exhaust fan is part of the inspection so make sure the filter(s) are clean.
  • Insert a new HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) filter. A dirty HVAC filter may be written up as a poorly maintained system.
  • Make sure water heater, HVAC unit, and electric panel are clear and accessible. Do not store items in water heater closet or HVAC closet. Do not store items on top of or leaning against water heater and HVAC unit.
  • Make sure entrance to attic is accessible and hatch can be opened. Make sure water heater closet and HVAC closet are accessible.
  • If your house has a pier and beam foundation and there is a crawlspace or basement, make sure entrance to crawlspace is accessible and hatch can be opened.
Easy fixes you can do on the Exterior:
  • Declutter and clear perimeter of stored items so Inspector has a clear view and access to exterior walls, electrical and gas service, air conditioner outside unit, decks and porches.
  • Make sure tree branches are 8-10 feet from roof. Cutting large and high up tree branches and limbs can be dangerous so please hire a professional.
  • All plants and shrubs should be trimmed 3 to 5 inches away from the structure. The inspector may write this up because plants against exterior walls can lead to moisture and insect damage.
  • Clean out gutters and make sure gutters drain away from the foundation by using splash blocks and downspout extensions.
  • Make sure all windows that open have screens and screens are not damaged.
Advanced fixes you may need to hire a professional:
  • Make sure there is intact weather stripping at all exterior doors. Make sure doors close, latch, and lock correctly.
  • Inspector will check every plumbing faucet and fixture including shower, bathtub, and toilets. Repair any faucet or fixture that is leaking, loose, or has inadequate flow. Make sure hot and cold are correct orientation and hot water gets hot.
  • Inspector will also check each drain for proper drainage. Have a plumber look at any drain that drains slowly.
  • Have a professional painter caulk, seal, and paint the exterior. Inspectors look for missing and deteriorated caulk around windows and gaps or cracks forming on other exterior surfaces like where brick siding meets wood siding.
  • Make sure doorbell works.
  • Make sure air conditioning outside unit has proper insulation on refrigerant line. Make sure hole in the exterior wall where refrigerant lines enter is sealed properly.
  • Make sure air conditioning condensation drain is visible and accessible and is draining properly.
  • If range is a freestanding unit confirm it has anti-tip device installed. Have anti-tip device installed if missing.
  • If you have a sprinkler system (landscape irrigation) make sure there are no broken spray heads and no heads that are tilted. Also, adjust misaligned spray heads so they are not spraying on hard surfaces or wood decks, fences, and exterior walls.
  • If you have a pool:
    • Make sure all gates and latches are operating properly. They should be self-closing and self-latching.
    • Ladder and railings should not be loose and should be able to safely hold a person’s weight.
    • Make sure all items such as skimmer baskets, weirs, and covers are installed.
    • Diving boards and slides should be in great condition with no flaws or concerns.
    • Make sure lights are operational.
    • Make sure water in pool is crystal clear and has no discoloration or cloudiness.
    • Scrub off or repair any discoloration on pool walls or bottom. Discoloration or staining could be written up as possible incorrect chemicals used, exposed rebar, or physical damage.
Day of the inspection:
  • Remove any pets or have them securely crated.
  • Make sure all utilities are on.
  • Unlock or provide keys for all doors, gates, hatches, etc.
  • Clear items out of dishwasher and oven.
Schedule your home inspection today!