The house has been on the market for a year and you finally have a contract. The buyer has wisely exercised his option to have the home inspected and your agent calls and asks you to "get things ready". What should you do?
1. If you are living in the home, be certain that there is immediate access to the electrical service panel, water heater, furnace/air conditioning unit, crawlspace hatch, and attic hatch.
2. Be sure that all luminary devices are supplied with working bulbs.
3. Be certain that all utilities are on and operating. Inspectors will not open valves or energize electrical systems that have been turned off.
4. Be sure that pets are removed from the inspection areas and cannot escape. Inspectors will be opening all doors, windows and gates to test them.
5. Most real estate agents will ask the seller to be away from the property during the inspection. Plan for the inspection to last two to three hours.
6. Remove decorative items from window sills and from the tops of toilet tanks.
7. Ensure that there are keys available for all locked rooms, spaces, and utility buildings that are a part of the inspection.
Remember that home inspectors are, indeed, looking for trouble. The report will not be addressing any of the finer qualities of your home, but will be highlighting what the inspector has determined to be material defects. The more that you can do to provide him with total access to nooks and the crannies will eliminate any need on his part to guess or to assume for, when he does, he is likely to assume the worst.